Monday, December 20, 2010

Better for me

It was one of those days when by the end of the day my patience was short...too short. It looked like Grant was going to be working late so I fed the kids without him and it was about time to be off to FHE. I have to say I had a bad attitude for several reasons.

1. Grant has been working what I refer to as "stupid crazy hours" and for the last several months he has only been home for about 1 or 2 family home evenings. I get tired of doing it all by myself. I am exhausted by that point, and to have to try and control all the kids and teach them at the same time does not always work out in my favor. So I was not exactly jazzed about doing it by myself again.

2. We wanted to do something for a family in our ward, and we were given the name of an older lady who has struggled with some physical limitations. What she needed was some attention and time. Grant and I both thought, "seriously could you have picked a worse family," (meaning Grant and I) right now our time, especially Grant's is sooooo limited. For FHE the plan was to take her a gingerbread house the kids made and let her know we were thinking of her. I was feeling like this was not going to be fun by myself and 5 kids in the home of a person they do not know.

So trying to not doing it begrudgingly, we headed out after dinner. On the way one of the kids made me mad, and I was ready to give up, and stop trying so hard to do everything I know I need to, but feel like I do not have the energy to do by myself. I tried to shake it off, we practiced our song we were going to sing and we went forward.

We got there, the kids were shy, but warmed up super quick. We went into her home, we chatted, and the kids played. Each of the kids, besides Isaac, gave her several hugs. Isaac smiled at her. She called them angels and kept saying how we made her night. She was thrilled and smiled the whole time. My spirits lifted, and it ended up being a great night.

It was one of those experiences where I tried to be of service, but gained so much more than given. I needed tonight, and I learned that pushing through the rough patches brings it's rewards!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Don't Be so Brittani

I have wanted a front load washer and dryer for years...but I never could justify it. Lately my laundry has gotten out of control and takes me FOREVER, so Grant and I have been tossing around the idea of biting the bullet and making the purchase. We called everyone we knew that has one (which incidentally is every single family member except us on both sides) and asked what they had, if they liked them, and what the issues were that they have had. That was months ago. I kind of dropped it, but in the last couple of weeks we started looking again. We went to stores, asked a lot of questions and I finally committed to exactly what I want. Now it was time to sit and wait for a rockin deal.

In the meantime our ice maker on our refrigerator broke. When the repairman was here for that I asked him which ones break down the most so I felt secure in my decision. He proceeded to tell me every reason not to get a front load. He ended with saying the only good thing he has to say about them is they make him money. So, by the end of the day I was talked out of them. I talked with Grant about what he told me and we agreed there were some points he made that simply did not make sense.

So...I started reading about them again and am not thinking I am not ready to give up on the dream of front loads. I called Amy to ask her a question about hers and we talked about it. After a bit she said, "I am going to say this with love, but stop being so....Brittani. Don't second guess yourself and just go for it."

I love that she said that to me, cause it is "SO Brittani!" I am not the best about making decisions when it involves spending money...but I am still not decided so I guess I am Brittani through and through.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Somewhere else

Asher has been having rough days lately. When we first moved he would say I want to go to the other house. We finally broke him of that, but now he just says I want to go somewhere. Last night Jamison took the blue plate and he was beside himself. He was sobbing and being ridiculous. Grant was not home, and not coming home until after church, and I was losing my steam. He would not calm down for anything. I was to the point of wanting to yell at him (but I have been working really hard on not yelling and doing really good, so I did not want to lose it) so when he said I want to go somewhere else I told him to go right ahead, that would be just fine with me. He kept saying it over and over and I finally when I told him again to go, sobbing he looked at me and said, "But I don't even know how to start the car." It might have been just a little bit hard not to laugh!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Only a stay at home mom

I was talking to someone the other day that was telling me about an experience they had. Someone had expected her to be able to do something and prefaced it with, "Well I thought you could because you are only a stay at home mom." Now it turns out she redacted that comment because she had too once been a "stay at home mom", but it got me thinking. I do not think people fully comprehend what it is and what it requires to be a stay at home mom. Only is the word that gets me. It is more than a full time job. No one can really know what it is like until they are in the thick of it. There are exhausting days with no thanks or monetary gain at the end of it. You can never leave work, even in the middle of the night being a stay at home mom is still with you. It requires being a teacher, a nurse, a counselor, a friend, a disciplinarian, a maid and cook, an accountant, a taxi, and so much more. Though I do not envy those that have to work, There are occasions (more than a few) where I offer to trade Grant jobs for a day...he does not hesitate saying no way, your job is way harder than mine. That said, I would not trade doing it for money, fame, praise, prestige or anything (well except maybe a break.) Because I am home I get to talk with my kids, laugh with them, cry with them, teach them, help them, and simply be with them. We need to get that only word out of there and proudly proclaim , "I am a stay at home mom...with ALL that it entails!"

Monday, November 15, 2010

Guess Who?

Guess who is sitting? And add rolling to that list too. In fact he tends to roll right off the couch. He is getting so big, yet somehow the eyes seem to remain proportionately bigger! Gotta love this little man!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Shoe Snob?

