Monday, June 30, 2008


Just another one of my creations. It is really a horrible picture. They are Amethyst on the bottom, then Swarovski crystal and glass bead accents.

Grandma's Necklace

I have been having way too much fun with beading lately. My Mom has been collecting since before I was born and likes to keep me well stocked. I want to try my hand at selling some of my creations, but I am so nervous about it. Anyway, since my Grandma was in town, Mom and I decided to take her to a bead store. We had so much fun! Grandma picked out some beads she liked and I offered to make her a necklace. She was so excited. I had so much fun designing a special creation for her. The green stone pendant is Chalcedony and the large purple stones are Ametrine. I don't remember what kind of stones the smaller ones are, but I remember the strands were pretty expensive. The rocks are Fluorite (I think) and the metal is all sterling silver. I know she is not expecting the bracelet and earrings, but I had left over beads and wanted to make it extra special. I can't wait to show her them tomorrow!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Decorating Differences

I shouldn't be writing this now, because I am still so upset, but I had to get it out and see what you gals with similar issues have done/would do. I have a friend who has been so sweet in giving us all kinds of curtains, rods and fabric to match what I have wanted to do in our house. She didn't have all of the wall hooks for the curtains so I told Scott that I would like to see if we can find some nice cheap ones at Walmart or Home Depot. This is when the truth finally comes out. He doesn't like the curtains, doesn't know why we need them, thinks that the blinds are just fine. We would eventually paint the kitchen to coordinate with the blinds and I would like to paint my massage room. He doesn't want to paint anything. Neither of us really like our house and we know where we want to end up, but with our financial struggles I have tried to put getting a bigger house out of my mind and concentrating on making this one more my home. He doesn't want to touch anything.

I'm ready to cry! We got into this huge disagreement over putting up curtains!!! Free curtains!!! Well, mostly free curtains. I am living in a house with white walls (some pictures) with white blinds!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Corporate Massage

So, I finally had my big chair massage day this past Wednesday. I was so stinking nervous that I didn't sleep very well, but the adrenaline kept me going on high until later that evening.

I met the United Health Care Rep. who set the whole thing up in the parking lot at 8:30am and she helped me carry my chair, stereo, and bags up to the office. She tried to explain a little bit about what she does and what this client does but ended with, "It's a lot of political bureaucracy that is hard to understand." But, what I did pick up was that this company not only uses United as their own health insurance for their employees, but is the middle man when other companies are trying to get health plans for their employees. So basically the place I massaged for is Kay's (as I will call her) client as well as helps her get other corporate clients).

I started massaging at 9am, 10minutes per person with approx. 5 minutes in between. It went really well, and 11 of the 12 people grabbed my business cards, and at least 5 of them said they wanted a full massage at some point. I don't know how many will actually call me, but it is a start.

Kay was so excited that it went so well. She had previously expressed concern that her bosses didn't particularly like the idea, but she has every intention of showing them that this costs less than wining and dining them and they will like it better (so we think). She decided to go ahead and give me a personal check so that the company would just owe her money if they accepted the expense and she wouldn't owe them anything if she put it on the corporate credit card. I think it is funny that the whole reason I got the job was because I could accept credit cards but still got a check in the end.

Afterward Kay and I figured out that I had massaged the #2 in the company and #1's daughter. She was thrilled that I was able to work on the higher up's and it should be good for her own business. Then as we were leaving she said that she does have other clients that she wants me to do this for and she will pay out of her own pocket for it if she has to.

I am so excited! If I could do this just once a month (and only three hours at that) it would mean so much to our family. Of course I will keep up my own evening massages, and I am also learning to make beaded jewelry (nice stuff, not crap stuff :) ). So, be watching for my beaded jewelry website to pop-up in my list of places to shop on the left hand side sometime soon.

Thanks so much for everyone's prayers and support through our financial difficulties. We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel (or at least get the game plan set to reach the light). It should only take us 3-5 years to get out of credit card debt. Then about 500 years to pay off student/car/home loans. ;)

Speech Therapy Help

At Nathan's last Doctor's appointment our fabulous pediatrician said that she thinks Nathan needs speech therapy. Since Nathan was born 5 weeks premature he had special therapists meet with him once every 2 months to make sure he was progressing as he should be and didn't need any extra help. I loved having the ladies come. They were wonderful with Nathan and he loved playing with them. They would also tell me what milestones to look for next and, in watching them, I picked up a lot of ideas to help Nathan progress. He was always on the very edge of needing extra help, but never over the line.

