Friday, November 23, 2012

Knock it off!

Confession time: 
I am a complainer.
I tend to look at the glass as half empty.
I feel sorry for myself.
I get caught up in all the things that I don’t have instead of the things that I do have.
I am impatient with myself and my family.
I sometimes blame Matt when things go wrong just so I can have someone to blame it on.
I eat too much.
I have low self-esteem (especially about my physical appearance).
I spend too much time doing things that are unimportant.
I’m lazy.

So sometimes I just have to tell myself to “knock it off!”

When I feel my anger building, when I get annoyed, when my head is filled with negative thoughts, when I browse the kitchen for the 3rd time in 10 minutes…..


And honestly, as hard as it is to recognize flaws and try to fix them, I feel SO much better when that little voice in my head tells me to stop it. I actually use the words “knock it off” and it works! (when I remember…)
(on a side note, Matt thinks I’m a bit crazy that I hear voices in my head…)

I could write a separate post about each of these character weaknesses but instead I’ll briefly focus on just two for this post and about things I’ve done or things I’m trying to do to improve.

1. Self esteem.
This one has haunted me for my whole life! When I was in middle school, a few friends and I had “self-esteem weeks.” If I remember right, we owed the others something whenever we said something negative about ourselves. So for every “I’m fat” we had to give the others a candy bar or something. It was fun but it didn’t really work. :)
Now that I’m an old married woman, I find that I feel better about myself if I get dressed and at least put on a little makeup every day. Some days it’s hard to even find time for a shower but it really helps if you dress like you’re going out every day even if you’re not. Also, if I wear sweat pants then I’m not as worried about sucking in that fat roll and I tend to eat more. If you dress in tighter clothes (you know, the ones that actually fit) then you won’t eat as much. Try it! I swear it works.
I recently gave a talk on inner beauty for a relief society activity. It was a difficult topic but it was good for me to give it! It’s good to be reminded that what is on the outside doesn’t matter nearly as much as what is on the inside.

2. Things I don’t have.
As you all know, it was Thanksgiving yesterday. :) We had a really nice day with Matt’s family here in Laramie. We had a great dinner (of course) and played Monopoly (we won’t get into how competitive I am…. I may or may not have left the game angry…)
Everyone always lists what they’re thankful for in November to build up to Thanksgiving. Brennen and I (let’s face it, Dean is just too little) have a thankful tree on our wall (made of poster board) and every day we make a new leaf (from construction paper) and I ask him what he’s thankful for. I don’t have to prompt him hardly at all. Sometimes if he keeps repeating things I’ll say “WHO are you thankful for?” and he’ll come up with another person. We’re going to continue until the end of the month but hopefully we’ll be able to count our blessings every day of every month and focus on things that we DO have! So, here are the things that Brennen is thankful for so for. (in no particular order)

My Grandmas
Blaze (Kasey’s dog)
Link (Matt’s parent’s dog)
Aunts and uncles
Lane (Matt’s brother)
Jessica (Lane’s wife)
The cups
The church
The cow
Mom (he didn’t list me until like the 15th! I was getting worried…)
The road
The leaves
The markers
Nerds (you know, the candy)

Here is our tree. I am NOT an artist. And when I actually attempt to be crafty I don’t really try very hard. (and Brennen did most of the coloring on the tree). So… don’t judge, ok! :)


Friday, November 2, 2012


Time has sure been flying by! Dean is now 7 months old! I won’t give a huge list of all the great things about him, I’ll just add the most recent things. :)

He’s now eating 2 solid meals a day.
He still wakes up at least once a night!
He still won’t drink a bottle or out of a sippy cup.
He can officially crawl for real. All over the place on all fours. :)
He can pull up to stand! He does it on the walls, too. He struggles with the couch because he’s just not quite tall enough.
He makes lots of noises but still doesn’t “talk.”
He loves playing with Brennen even though it’s not always fun for him… Brennen drags Dean all over the floor and will often pile blankets on him to either put him to bed or “put him in the nest.” (not sure where that came from…) Brennen also tries to pick Dean up and has succeeded a few times. That usually results in an upset Dean. They LOVE playing on my treadmill (don’t worry, I leave it unplugged when I’m not on it!) But Dean usually plays along pretty well and they spend hours laughing together.