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE SHOES! I am not sure if it has always been that way, but it has been so for quite some time. When I graduated from the U, to celebrate I went and bought myself a new pair of shoes. I hardly ever wear them anymore, but I just cannot get rid of them because they are sentimental...they remind me of finishing school and having our first baby. That being said, I try not to have too many shoes. Even when I am buying new ones, I am donating old ones. Now I get to buy shoes for the kinds instead of just me. So the question comes, am I a shoe snob. My answer is yes and no. I have to admit I love my kiddos to have a good pair of Keens (how can you not just love these...well I do!) The beauty of it is, they are so durable that most pairs will be worn by all 5 children. (who does not love passing clothes down...I would venture to say I love it just about as much, maybe even more then buying the kids new clothes.) I am not a big fan of light up and character shoes, so maybe a little snobbish, but that is just me. In the beginning I loved shoes that were gender neutral so they could be passed down, but the older the kids get, the harder it is to do that. So, tennis shoes....there is where I feel I am not a snob. I have found that my favorite tennis shoes have been the Walmart ones. They last the best, way better than champion! So when I found these cute white ones with little flowers for James, I had to get them even though they were a little big. The fact that they were 7 dollars and super durable makes them even better!

So my new issue with shoes is finding ones that tie. Now that my two oldest kids know how to tie their own shoes, I purposefully buy only shoes with laces. Am I weird? I feel like it is something they need to practice, because after all practice makes perfect. You would not believe how difficult it is to find shoes with laces (hence the buying a shoes that is a tad to get her size there were no lace up shoes.) So maybe over all I am a snob, but what can I say....I have an opinion.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Masterpiece and the Artist

I get a phone call and someone is in need of assistance. I abandon my previous task and sit down at the computer for a brief moment to find a phone number for someone on the phone. Might I add it was a very brief moment, and when I turned around found the masterpiece... A work of art from head to toe...literally.
And the artist was none other than our sweet little 2 year old. She did not take her discovery too well.

What do you do? Draw on (anything or anyone apparently.)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Little Scavenger

The kids got home today from school and we were on the couch looking at their folders and reading a book. All kids were gathered round and then I noticed Mique quietly leave our pow wow and find Caleb's backpack. As there was hustle bustle about her, she was silently opening the backpack, found his lunch box, and went to work opening that. When she got it open and found that there was not anything left over, she threw it aside and hunted for other food sources. This is not the first time I have witnessed something of the like. This girl is driven by food!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Are you...

So, I had to go to Walmart this afternoon to look for something for Grant. I was walking in and one lady looked at me and asked, "Are you a daycare." She was so sweet and innocent I had to try and not laugh. "Nope they are all mine." And then the flattery, "How old are you, you look like a teenager." My mom always told me that looking young would someday be a compliment...we are there!

Friday, October 22, 2010

tuning out

I can tune my kids out, this I know. Sometimes Grant has to gently remind me that one of the kids is trying to talk to me. So why do I think it is okay to tune them out when it is clearly not okay for them to tune me out. I have really noticed in the last little bit. The other night I asked the kids to do something nicely three times, and no one even remotely responded to my voice. Grant followed me with the same request, and on the first try the kids jumped into action. He is constantly telling them to obey me and to do so the first time. The other day I was thinking that I should try and go a full day without raising my voice. That very same evening I ended up yelling a demand after asking several times nice. They reacted to the yell...I hate that! Maybe if I stop tuning them out, they will return the favor.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

If you were to walk in my closet:

If you were to walk into my closet, there would be three things you would look at and say, "Seriously Brittani, is that necessary?" I probably have too many, but I simply cannot help myself. Your first guess would probably be shoes, but I have actually scaled back on those, just a little bit. What you would see would be a whole slew of white shirts, black shirts and hoodies. I Love white shirts, I love the way they look on, I love how versatile they are...and I cannot resist them. I have a need for white tanks, casual white t-shirts, dressy white t-shirts, white undershirts, white button get the picture. The same can be said about black. And the hoddies, who does not love a good hoodie? I have plain zip, fancy zip, pull overs, 3 major colleges...I love how easy they are, how they hide the mid section, and how warm...I love that feeling. (My black hoodie just died...I am so sad, I guess I have a need!) So no, it may not be necessary, but it is me and as of now I am not going to change!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The attack of the pen

The other day I let the kids sit on our bed and watch television. When I came back a little later I found that Mique had written all over our white down comforter with a ball point pen. I was LIVID, and she was in trouble. I sent Grant a message about it and he asked if I would be able to get it out. As the day went on and I thought about it...trying to not get really bugged, a thought came to mind. If something were to happen to Miquelyn tomorrow I would want the pen marks to last forever and never wash away. It is not that big of a deal, and I will not let it be...I guess it is a matter of "perspective"!

Monday, October 18, 2010


As I was running on the treadmill the other day I was thinking about my perceptions and perspective. This is where it started:

I always start my run at about a 12 minute pace and increase it to warm up and get used to running. When I hit the 10 minute a mile pace I feel like I am booking it, but I am still just warming up. I increase the speed more and do intervals with 8:30 minute miles, up to 8 minute mile pace. After I have increased my speed and gotten my heart rate up, I drop my speed back down to catch my breath. I drop it back down to a 10 minute mile pace, only this time instead of feeling like I am booking it, I feel like it is a jog and I can catch my breath. It is the same exact pace, but what I have been through in the meantime affects the way it feels.

It made me think that this is how my trials feel sometimes. When I am beginning them I feel like they are unbearable and like my feet might fly out from underneath me. But as time goes on, and I continue to work through them, I can look back and feel so much less pain and see my growth and new stamina. Our perspective changes if we let it and we can see the good that comes from fighting through the pain!