In watching all of the little girl's and even some of the boys his age I have noticed he is fairly behind them and so I was actually excited to hear he qualified for exyra help. I get to go and learn how to better help him with his speech development. In the meantime I have really been working on sentence structure with him and the -L- and -R- sounds. He actually enjoys the extra attention and loves that Mom is concentrating soley on him.

But, here is my question... I would like to do more than just continue repeating words and sentences to him and wonder if any of you out there have had a child need speech therapy and what kind of games and things did they do with your kids. I already read to Nathan at least a couple books every day, but want to do something more. So, if any of you have any ideas, I would love to hear them!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008


So, Scott loves to take pictures. He loves trying to capture cool shots and dreams of having a professional camera. I thought I would try and find places to enter some of his photos (with our very not professional camera). Although this is not necessarily what I had in mind it would be fun to win the gift card. So go to this website and vote for his photo (pictures below).

Scott took this picture in his Grandma's flower garden in Provo, Utah. I really love this picture.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bedtime, The Dad Way

This is not how my mother taught me to put kids to sleep. I learned that you quiet them down, read stories, talk to them softly about their day. Scott of course has other ideas. I think the kids rather prefer Dad's way to mine, though they don't usually go to sleep immediately. We always hear them playing in their rooms for a bit after we put them down.

Scott is actually holding Nathan up over his head.

Oh no! Both boys are down for the count!

"Get me Dad!"

Caden going back for more, or is he running to me?

Caden getting his own 'above Dad's head' time.

They were sweet enough to take a minute from their play to pose for Mom's picture. My sweet boys.

I do have to mention that we do end up reading books after this play, but it is hard for them to wind down. I would discourage it, but the kids have so much fun and I can't take this special time away from them. After all, they end up going to bed earlier (since they don't go to sleep right away) and getting up a bit later (okay, so it is still 7am, but that is better than even 6:30am!).

Friday, June 13, 2008

Blog Updates

You will all notice quite a few changes to my fabulous blog. I have been doing a lot of reading on making blogs in general better and decided to implement a bunch of new things. I have also changed back to a boring blog background because we have had to downgrade our amount of RAM and it takes forever to load the page the way it had been. I have also added labels to all of my blogs now, so you can ignore my journaling and just look at the picture posts or vice versa. If anyone wants to learn how to add three columns, scroll boxes (which I don't have anymore), change colors, etc. please check out the amazing blog Tips for New Bloggers.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Deal or No Deal!!!

So last night was the premier of Deal or No Deal with my friend Adam "Spanky" Hansen on it. Man I hate that show! I just can't take the suspense, and then having someone I know on it was ten times worse!!! It was so fun though. Spanky was the first person to start multi million dollar madness. He ended up with 12 1 million dollars in the cases. He went until their were only three cases left and ended up with $295,000. The producers put a huge emphasis on the fact that he is a Scout Master. Spanky started the show out with a lot of "dangs" which of course Howie picked up on. Then Spanky busted out his dance moves and kept making his case fall. The case he chose was the one his Scouts asked him to chose, number 14. At one point they brought all the girls out in skanky little scout uniforms and then challenged Spanky to put a uniform on to shoe his "dedication to the Scout program." Of course he did but acknowledged how much he hated it. At the end he had only one case with a million and opened one more case. He was killing me! In the end he left with his highest offer from the banker (who made fun of his weight by saying he obviously never got the fitness badge). It was an awesome show and I don't ever want to watch another one again! Congrats Spanky and Megan, can't wait to see the house you buy!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Today after Scott got home we were chatting and he started out a sentence with, "So, I don't want to scare you...." How horrible is that?! No one who wants to not scare someone should ever start a sentence that way. Well it worked (or didn't), he did scare me. He was talking about how I don't understand the economies unstable condition and his job is not all that secure. We talked about the recession and how our generation is struggling. Previous generations have had to deal with wars and rations our generation is having to deal with the consequences of credit cards and debt.