We had fun on Halloween this year! We didn’t do a whole lot because Matt had to work and the kids are still pretty little but they did dress up and my good friend Elle went with me to take them trick or treating at the children’s clinic. Then I took them to Kasey’s and to Grandma’s.

I didn’t get any great pictures of them by themselves and their costumes are a little hard to see. Brennen was a knight and Dean was a dragon. How appropriate. :)

Playing together


Dean at just under 7 months playing with a globe

Happy Halloween!
IMG_3238IMG_3240IMG_3244The Dragon 

The Knight

Our Family!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Here is a list of some of the things that I want and reasons why I’m glad I don’t have them.

House. If I had a big house I’d have to clean it. Plus if the furnace breaks… I’d have to fix that myself, now wouldn’t I? No more “owners of the apartment complex” taking care of stuff like that. Plus the utility bills would be higher and I’d actually have to pay for water and trash and stuff.

A baby grand piano. That sucker would sure be hard to move around.

A 3rd bedroom. So I can’t have a house. But it would be nice sometimes to have another bedroom so that Dean could have a good place to sleep. But I’m glad I don’t have one because then I’d feel like I’d have to fill it with stuff and decorations and those things cost money.

A yard. I honestly don’t mind mowing the lawn but I’d have to water the grass and pull weeds and plant flowers and probably build a fence. No thanks.
landscaping ideas for the backyard

A bosch mixer. Since I’m not even sure I spelled that right it probably means that I don’t actually want it that badly. And if I had one then it would take up too much counter space in my kitchen.

A money tree. Let’s be honest. Who doesn’t want more money? But you know what, we have enough for what we need. And if I had more money then I’d be stuck up and then I’d get stuck thinking that I needed the very best things. Then what if the money stopped coming? I’d sure be in trouble then. Plus then people would want to “borrow” money from me all the time. And my kids would be spoiled.


All of that being said, I do have a lot of blessings and I really am thankful for what I do have! :)

To prove that, here are some fun October pictures.

Brennen with a soap beard and Dean “drinking” some sprite.


The boys and I traveled to Lyman over General Conference weekend. Here’s Brennen copying Kasey and Dean playing with Grandpa.


Kyle and Kylee and their cute baby Hallie came to visit in Laramie last week. Here are a couple pictures of all the Clark grandkids (so far). It was hard to get one with all of them smiling! Dean looks huge and Brennen looks like a rag-a-muffin. Good thing Hallie is cute! (just kidding, my boys are still cute)



Here’s me and Dean playing in the leaves while Brennen played on the playground. I tried to get a picture of him but he wouldn’t hold still long enough. :)


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Half a Year!

Dean turned 6 months on September 27th. I actually feel like he should be older than that because I don’t remember what life was like without him in it! He went to the doctor on Monday and everything is looking really great. Here are the 6th month stats:

Weight: 16 lbs. 15 oz (just under 50%)
Length: 26 5/8 inches (50%)
Head: 44.1 cm (55%)

So I guess he went down on the curve a little but he’s still a good sized little baby. :) Pretty much exactly average.

Here are a few more things about my sweet baby Dean.