Saturday, October 16, 2010


It is odd to see the mortality in a loved one. My Grandma of 85 has many health concerns (parkinsons, diabetes, a condition that makes her randomly pass out) but she is a fighter. Lately she has fallen a lot, but is one tough cookie and always bounces back. She fell again on Thursday, but this one was bad. I went to the hospital to visit her even though I did not know if she would be awake or responsive. When I first walked in it was quite shocking. It was weird to see her in the hospital first of all, but to see her having deteriorated from her normal vibrant self. What was interesting to me was what followed after the initial shock. I sat by her bed and held her hand. I could see her open her eyes, turn towards me and then in her eyes I could see that she recognized me. She cannot speak but all it took was the look in her eyes and a couple pats on the hand. Eyes are truly the window to a persons soul, and I saw that in my Nanny today!

The injury she incurred to her brain has left her body involuntarily fidgety and she trashes around. I learned quickly that holding her hands, without even talking helped her relax her body, if even for moments. She calmed down enough to even get a few winks. It was a reminder to me how powerful a simple touch can be...even a kiss that can calm and relax a person in pain or distress.

While I was there Nanny tried to talk. Papa jumped right up to her side and said, "It is okay honey, what do you want to say? Did you try and say I love you? I love you (said with such tenderness)." Nanny's mouth instantly smiled. It was so wonderful to see that deep love, a love of so long that has been through so much. That is the kind of love we all deserve. What a great example to have.

Even though mortality is rearing its head, it has allowed great awarness and reflection for me.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Being the Aunt...Again!

This week Grant and I went to Las Vegas for a business meeting he had. The cool part about Vegas (besides the outlets, quite possibly the only cool thing) is that my brother and his family recently moved to Vegas, so I got to see my Eva the Diva, Leighton the Monkey and the newest addition Dean, with hair that should make Isaac very, very jealous! Usually when I am around them I have all of my troops with me, so I feel like I have to focus most my energy on my own kids and do not truly get to enjoy my nieces and nephews. Well, this time with only Isaac in tow and Grant there to help, I was finally able to REALLY be present with these cuties! It was sooo much fun to make them giggle, to hold their hands, and to love on them. I cannot even begin to explain how good it felt to be able to help another mother (I feel like my sisters and sister-in-laws are allows giving me aide, and it is soooooo appreciated. I keep telling myself someday my kids will be more independent and I will get a chance to pay it forward.) Well, I was able to have a few moments of being there with my little Webb's, and it was absolutely wonderful. It is so fun to be the aunt again!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Assembly Line

Some days I feel like an assembly line worker. Like on Saturday after baths when it was time to clip finger nails and toe nails. 50 finger nails, 50 toenails and fours "next"s later we were done. It amazes me how fast they grow and leaves me wondering, "When do I trust them to do it on their own?"

Monday, October 4, 2010

C+...maybe a B

One of the things that plagues me is feeling like I do not have any real talents. I know that I hold myself to a ridiculous standard. It so it is silly because Grant and I have talked about it before and he feels the same way, yet I see in him amazing talents and abilities and always wish he could see himself through my I remind myself that it is probably the same for me. That said I wish I was an A or A+ in talents (at least one) instead of feeling more like a B in several. I feel like I have the ability to do a lot of things, yet none of them really well. That is why when it comes to talent shows I proudly proclaim that my talent is supporting other people in their talents! I guess I also need to remember that we are usually looking at what we want in others (feeling like that is what we lack) while those very people are looking at us seeing what they wish they had. (Side note, even though I can become a bit envious of others, my gratitude to be surrounded by so many talented, beautiful and amazing people, more than overshadows it!) I made a commitment in my head while driving to Utah last week to stop covering my abilities (limited yet present) and share them. It will be good for me and important for my kids to see. Here is to being a B and being proud of it!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Lately I have been terrified of teenagers...specifically our kids when they are teenagers. Part of this terror is brought on by the teenagers with whom we interact in our ward. It makes me realize some of the things we will be facing in less than 6 years. Grant and I have talked about what we could do to help our kids even before we had kids, but we talk about it a whole lot now. The closer we come to those teen years, the more worried I get. Today listening to General Conference some advice was given to the parents of teenager. My ears perked up and my mind became alert....I need this for future reference. As I listened to the five points, I realized I need it now just as much. It also made me feel good because we are doing most of this. As I reflect on it I realize that as we do it our kids are excited, inquisitive, learning and growing...all the while hopefully building thier own strength and testimonies of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So I do not forget here they are:

1. Family scripture study
2. Family Prayer
3. Family Home evening
4. Family Dinner
5. Individual Interviews with each kid

I know I cannot make my kids decisions for them, but I do know I want them to be better than we were and want them to live well and be happy. I am grateful for living prophets and apostles that remind us what we can do to help. We will keep on keepin on and hold off those teen years as long as we can...but do everything possible in the mean time to help them be good confident people.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I sure know how to pick them

I do not know how I do it, but I know how to pick them every time. With these odds maybe I should try Vegas...but then again what I am picking is not a good thing. No matter what I always manage to pick the line in the store (mostly grocery store) that will take the longest, even if it is the shortest line. Last week I found a line that was super short, in fact the checker was almost done. And then it began. It appeared as if the man did not have enough money, so he was waiting for someone to come help him out. After a good five minute wait another person finally came and started to decide what they could take out to be able to pay. That process took a bit, but even after that there were problems. Apparently they were trying to pay with food stamps and he was trying to buy some popcorn chicken that food stamps does not cover. They got that out, then between him and two other people they rounded up about 60 cents to pay for it. Then the checker was trying to back everything out on the register to make the cost go down. She had problems and had to call a manager. The manager came over and could not figure it out. I think I was in the store shopping for about 15 minutes, and stood in line for about 35-40. I finally reloaded my cart and changed lines. As soon as I did that the first register finished and left...yep I sure know how to pick them. I have learned to not get frustrated, upset or rude because this is what I do. I always pick the line that is going to have problems. Maybe I should start letting the kids pick the line.