I started thinking about all the things our grandparents had to give up to help their country. I know Pres. Bush wants us to spend money to stimulate the economy but we really need to pay off our debts. How many times have prophets told us to get out of debt and have a savings? These next few years are really going to test us all. I read a news article that said the housing market won't hit bottom until as late as 2012. That is still 3 1/2 years away. In that time what is going to happen to the rest of the economy.

In talking with a friend she pointed out that if we looked at inflation, gas has not been inflated along with everything else. If gas had inflated with, lets say bread or milk, it would cost more than it does even now. We have all heard that Europe has had higher gas prices (the maximum more than double our own), maybe it is time for us Americans to start walking off our McD pounds, starting of course with me.

Anyway, just thought it was funny that Scott and I had similar things on our minds today. It just stinks that after this talk we have decided we probably won't be able to make Christmas in AZ either. Although, if Scott loses his job (no, he is not likely too, but with the economy so unstable anything is possible) we will probably move to AZ to live with his parents for a while, we will have plenty of time to visit then! So Jolene and Gary, if you are reading this, pray that he doesn't ;) !!!

Retail Therapy

So I have been hiding this from friends and family for like three weeks. It is eating me from the inside out!!! I don't think people understand that if I don't share every single thing in my brain that I will blow up. Seriously though, I can't seem to quit thinking about it until I have had an in depth conversation about whatever my latest idea/epiphany (something everyone else learned a long time ago) with at least 4-5 (okay more like 45) different people. Until I get a good rounded view on what everyone else thinks about my epiphany/latest challenge I can't decide what I think about it/if I really am crazy/am not alone in my problems, etc.

Three weeks. Yup, that is how long it has been. Although I have told a couple of people about it, I have not even reached the minimum of four yet. Hence the blogging about it. I hope to reach my goal of 45 in one fell swoop. In other words I am being lazy and only want to tell it once and get massive amounts of compliments/comments instead of calling everyone individually... which I may still do just so you can tell me how amazing I am in person (yes, over the phone is now considered "in person").

Without further ado... okay, just one more thing. I was reading this article on people with anxiety disorders. One of the symptoms is the need for an abundance of encouragement from everyone and their dog, or at least everyone including strangers randomly met in line at the grocery stores. It had always driven my Dad nuts and I never knew it was a symptom. He is always asking why he constantly has to rave about whatever accomplishment I have achieved. Now I can tell him, "Because if you don't I am going to have a massive panic attack right here, and I won't be able to breathe, I will think I am going to die, and I will never try and do anything ever again in my life that might be met with even the tiniest trace of uncertainty that it was a good idea (i.e. dinner, cleaning, massaging, talking, living...)." So, this is why I have been baring my soul to the blogging world, I need you all to tell me what a good job I am doing, and how awesome I am. Yup, the comments from my last post have been my encouragement that you all may remain nice to me through this one.

Now, really. My shopping. I have always had issues with money. I would spend my allowance within about thirty minutes of receiving it. Saving has never been a concept I could comprehend. My Grandparents might comment that my money was always "burning a hole in my pocket." I have been much better since I married, but I had issues (as I know we all do). I wonder sometimes if my issues have to do with my parents. My parents are the epitome of frugal. They never wanted anyone to know how much money they made (on one of my college applications it asked how much my parents made and my Dad called the school to get out of telling them). But despite that I knew my parents were pretty well off. Still my parents bought lots of thrift clothes (we did get some new clothes for school) and even sewed some for us. My parents are also extremely indecisive. It drives me crazy!!! So, I rebelled against this. I went to McDonalds and fast food drive thru's for the first year of our marriage (my parents mad eit a very rare treat). Luckily after 30 pounds of added fat and finally getting sick of it, I don't do that much anymore. I will say I still enjoy a McD's coke a couple times a week (My Aunt likes to call it Mormon Alcohol).

I am a huge budget person. As in I like to make them, but never stick to them. I use Microsoft Money Plus and it downloads my expenses from our bank's online website so I can see exactly where my budget went out of control for that month. I love playing with our finances, figuring out where we could cut back to save but never actually doing it, or spending the supposed savings on some other random unneeded 'junk'.