  • For the past couple months he’s been awake for most of the night but a couple weeks ago he started just waking up once! I’m so happy about that! He takes 2-3 naps a day but they are rarely longer than an hour. It’s kinda my fault that he gets short naps because my schedule is so weird. He always sleeps on his belly (and has for 3 months). We have a little make-shift bed for him that we get out and leave in the living room every night just in case he’s too fussy to stay in the same room as Brennen but not mad enough to warrant us having to take care of him. He actually sleeps really well on that thing.
    This is what I see whenever I get him out of his crib.
  • He is still so happy. He’s in a fussy stage (teething I’d guess) but it’s still nothing like what my first baby was like. :) He can entertain himself pretty well. He loves being carried around but usually just seeing Matt or I can calm him down a little when he’s upset.
    Playing at the park.
  • His FOURTH tooth just poked through today and I can see the 5th! That’s crazy to me! He got the first two at only 4 1/2 months. He’s a good boy, though, and doesn’t usually bite. :)
  • He still wears size 2 diapers.
  • He is still breastfed several times a day and HATES bottles. We just started giving him 2 solid meals a day and he loves eating those! He likes rice cereal, applesauce, bananas, peaches, carrots, squash, and pears. He really doesn’t like peas at all, though.
  • He learned how to roll really early. He can roll both ways expertly and army crawls all over the place. He’s crawled forward a few times but usually falls down and just scoots because it’s faster for him. If he wants something, he WILL get to it.
    That diaper box was on its side and he scooted right into it. Bet you can’t guess who got him all settled and then closed the lid. (Hint: It wasn’t his mom…)
  • He’s been able to sit on his own for about a month but is just recently getting to where he doesn’t have to have both hands down to support his weight.
  • He can get from sitting to his hands and knees without having to go to his belly first but he can’t quite do it the other way around.
  • He is SO quick to smile and laugh. He literally has a little smile on his face all the time and it’s very easy to get him to smile really big. He laughs on his own as he’s roaming the room and that cracks me up. Who knows what he’s laughing at. But he really loves Brennen. They have so much fun together.
  • He plays with EVERYTHING. I’ve really had to start baby proofing. He doesn’t just grab stuff to shove in his mouth, he actually tries to see how it works and really examines things. Then he’ll usually put them in his mouth. :)

As for the rest of us, Matt is getting a lot of hours at Spring Wind and unfortunately they’re all in the evenings. So I have the task of cooking, eating, and cleaning up dinner as well as baths and bedtime routines by myself. It can get a little tricky ‘cause Dean is always mad around 7 but we make it work. Matt’s so busy, though. When he’s home he’s reading (all in Spanish of course) and he spends a lot of time on campus doing homework because it’s hard to focus here with two adorable kids and a smokin’ hot wife (ha ha just kidding… we’re just a little too loud and crazy sometimes…)

I’m loving teaching piano! I have 17 students and it’s really fun for me. Some of them got pretty far in their books without really knowing all the things they should so I’ve had to go back and re-teach some stuff but I think it’s really working and they all seem to enjoy it! It makes life busy because I have to make sure everything else in my day is taken care of before 3:00 and I have to time Dean’s feedings and naps really carefully.

I’m planning to do a post in the future about Brennen and hopefully I’ll be able to remember all the funny/smart things he says because I really do think he’s amazing!

Overall, we’re stressed but happy and SO very glad that our 6th month old Baby Dean is in our lives!

Such a handsome guy! This was right after church. Is it just me or is there a hint of red in that hair? :)IMG_3065

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Family Pictures

Last Saturday, September 15th, we went up to campus with Matt's dad and he took some family pictures for us. He took a lot of our engagements, too, and he does such a good job!
It's obviously way hard to get two kids to look at the camera at the same time, let alone smile, but we still got a ton and here are some of my favorites.
In some of them the kids are really cute but Matt and I aren't. So...just don't look at us! :) And some are obviously candids but sometimes those turn out the best.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Super Woman!

I think that a lot of women feel like they have to do it all and be the best. We have to keep our houses clean, our kids have to be perfectly behaved, we have to cook gourmet meals, and be happy and cheerful all the time. Hopefully we all realize that that just isn't going to happen all the time!

But sometimes it does.

I've been feeling awesome lately. I've found that I am must less down in the dumps and negative about myself and life in general if I keep busy and try to do things that I enjoy.
My mother might faint if she reads this but since I've been a stay at home mom I have found two new things that I actually really enjoy: cooking and (gasp!) cleaning!
So here's what a typical weekday looks like for me lately. There is no routine to my Saturdays and Sundays except for church. I really am not trying to say that I'm super woman, but when things go well I feel like I am! And it feels great. :)