Friday, October 1, 2010

There is definately a beauty beyond "wordly beauty" and I am glad I get to have it in my life!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I think he missed me

On Sunday I got back from a short weekend trip to Utah. Grant had left town on Wednesday, so we had not seen each other in a few days. When I got home the house was all picked up, he was started on making dinner, he had picked fresh flowers from the garden and put them in a bowl in the middle of the table, and when I walked in a HUGE smile was on his face. Yep, I think he missed me, and good thing because I sure missed him too!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


One of the things Asher wanted for his birthday was a was one of the main things he wanted. When he opened the present with a suit in it he jumped up and down squealing with pure delight. I am not sure we have had another kid so excited about any present. Not long after opening presents he came up to me and asked if he could wear his "birthday suit" to church on Sunday. Hmmmm, I am not sure about that one son :-)
We were driving home from Utah and only 15 minutes away from the house. Asher asked if he could watch a movie. I told him no because we were almost home. He then said, "But mom if you let me watch a movie you will get a prize." I asked really, what is the prize. "I cannot tell you, I am not allowed to, but if you let me you will get a prize."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Asher's entrance

Four years ago today we had a most unusual delivery. I was doing my usual days long labor and did not think much of the contractions I was having that morning. In the afternoon we went to lunch with the family to celebrate Chelsey's birthday. I remember being very uncomfortable during lunch with pretty strong contractions, but they were not super close together. After lunch I took Chelsey to get her first ever pedicure. As we walked through the Walmart parking lot it was difficult to walk through the pain, but I was determined to get my feet pampered and pamper Chelsey. That afternoon I went home and laid around. My mom kept calling and checking on me, but I kept saying it was not time yet. Grant came home and could tell I did not feel good, so he made noodles for dinner while I laid on the couch timing my contractions. they would go something like this: 8 minutes, 6 minutes, 2 minutes, 12 minutes, 10 minutes, 3 minutes, 8 get the picture. Finally my mom came over with my dad and said they were going to stay with the kids and I was to go to the hospital. I did not want to because I did not want them to send me home. I finally decided that I would because they might be able to give me something to help me sleep. I had not packed a bag yet, so I quickly threw a few things together. My dad was parked in the driveway, so we took his Cadillac truck. The ride was painful, every bump hurt during a contraction. We got about 2 stop lights from the hospital and I asked if Grant could just stop until I got on top of the contraction. We went through two green lights and one red when I realized it was not going away. We went and I dealt with my situation. We got to the emergency room and I was so afraid the people would take their time thinking I was barely in labor. They were actually really quick and got me right up to labor and delivery. When we got there they asked me if I could fill out the paper work. I told them no and asked if my husband could. Then they asked me if I could stand on the scale, which I quickly replied, "NO." I got wheeled to a room and as soon as we got in there I told them I needed to push. Te lady said, "Oh honey, I am just a CNA, please do not push. It took a CNA and Grant to finally get me in a bed just after my water broke. Then everyone left. I looked at Grant and told him this baby was coming. He frantically ran out into the hall to find no one. He ran back in to check on me, then a moment later a nurse came in. They had to pull her from the neonatal nursery because there was no one else to help. She threw on some gloves, told Grant what to do, climbed on the table and delivered Asher. She was the only one there, so she turned her attention to the baby. The table with all the delivery equipment, untouched. They did not have time to get me an IV. It was a whirlwind. Less than 30 minutes after setting foot in the ER on the first level, we had Asher with us on the fifth level. If it were not for my mom, Asher would have come at home. He kind of does things his own way. He was our biggest baby yet, and perfect in every way. It was a whirlwind delivery, but very peaceful and calm holding him. I love this little man and am so glad to celebrate his place in our family today!

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Why is it so cute when it is a baby and so infuriating when it is a 7 year old?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Why do I like hiking so much?

For one, sandwiches ALWAYS taste better in the mountains! It is fun to see the father of our kids carry this little tornado close by.
Who wouldn't love to play kangaroo for a bit and hold this cutie tight.

It is the best to be in the quiet mountains with just the sounds of our family and no one or anything else.

Did I mention the scenery, oh the beautiful scenery.

My favorite scenery of all is the following five:

Yep, I sure do love hiking!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Out of the Mouth of Babes

If I do not buckle my seatbelt in the car it makes a dinging noise. If Miquelyn hears that she tells me to buckle. The other day she saw that Grant was not buckled and said, "buckle Dadda, Buckle." He looked at me and asked if she really just said that. Yep she sure did, our daughter the buckle police.