After Ethan died I went on a huge spending spree. I maxed out my first credit card and tried to fill the hole he left in my heart. It didn't work. It gave me immediate satisfaction, but then I would try and hide my spending from my Hubby and my family. I would feel so guilty, but not near guilty enough.

Then Scott graduated and got a fantastic job at USAA and started making really good money. I wanted him to get to live like we should have been able to had I not been spending money left and right. So the random spending sprees changed to things like getting cable, pest control, a new house and living how I thought we should be living. I put gas, groceries etc. on credit cards and commenced to max out a couple more. When we started getting our student loan bills, Scott realized we were in trouble. He told me to cut back and we started to fight a lot about my spending.

It all came to a head when I realized we had no more room on credit cards, no money in our bank account and not enough money to get groceries and pay for gas. On a side note I do need to mention the amazing amount of medical bills incurred by our darling new addition. We have probably spent close to 5k out of pocket for Cade's medical bills. That of course went onto credit cards. So, I finally broke down and told Scott how bad it really was. We talked for a good week and I taught him how to use the finance program and showed him all our monthly bills. He has taken over paying the bills and I have asked him not to give me any access to money. He wanted me to keep my debit card, but I told him I couldn't. It is hard and even scary being out without money, but it is worth the freedom I will have in the long run, being out of debt and finally being able to live like I want to (years and years down the road). We called to cancel cable and received a month free (I have the day I need to call and cancel on my calendar with the phone number so we don't get charged for a month and so I don't try and 'forget' so we can have it for longer). We tried to cancel our land line but couldn't afford the cancellation fees, but got two months free and then realized with me building up my massage business I really needed a home phone line (my cell phone minutes wouldn't be enough). We figured that I would have to stay at home a lot more and not drive, and I can't go shopping for food on my own (My idea, not Scott's)

So, that is the epiphany and the actions taken, here are the blessings and the reactions. We had to get help from our church for a couple weeks of food. It is a program called the Bishop's Storehouse. I met with the Bishop (Scott stayed home with the boys) and brought in our budget and counseled with him for an hour. Then the Relief Society President came over and helped me fill out an order form for the food we would need for two weeks (they didn't have Cade's special formula and a couple of spices I needed, so we still had to spend some money at the store). I went to pick up the food and the lady who helped me load it into my car works for united health insurance. I mentioned I was a massage therapist and it turns our she had been looking for a massage therapist to go to one of her clients and do chair massages. United is paying for it all and I just show up and give massages to the people that signed up. It was only supposed to be a one time deal, but she has since emailed me and said that if it goes well she has some more clients she would like me to do this for. I am just grinning from ear to ear remembering how this all came about. I can't even tell you how much I had to humble myself to even ask for help.

We were going to have to get help again for another two weeks when Scott called to me while he was working on our bills on Saturday. He had a check for over a couple hundred dollars and a notice saying that we have been paying too much on our escrow (housing taxes calculated into your mortgage payment based on previous years taxes) and that our payments would be dropping $60/month. I was flabbergasted. I looked at Scott and uttered my Mom's favorite saying when thing are going well, "We've been paying our tithing." Scott looked at me and replied, "No, we've been paying too much on our taxes." Cheeky little thing! In the same pile of mail we finally got our notice that we would be receiving our stimulus package soon too.

I am so grateful for this church and the programs they have set in place. I did mention I have been praying and reading my scriptures too right? I'm sure you all just guessed that.

Despite the good things, it has been hard. We realized that we wouldn't be able to drive to AZ to see Scott's brother when he gets home from his mission (it would cost $450 round trip just for gas to get there and back, not including food and driving while we are there). There was also a fun family activity we were invited to that was 45 minutes away that we had to forgo because of gas prices. I have a whole theory about my generation and our entitlement issues. But that will be for another post.