~Boys wake up, get them breakfast, clean up the kitchen.
~Put Dean down for a nap then go for a 2-4 mile run on my "new to me" treadmill (I LOVE it!).
~Shower and do my makeup. I rarely do my hair (which is why I want to cut it) but if I at least do my makeup then I feel better about myself. :)
~Do my cleaning for the day. Each day I have a self-assigned chore to do. Sometimes I take my kids out to the park now do cleaning later, it depends on their moods. Also, on Friday I don't have a chore, it's my catch up day. If I got everything done and don't need to catch up then I bake! It's good motivation for me. :) I'm finding all these new recipes on Pinterest so I've been trying new ones every Friday. Yummy.
~Lunch and kitchen clean up.
~Hopefully Dean takes another nap and then I use this time to play with Brennen and teachn him stuff and if Dean's not asleep then I try to get the boys outside (especially if I didn't in the morning) and/or run errands if I need to.
~Head over to Gwen's to teach piano from about 3:30-5:00 or 5:30. I have 16 students now! I LOVE it! I feel like getting all of these piano students was an answer to prayers. It keeps me in a good routine throughout the whole day and it gives me something to do that I really enjoy that's for ME. Plus the little bit of extra income is going to be nice.
~Cook and eat dinner then clean up the kitchen.
~Read scriptures as a family (we're not the best about this every day.... we're trying to find a time that works well for us!)
~Baths if it's bath day. If not then we usually just play with all the toys while we're cleaning up. I say "we" because, yes, I do play with the toys. :)
~Read stories to the boys and get them ready and in bed.
~Hopefully Dean is in bed by 9:00. Whether he is or not, Matt and I usually watch an episode or two of whatever we're currently watching on Netflix.
~Journal writing and bed.
~Wake up and feed Dean at least twice during the night.

Every now and then the day actually goes like that and then I do feel like super woman! I LOVE routines but I'm getting much better at being flexible when things don't go exactly as I planned.
I'm also really working on some personal goals like reading my scriptures and writing in my journal every day and I'm doing a good job keeping up! It's been a few months since I've missed a day reading and I feel so much more spiritually uplifted. I'm also working on being more patient. I'm the primary pianist in my ward and the kids just finished learning (reviewing, really) "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus" and I just love the line "be gentle and loving in deed and in thought" in that song and I think of it often when I find myself losing my patience.
I'm not blogging this to brag about how awesome I am (HA!), I'm doing it so that I can remember that it's ok for me to feel good about myself and my little accomplishments.

No super woman would be complete without her super MAN so I wanted to write a few things about mine. :)
*Matt is usually the one who gets up with the kids because he lets me sleep in most mornings since I get up with Dean a lot.
*He goes to school and is working hard to finish up his degree. He's keeping up with his homework which is mostly just a LOT of reading in Spanish and he also helps me a ton with the kids and makes them feel loved and special.
*He's working two jobs right now. Neither of them are full time but it still keeps him busy. He just started working at Spring Wind (an assisted living home) as a CNA and then also does work for his dad's lawn business. He likes this CNA job because the people are more able.... :) But the poor guy has to wear scrubs with a pattern, they can't be solid, and man it is HARD to find scrubs for a guy! The first day he had to one with cartoon turkeys and bright pink leaves. It was the least girly one at wal mart. :)
*He really shows us that he loves us. When we first got married I was a little bummed that the cute "romantic" things like poems and flowers stopped coming (yes, he wrote me poems! they weren't cheesy, though, just funny and cute) but he shows me he loves me in ways that are so much better than that! He helps me when I need it, he encourages me, he loves our little boys, and he works really hard so that our family can have the things that we need.

And as if this post wasn't long enough, the last thing I wanted to post was these lyrics. We heard this song on the radio the other day. I've heard it a lot but haven't really listened to the words. Matt doesn't pay attention to words of songs at all but he actually noticed these along with me and I think it's our new theme song. It's called "Better Life" by Kieth Urban (Not that our life is bad! We've just had a bit of bad luck lately).