Last week the kids all got in trouble for wandering around the house with food. I sat them all on the couch and explained why they were in trouble (calmly mind you.) Then I sent them off to clean their rooms. I was down in the girls room organizing clothes and working along side James when she said, "Mom I still love you even though I am in trouble." I told her I loved her too, no matter what even if she was in trouble. I asked her if she knew that. She said, "No, I just thought if I was in trouble you did not love me." AH, break my heart...I sat her down and explained to her that no matter what I always loved her the most. She seemed happy, gave me a big hug and went on her way.

The other day Asher was wanting me to zip up his hoodie but I was trying to get Isaac to sleep. I told him he would just have to wait until I got him to sleep. A few minutes later Isaac was alseep but I told Asher to just wait because I was enjoying Isaac. He told me that is not how people do it. I told him that was how I was going to do it. He then said, "That is not how you do it. When a kid asks for something the mom does it." Needless to say he got his hoodie zipped.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Grant got to do something very special (to him and me) for the second time this year. He was able to be the partner and coach golfing for my good buddy Scott in the New Mexico Special Olympics. I grew up with Scott and feel like he is a part of our family. Scott used to stroke my hair, tell me how beautiful I was, and say he was going to marry me. He kinda liked me, but I am peanuts compared to Grant. He LOVES Grant! And Grant loves him. The other week I was asking Grant what he liked to do, and his first response was, "I like to golf with Scott." This has been something that was, and is, so good for his soul. It is important to him to be able to share this time with him. I think a part of him feels connected to our sweet William&Mary that live so (too) far away. I know he wishes he could be there to participate with them, so really Scott is giving Grant a gift by allowing him to be a partner. It really has been a blessing for many reasons.

This year Grant and Scott did fantastic and won a gold medal. Yep, Grant got a medal too. Now he has two and a future of many more. They are so cute together, and I love having this time to reconnect with Scott. It really is something Special!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"You have your hands full"

"You have your hands full" is one of my most heard comments when I am out with the kids. The other one is a question: "Are they all yours?" When we go to the store we all hold hands until we are out of the parking lot, so this is usually how we look (even though the picture was taken when we were camping, it is still us any given day of the week.) I usually respond cheery and happy and say yes I do but for the most part it is fun. It never ceases to amaze how many people are blown away but our numbers, coming from a family of 8 kids I feel like we are just average in numbers. Though when it gets loud at home I feel like we had a few too many. I have to admit, in my mind, it is positive attention and I kinda like it because I think we have a cute little (big) family.
Side Note:
When we had two kids a boy and a girl everyone said, "Well now you have both are you done." After three they would say, "Three is a good number, is that all you are going to have?" After four it was, "Goodness, are you done?" Now that we have five people ask, "So how many more do you want?" Seriously don"t those questions seem to be in reverse?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Many Faces

This kid has many faces. Often he looks concerned or scared.
He can be a little flirt too.

I even caught him sneezing.

But my favorite is his smile.

He melts my heart...I am in love!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Another give away

My sister is back at it again. She is having another give away at Scary_Cute. Growing up I was always the artsy fartsy one creating things and drawing. Now Chelsey is the one with the eye and the talent and I just like to build things and put things together...who would have thought?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Never would have imagined

I never would have imagined that I would be saying this, but I am a PROUD (yes I said proud) new owner of a treadmill. I always thought I hated them, but when running early got too hard, this was my solution and so far I LOVE IT! I have only had it for 5 days and have used it 3 times (one day was Sunday and the other we were camping.) Here is to trying something that I thought I did not like and discovering I was wrong!

Monday, August 16, 2010

And they are off

Friday was Caleb's first day of school. Grant went and woke him up and he was so excited. When he wlaked up stairs he all of the sudden looked so grown up. So when exactly did that happen? I took him to school and he was loving every minute of it. He has been waiting for this for a long time. He practically ran to his classroom.

After school he rode the bus home. At first he was telling me that he wanted to do it all by himself. When he was in line to go on a tour of the school (and before he got back I would leave) I asked him one more time if he wanted to do it by himself or if he wanted me to come help. He said he wanted me. I have to admit a big part of me was glad he is still a little dependant (though not much.)

He did great and loved it. He was ready to go again Monday morning. James got to go this time to.

I think she may have been more excited about wearing her new sweater than school, but she was still excited about school. She was a little shy when I dropped her off, but she did not cry. She did great.

I have to say it was very odd to leave to kids at school. I went to the store, and it felt weird to only have 3 with me. For awhile Isaac and Mique were napping so it was just Asher and I. It seems empty, but they are off and I will not hold them back.
(Might I add, I have been so excited for Caleb because he has been ready for this for literally years. It was so much easier for him than James, but when I left the school without him I felt my throat tighten a little, I have heard it does not get easier with each kid, but now I have experienced it.)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Shut doors