I think it is just so cool to see the blessings and help we are getting right now. I know I often pray for help and don't always see the results until years down the road when I look back at the different situations. I also have trouble knowing that Heavenly Father has a grand master plan and my wants/needs may not be part of it. Or my thinking that maybe I have to go through this to be able to help other's later. But this time, we got what we asked for immediately and in so blatant a way. "We are struggling financially, here is some extra money, oh and lets lower the mortgage payments while we're at it." I love it! Would that it would happen more this way more often! Nope, I won't complain. I have been truly blessed, and truly avoided a potentially horrible situation (the ruining of our credit, etc.).

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Four years...

Yes, his shirt does say, "Chicks dig me." Scott is a huge Jonny Bravo fan, and Jonny was even displayed on his grooms cake.

It was four years ago today that Ethan died. It is always a sad day, but not as hard as his birthday. I think his birthday is worse because it was supposed to be such a happy day. We had our first baby and were finally parents and we had so many hopes and dreams for him. His birthday is always a reminder of what might have been. The day he died was always a sad day, never anything more or less. We don't usually do anything for today. Sometimes we make it out to the grave, but most often it just passes without much going on. After all it is not a day any of us want to celebrate.

I am writing this post just to acknowledge that we have survived another year without him, and we are actually doing pretty well. We miss him often and are always wondering what kind of four year old he would be. I often tell Scott that it would be so weird having two boys so close together and then he not so subtly reminds me that if Ethan had lived Nathan would not have been born so close after him.

Anyway, let's see... Four years ago Scott was still in undergrad with two years to go. He has since graduated with a degree in Biology, started work at USAA, received four promotions and started his MBA. He has also managed to get me pregnant two more times ;). When Ethan died he decided he did not want to pursue a medical degree because he didn't know if he could handle death. He switched to dental, but that ended up not for him either. He is definitely a more mature person (as four years will mature anyone), but he is still me rock. I remember that the month after Ethan died we did not like to be away from each other. I left to shop with Mother-in-law for a dress for the funeral, and that was about the only time we were in seperate locations. About three months after the funeral is when our relationship really hit a point where it could either make us or break us. It was hard, but we chose the right path and are closer now because of it.

Four years ago I was an immature girl not knowing who I was or what I wanted in life, and not much has changed ;). Okay, so I know I want a family and to be married (duh!), and I know I want to eventually go back to school, but that is where it ends. But I am learning that it is okay to not know. I am just trying to flow with life and not worry about the future. As long as I have my family and the gospel I will make it. After all, I survived losing a child, I can handle anything, right?

Nathan was born 14 months after Ethan was born. It was very hard on my body. But sooo worth it. I wanted to be a mother here on Earth. I was not replacing my son, I could never do that, but I was replacing the responsibilities that come with having a living child. He was such a healing aspect for everyone. An easy baby who just loves everyone, and still does.

Caden has been a struggle. He has had similar issues that Ethan had (constipation since birth, extreme fussiness caused by the constipation). It has been hard to see another baby act so similar to the one who died. I had fears that I was going to lose him too, but mostly those were quickly washed away by a sense of peace. After all, whatever happens I know I can get through it (just please don't let it happen!). We have figured him out (mostly). He is on miralax and that has been a miracle for us. He finally sleeps through the night and is becoming the happiest baby I have ever seen. He adores his big brother and follows him everywhere. He cuddles and is especially fond of his dadadadada (as all of my kids are).

It has been a stressful, happy, memorable, fun, emotional four years, but I wouldn't have had it any other way (okay, I would bring Ethan back, but that is it!).

To see more pictures of him check out his birthday post in March.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Baby Sign Language Fun

Your baby can learn sign language!
Here's how to say:

• "Please change my diaper": Turn beet red and make straining expression, then smile.

• "I'd like something to eat, please": Cram fist in mouth and suck wildly.

• "I'm tired": Make a series of weeping gestures before closing eyes and lolling head backward.

• "Please pass me that thing up there that I can't reach": Point and grunt, then continue pointing and open mouth into screaming position.

• "No thank you. I think I've had enough": Throw food or object to floor with exaggerated grin.

This was in an email I get from They send me updates weekly on Caden and monthly on Nathan (it switches automatically at one year to once a month emails). They give great advice about what your baby should be doing, what you should be looking for and questions different Mom's have asked. At the end of every email they post a joke and this one just cracked me up, so I had to share!