Friday night and the moon is high
I'm wide-awake just watchin' you sleep
And I promise you you're gonna have
More than just the things that you need
We ain't got much now, We're just startin' out
But I know somehow paradise is comin'

Someday baby, You and I are gonna be the ones
Good luck's gonna shine on
Someday baby you and I are gonna be the ones
So hold on
We're headed for a better life

Oh now there's a place for you and me
Where we can dream as big as the sky
I know it's hard to see it now
But baby someday we're gonna fly
This road we're on, you know it might be long
But my faith is strong
It's all that really matters

Someday baby, You and I are gonna be the ones
Good luck's gonna shine on
Someday baby you and I are gonna be the ones
So hold on
We're headed for a better life

So hold on, hold on
C'mon baby, hold on

Yeah, we're gonna have it all
And ooh

Someday baby, You and I are gonna be the ones
Good luck's gonna shine on
Someday baby you and I are gonna be the ones
So hold on
We're headed for a better life

Oh, a better life
Hey we're gonna leave this all behind us baby, wait and see
We're headed for a better life, you and me
We're gonna break the chains that bind and, finally we'll be free
We're gonna be the ones that have it all, you and me
Just hold on tight now baby

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Matt started school again yesterday. I could tell he didn't really want to strap on his backpack because he thought he was done with the UW campus but he was a good sport. :) He's taking 12 credits of only Spanish classes and will graduate in December with a Spanish degree. Then he will apply to the BRAND program and if he gets in then he'll start that in May 2013. Keep your fingers crossed and pray for good luck!
During the summer he got some fishing in and just last week he took my brother, Kasey, and they caught some huge ones! He worked, too. :) He did a lot of work for his dad on the lawn business and also the apartments. He also got his CNA and already passed the test. He got hired at an assisted living place in town so he's glad he'll get some experience but he is certainly not aspiring to be a CNA for the rest of his life! :)
Matt and his giant brown trout. It was tasty. :)
I am doing absolutely nothing new! Although, I did get a couple new music students, one piano and one voice so now I have five piano students and one voice student. I would really like to get more, though! I really enjoy it and it gives me something to do. I've been trying to be a better mom and do more things with Brennen that don't involve watching "the monkey" all day.
I've been having a lot of emotional ups and downs and days like today I feel pretty good and tell myself to buck up and just be happy! But other days that is way easier said than done.
I've also decided to actually work out and lose the rest of the baby weight. I only have 5 or so pounds to go so it shouldn't be too hard (I hope...) And I also want to cut my hair... I'm putting a poll up on here and you can vote whether I should or not ha ha! I never do my hair and feel like it's scraggly and ugly. I just want to feel pretty, you know?
My and my boys!
This kid is dang near potty trained. (well, I am potty trained for him. :) I take him to the bathroom and still have to help him) He has a few accidents now and then but he's doing a good job! He still loves going outside and watching "the monkey." He LOVES his baby brother and will do anything to make him smile. He can climb on anything at any playground and although it makes me nervous sometimes it also makes me happy that he's so able. And he has adult conversations. He can say every word (really, he can) and understands most anything. We've started having him "read" a verse when we read scriptures. He repeats every word perfectly. So smart. :)
He and I have been building a lot of block castles and roads and stuff. He also likes playing with trucks and toy dinosaurs.
Castle #1
Castle #2 (with Dean in the background.) This castle isn't all that grand but you can tell I'm getting better. :)

My Baby Dean is 5 months old! He has two teeth (bottom middle) and I love his smile with them! He loves rice cereal (mixed with a pinch of applesauce) and last night he tried peas. He didn't like them too much... He can roll over both shoulders, back to belly and belly to back. He gets up on his hands and knees (or toes) and scoots backwards. I bet he'll be crawling before we know it! He moves all over the room and I can't put him on our bed for naps anymore. I learned that the hard way... oops. :) He still doesn't "talk" but smiles like crazy! His whole face lights up when he smiles. The only complaint I have is that the little turd still wakes up like 4 times a night!
He roamed to the bottom of the book shelf. He started all the way across the room.
And a couple pictures of both boys.
Kinda matching and I didn't even do it on purpose. (I don't know why it's sideways and I can't get it to go the right way...)

You may not believe me but they are not naked. Brennen's wearing underwear and Dean's in his diaper. :) Dean isn't actually wider than Brennen but it sure looks like it in this picture.