I am always telling the kids the doors are not allowed to be shut, that is the rule. I do not want kids being shut out or left out, I want to know what is going on just by walking past. It is less danger of fingers getting slammed, and it is simply a rule I enforce. Though, there is one exception to this rule. When I put the girls to bed their door HAS to be shut. For one reason: if it is not Mique will come up in the middle of the night and repeat "I want up" over and over until she burrows her way into our bed (usually while I am feeding Isaac, so there are two kids too many.) Last night we experienced other reasons why. After Grant got home from Young Men's he went down to talk to the girls (and boys) since they were not asleep. He apparently does not know the drill and left the door open. When I went down to tuck them in before I went to bed I found Mique with a brand new package of rubber bands (the tiny ouchless kind from walmart) 6 colors at least a hundred of each, probably more like 150 of each color spread all over the bed and floor. I checked her wrists (she has been known to put them on there) and picked up as many as I could. She also had the toothpaste in there, a stacking cup smeared with toothpaste all on the inside. She had it all over her hands and face and of coarse the bedspread that I just washed 5 days ago. Each one of these is reason alone to shut the door, but all combined about put me over the edge. She may look sweet, but you can definitely see the mischief in her eyes.
I am hoping some day we make amends and this little girl does not do me in (she is very, VERY close.) For now I will follow behind her cleaning up messes and always, ALWAYS shut the door at night!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


It took me awhile to figure out what haaampp meant, but now it is a word as any other, at least in our family. It is food in the tongue of Miquelyn. This is how she tells me she wants food. If she wants a bite of my food she sits really close to me repeating haaampp over and over again. She now says I want haaampp. Last night it went to a new level. She was saying dinner prayer (which is mostly mumbo jumbo to us) but there are a few words she says well. She says Heavenly Father, help me, thank you, Jesus Christ and a few others. When I prompted her to say thank you for the food she said an audible thank you then haaampp. It took all I had not to burst out laughing. Then it came out again when she said bless the food. I want to try and get it on video because it is so funny to me, and only fully appreciated when heard. It is amazing to me that I can even speak Miquelyn language, but occasionally I can.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Odds against me

I have been trying to work out for about a month and a half. I really want to get rid of the baby weight. (Okay so the baby weight is probably gone and now I am working on the ice cream weight.) Either way, I have been trying to do something about it, but it seems like someone out there does not want me to fit back into my clothes (which by the way stinks to have a closet full of clothes, and yet nothing to fit/wear.) Shortly after I started I got a clogged duct that knocked me down for a few days and put me on an antibiotic for the second time since Isaac was born. I got feeling better and went to Durango with my family. I took all my running clothes to Durango so I could do a few short runs, then forgot my shoes, nice huh! I got another week and a half or so of workouts in before I came down with another round of strep throat. Back on antibiotics for the third time in two months and down and out for another little bit. I got back on a better schedule working out last week. I was feeling really good this week....then Tuesday happened.

I was riding my bike on a trainer indoors. I was having a good ride with only 5 minutes left and on my last interval. I was standing up for a minute long and was in the middle of that when Asher came in to talk to me. I was paying more attention to him than my riding and before I knew it I was falling. I was clipped in to the pedals, and my clips are too tight so I could not get me feet out. I threw my arm out to cushion the fall (bad idea) and hyper extended my elbow. I was in a fair amount of pain, and still clipped into my bike. I was laying on the ground trying to get the pain under control and get unclipped and out of the awkward position. I eventually did it.

But now my elbow is sore, swollen and left me unable to do most of my workouts....seriously, losing weight is not a bad thing, so why are the odds so against me? I am sure I looked hilarious to Asher as I fell and lay on the ground, and I am now laughing at what a nerd I am. Maybe someday I will be able to take care of myself and get back to it.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Redifing Me

I have made it very clear that Isaac is our last child, and I feel very comfortable with that. Knowing that he was our last helped get me through the pregnancy and especially through another natural delivery. But, as my friends have been having their little babies and I hear of other friends announcing their pregnancies I feel something indescribable. I have been trying to decipher what is going on, and this is what I think:

I do not like being pregnant, that is not a secret. We have no problem getting pregnant, and I have probably close to the easiest pregnancies, but I do not enjoy them. I do not look at pregnant women and feel envious, I am so glad it is not me. That said, nearly half of the last eight years I have been pregnant. It had become who I was. Our life was planned around our pregnancies and when the next little one would come to our family.

The other half of those eight years has been spent nursing, and I have another nine months or so to go. Either I am carrying a little baby inside me, or carrying one attached to me. That has become my way of life, it is what I know. That life pre kiddos seems and feels like a different Brittani.

Do not get me wrong, I do not desire to remain in this state and Grant is not shy about "tapping out." I am excited to move towards the diaperless stage. It is a relief to know I only have 2 more to potty train. I look forward to the option of sleeping through the night. I will get to still hold babies, but give them back when they cry. I will get to be an aunt again.

So why is it so weird for me to say I am done. I think it is because this baby stage is so familiar and comfortable. The five kids have come to us in just under seven years, so we have constantly been in baby stage. This next stage, though exciting, is unknown. It is a change.

Though change often scares me, it does not keep me from it. I suppose these strange feelings are not necessarily knowing how to define myself now that it is not about having another kid. It is about being mom to the ones that are growing up. Part of me is sad that they are getting so big, and time only speeds up.

I am not sure how to cope with this new stage and the unknown nature of it, but I am sure I will figure it out. I am pretty confident that I am not the first woman to go through this and have these emotions. I get to redefine myself, that will be an adventure!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


The kids and I have been clashing a lot lately when it comes to cleaning up. I tell them to do and check in on them periodically. I give them time limits and warnings and try to be patient. I tell them where to clean first and give them direction. I come down for the final inspection and things are NOT done. I want to go ballistic. I feel very conflicted because I am trying to not let them watch very much TV, but as a result toy bombs go off all over the house. If I let them watch TV the house would stay clean, but then they would be watching a lot of TV. So toy bombs it is, but after weeks of fighting about the cleaning I am wearing thin. So yesterday after finding the mess untouched, I wanted to scream and yell and throw all toys away, but came up with a different plan instead. For FHE I explained to the monkeys that there are kids out there that do not have a mom and dad and because of that do not have toys. Some of these kids stay in a place called Child Haven. We decided to go through their toys and books and pick out ones they do not play with or have a lot of extra and give those to Child Haven. Grant and I got to pick the ones we wanted them to keep that we thought were good for their learning and development. The kids got to tell us their favorites, and after that we all made suggestions and compiled a box of toys to give to others, a box of damaged things to throw away, and ended with a clean play room and a happier mom. The kids did great and were excited to be able to give to others. It was a good lesson for us all!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Run Out

Last Wednesday Grant and I went to Colorado to celebrate our 1oth anniversary. It was wonderful and I loved the time with just Grant (and Isaac). On Sunday I was excited to see the other kids and love on them. I felt rejuvenated and as if I had a new supply of patience. Well after four short days, that new supply has run out. I did good all day, but after dinner when things were still not clean, kids were goofing around and not obeying for the umtenth time, I lost it. There was yelling, spanking, crying, throwing away of toys (mostly broken ones, but the kids do not need to know that) and finally obedience and a somewhat picked up house. I wish there was an easier way to motivate...or maybe more appropriately, I wish I was a better more patient mom in my motivation, but here we are...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Helping hands

Today I was having the kids clean up their messes...a daily chore. When I came out of the bathroom I found a sweet little situation. Jamison and Caleb had unloaded the dishwasher, without me even asking, so sweet! The one little problem was that it was a very full dishwasher, but it was not clean. We ended up loading it back up and putting every single utensil in because we were not able to distinguish which ones were dirty or clean. Thank goodness it is the thought that counts!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bird nest

This is how she starts out the day....EVERY day

Amy help :-) we need hair help bad!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My boys

The boys crack me me. Here are two snippets of what they are like.

He has been very interested in the priesthood lately. He is trying to figure it all out and cannot wait til he has it. On Sunday Grant and him were talking and he kept calling it the "Moronic " priesthood. Grant worked with him for hours, and he still could not get it straight. Bless his heart, he is trying so hard and so sincere...but according to him that is what it is.

The other day he kept talking about growing up and when he grew up he was going to be a dad. I finally asked him why he wanted to grow up so bad. The conversation went as follows:

A: Because I want to
Me: Well stop trying to grow up so quick
A: Why
Me: Because I do not want you to
A: Why not?
Me: Because when you grow up and you are a dad you will not live with me anymore
A: Yeah I will
Me: I hope not
A: Yeah, I will still live with you

Funny funny kids. I love these little moments!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lesson Learned (the hard way)

I am not proud (but not too ashamed) to admit that I have let the TV babysit my kids a little with the new baby and all. I taught the older two to turn it on and change it to 173 (playhouse Disney) is really the only thing I let them watch. It has worked out nicely and had let me get a few naps for the first couple of weeks. Well....i got my bill from dish and it was larger than usual so I examined it. There were a few VOD's (video on demands) charged, and Grant and I never order those. I called dish to find out if my kids accidentally had ordered them. Sure enough Valentines and Nine were ordered with the remote (note you have to approve it twice before you can view it and one was ordered 2 hours after the other). I was told nothing could be done because they were already ordered. I also noticed that there were a couple extra charges for the next bill and asked about those. The Conversation went something like the following:

Me: can you tell me what the charges are for next month
Rep: it looks like those were PPV (pay per view) that were also ordered
Me: What is the difference between VOD and PPV
Rep: both are movies that have to be ordered, just a different channel
Me: Is there anything that can be done about that?
Rep: unfortunately no because it was a valid order by remote
Me: Can you tell me what was ordered?
Rep: it looks like it was an adult movie
Me: what do you mean adult?
Rep: Umm adult content (said a little hesitantly)
Me: WHATTTTTT???????
Rep: yep
Me: can you tell me what time that was ordered
Rep I cannot tell you exactly, but it looks like it was about 10 am
Me: Yep that was my kids, nice.

He did help me lock the channels so it cannot be done again without the pass code, but almost $30 later I learned that letting the TV babysit might provide a way for inappropriate things to be ordered (going from Disney to that, not wasting time are we.)....sweet Brittani another shining mom moment!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Family Picutres

Isaac was three weeks old and we were still yet to take a family pic, so I decided it needed to be done. What I did not know is what a process it would be. First no one wanted to cooperate and stand nice by the front door. Then we move to the bench but not everyone is ready, eyes are closed, tongue are sticking out, heads are turned the wrong way and kids are protesting saying no.
We get a couple ready and then the trouble maker tries to escape, and is promptly scolded.

We eventually just give up and decide to make a funny face picture instead.

Finally a decent picture of the crew. It is funny how adding one makes our family not seem so little anymore. Better luck next time anyhow.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Blessing Day

On June 6, 2010 Grant Blessed Isaac at church. It was a very powerful blessing. I was worried Isaac would be fussy because I only half-way fed him, but he was an angel and did great. Grant managed to make it through all our kids blessings without one crying and without the bounce. I want to write down with what he was blessed before I forget or lose my notes.

To Isaac:
You have come to this world in a special time. You have been blessed with a special name, you are named after a prophet and need to understand the name you have. You need to learn obedience and seek to do the will of the Father. You are also named after your great-grandfather, who was righteous and furthered the kingdom of God. You and your father share a special bond with your name. You have many people to look up to. You need to follow their example and be an example yourself. You must recognize your capacity and opportunity to bless the lives around you. You have a special title, "Son of the most high," seek to understand God and what it means. Seek to know Him and understand his will. You are blessed that your body will grow and be healthy and that your intellect will be sharp. You are blessed with a desire to learn and a desire to serve and through that be blessed. Heavenly Father and your parents love you. Come to know and recognize this love and return it. You will bless the lives of your family, which you already have.

We are proud to be your parents and so glad to have you in our family. We love you sweet baby Isaac.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Why is it...

Why is it when my husband leaves I have such a range of emotions that flood my body. He headed out to go camping with his brother and kept telling me not to be mad at him. I reassured him I was sad, but not mad. As we all stood at the door waving goodbye I felt sad (sad that I my husband was leaving me for the weekend and I was once again alone and sleeping alone is not my favorite), worried (that he would be safe even though he has all the equipment he could need and a gun strapped to his hip), relieved (only because I do not have to cook a real dinner), jealous (that he can pick up and leave without having to worry to much about the kids and very jealous that he can have a fun adventure while I am teathered to home and five kids), excited (maybe I will watch a few movies that I would not make Grant watch and paint my fingernails), but mostly a tad bit lonely (I wonder if he ever feels that way when he leaves.) As we walked in the door amidst thunder and lightening a felt a little tugging at my throat and felt like crying (hormones and lack of sleep is what I will blame it on) but I kept it together and back to reality and making sure the troops are fed. What can I say I love my husband and miss him terribly when he is gone.

I do not want to forget

I do not want to forget how my little monkey gets into his frog position and snuggles up to me. As soon as he is on my chest he pulls his little legs up and snuggles in. And usually shortly after he assumes his position he crashed out and gives me some of the best loves a mom could ask to have.

I had so hoped that Isaac would be a cuddle bug and give me loves (esp because he is our last and Mique was quite the opposite.) He gives me what I wanted every day and several times a day.
I never want to forget what it feels like to snuggle into a newborn little one. The feeling of contentment that it brings. I love these little ones, and am enjoying every snuggle moment of my little baby Isaac!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mother of 10...for a day

I was a mother (watcher) of ten kids today ranging from 12 to 1 month. My five made up half the tribe, Harley was with us because her mom was helping with scout camp and then we got to have the 4 oldest Graff kids come and play. The great thing about ten kids is that they entertain each other. By the end of the day the floor badly needed swept and mopped, rooms needed cleaned and toys put away, but it was a fantastic day.

The kiddos planned and threw a little party and watched a little tv. They played dress-up, bubbles, games, the computer and school. We had a variety of food for lunch consisting of mac-n-cheese, raman noodles, hot dogs, tater tots, chicken nuggets and root beer (hey I do not care there was nothing healthy about it, they all ate!) There was a lot of snacking too!

After Shandon and I hung out, watched videos of his silly aunt and his pictures we decided to go to the park. I took the first load of kids, left Shandon there to watch them while I came back and got the second load of kids. Apparently I need a 15 passenger van. We played at the park for a bit before I needed to take the Graff kids home so they could get ready to go out of town.

The kids had a blast and did so well together. Ten kids for a day was a lot of fun and actually pretty easy. I am just glad I do not have to do laundry for ten, I will just play with them and then send half of them home. Here's too good kids and good times!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Lucky Girl

There are so many reasons I am a lucky girl it would be impossible to list them, so I will focus on one today. This weekend we were blessing Isaac at church, so my mother and father-in-law were able to come. I am so lucky because I have fantastic in-laws and love them so much! It was so fun to have them here. It was fun to watch how excited the kids were to see them and how much they loved being with them. It was fun (and exhausting) staying up until all hours of the night (1:30 am...that is late for me right now) talking and enjoying each other's company. It was great to be able to hug them, enjoy meals with them, and laugh with them. We had good conversations and just enjoyed. I lucked out getting such great in-laws (I guess that comes with such a great husband) and had a hard time letting go. We do not get to see them enough, so we took advantage of our time this weekend. Here is to being a lucky daughter-in-law!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

10 Years Today

10 Years ago today I married the greatest man I have ever known in the Mt Timp temple. It was one of the funnest day I can recall (despite the three shades of green Grant was before we entered the celestial room together.) A description of that day will be saved for another time. It has been a wild ride the last ten years, and often the first part of it seems and feels like another life. Both lives have been good, just so different. We have had some great accomplishments and adventures in the last ten years:
A Bachelors in finance
A Masters in Social Work
Moving into and out of 8 different houses
Establishing a career
Not working for money for the first time in 20 years
Travels to a few different countries
Many nights staying home
Said goodbye to too many good friends
Made great new friends along the way
so many memories it is difficult to list.
It has been a wild ride. We have had experiences that have tested our faith in the Lord and in each other. Though we have felt heartbreak and shed many tears, the good moments are the ones that come to mind first. All things combined have helped us become the couple that we are and made us so much stronger. We are better as a result of all our experiences. I would not want to have shared them with anyone else. I love this man more than myself or anyone else. Thank you Grant for making my life the best ever and choosing to be with me for ever and ever...and ever!