Friday, January 23, 2015

A Fancy Friday Mommy/Daughter Belated Birthday Date

IMG_5959The past few years, the local high school has had a play the week of Autumn’s birthday, but this year it was a week later. So, as a part of her birthday present, I took her on a special Mommy/Daughter date tonight.  We went to a “fancy” dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant.

IMG_5960 This chicken scarparella is DELICIOUS & I could drink that cream sauce w/ a spoon.  I got Autumn chicken tenders & we just shared & ate of each other’s plates.  Once our tummies were happy, we stopped at WalMart to get a few treats.

P1120463 The local high school did the play Oklahoma! and it was INCDREDIBLE!  I just sat there in awe the whole time at the talent these young high school kids have.  The singing, sets, costumes, acting, etc. all blew me away.  Especially since the theater program I was in back in high school was nowhere near this caliber.  I’m so glad that Autumn enjoys going to theater productions.  Hopefully she’ll love theater & good entertainment her whole life.

P1120464Gracie was in the show as one of the ensemble cast members, and we waited for her after to tell her what a great job she did. We gave her a package of kit kat bars w/ a note to “break” a leg (get it … break me off a piece of that kit kat bar … break a leg).  Cheesy, I know but she loved it!  There were a LOT of LDS kids in the play & it was fun to see a bunch of people from Mom & Dad’s ward.  We even saw Curt & Jessie there.  We didn’t get home until 10:00 pm, but it was so worth it to be up late.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Reminder Of Rufio

IMG_5950 I’ve heard in news reports & on the radio that the lowest gas prices will drop is probably into the $1.60 range.  So, I had to document how much a gallon of gas cost me today when I filled up.  It’s crazy to see how low it is now compared to a year or 2 ago.  It will be neat to look back a decade or two from now and see what the price for a gallon of gas was in 2015.

IMG_5956 I play this game on Facebook called “Criminal Case.”  Today, I was pleasantly surprised to see this on the game, especially since “Rufio” is such a rare name.  There are reminders of her everywhere, and I wear different pairs of earrings of hers at least a few times a week.  Love & miss you, Rufio!

IMG_5954Autumn got this really cool birthday card w/ some money in it in the mail from Jason & Nicole.  The card has one of her cheer pictures on it, and it looks like the cover of a sports magazine.  After I got her to bed, I watched Parenthood and had tears rolling down my cheeks several times during the show.  Zeek reminds me so much of my Dad!  I can’t believe it’s almost the series finale.  I LOVE this show & am going to miss watching it.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Autumn’s First Activity Days Activity


Since Autumn turned 8, she is now old enough to start attending

Activity Days at church.  It’s kind of like the church’s version of Girl Scouts. The lady in charge of it asked me on Sunday if Autumn would be there this Wednesday, and I told her no b/c I work until 5:00 pm and it takes me 30 minutes to get Autumn, and the Activity Day girls meet at 4:30.  But, I asked my boss on Monday if it would be ok for me to get off early on the Wednesdays that Autumn has Activity Days & he said it wouldn’t be a problem at all!  That is a BIG blessing & a HUGE tender mercy!

IMG_5945 I decided that while Autumn is in Activity Days that I will take that time to sit at the church & study the Gospel. It’s not enough time between dropping her off & picking her up to go home & come back.  I’m actually really excited about it.  But, today the girls were learning about the scriptures so I let Autumn borrow my scriptures.  So, I used the time to clean out & organize the Young Women’s closet.  It gets so messy & disorganized when we just put things in there on Sundays.  I got a lot accomplished & I’m kicking myself for not taking an “after” picture.

IMG_5951 Autumn & I came home, scarfed down some dinner, and then went back to the church at 7:00 for Young Women’s.  I let her come w/ me tonight b/c we were doing a fun craft.  This was the “mod podge” station, and as you can see it was pretty busy.

IMG_5953We also ran through our program for New Beginnings since it’s next week & no one really knows what they’re doing.  We have so many Beehives (ages 12-13) that we are having them present the 8 Young Women values.

IMG_5963This was the craft we made … I had to lay them out on my table when I got home so the mod podge could dry.  I printed off some “subway” art of the theme for this year on cardstock.  They cut that out, covered the heavy poster board w/ nautical themed papers, mod podged the whole thing, and then after it dried we punched holes at the top & they strung ribbon through the holes so it can hang in their rooms.  I like that it’s something small & lightweight that won’t take up a lot of space in their bedrooms.  Plus, they can hang it on their wall or mirrors where they can see it & think about the 2015 youth theme every time they see it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gettin’ Our Craft On

IMG_5939 Today after work/school we went to Chipotle for dinner & split a bowl.  It’s more economical that way, plus they give you so much food that half a bowl is just the right amount for both of us.  After we ate, we went over to Hobby Lobby b/c I had to get some heavy duty poster board (the kind they use to frame pictures) for a craft we’re doing in Young Women’s.  While we were there, Autumn had to check out the rainbow loom bands.  She has SO MANY that I refuse to buy her more, but she wanted some so I told her she could use her birthday money to buy some. 

I had a good parenting moment & channeled my inner “Hands Free Mama” (that is a great blog to read, by the way) when I stood there for 4 minutes while she hmmmed and hawwwed and tried to figure out which ones she wanted.  My natural tendency would be to hurry her along, but I just stood back & let her have time w/out feeling rushed.  I have to admit it was hard for me to do, but it was also really good for me to do.

IMG_5940 We were over near one of the clinics, so we stopped in so Autumn could get her picture next to the alien that looks like Papa (glasses, bald head, suspenders).  I wish I would have gotten a picture of her standing next to it every year so I could see how she’s grown.  But, the few I do have are better than nothing.

IMG_5942We went over to Mom & Dad’s house so I could use some of Mom’s crafting stuff to cut up the HUGE sheets of  matting board for the project we’re doing in Young Women’s.  Autumn was a sweetheart and brought me up some of the cake that Nate made along w/ some mandarin oranges she had peeled.  She’s so thoughtful!

Monday, January 19, 2015

♪ Waking Up Is Hard To Do ♪

IMG_5937 I had SUCH.A.HARD.TIME getting out of bed this morning!!!  I went to bed when I usually do (between 10:30 – 11:30), but for some reason it was rough getting out of bed this morning.  I’m not a “morning person,” but when my alarm goes off I’m not a bear when I wake up either.  I’m just groggy for a little bit and then I get up and get moving.  I hit the snooze button so many times this morning.  I saw a thing on Facebook the other day that said something along the lines of, “I have finally earned the trust of my sheets and they have accepted me as one of their own.  I can’t possibly leave them now, or they will feel betrayed.”  LOL!  That’s how I felt this morning.

IMG_5938The sunrise was really pretty this morning.  Too bad Autumn had to go to daycare & I had to go to work on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, b/c the weather was perfect for going to the park.  It was spring-like weather today instead of middle-of-January-winter weather.  But, Autumn’s daycare is awesome and took the kids to a hockey game today & they got to be up in one of the suites!

Last week I talked to a guy in Mom & Dad’s ward who wants me to apply for a job at his company.  I would get to work from home 4 days a week!  When I made a list of pros & cons, there were NO cons.  But, every time I have tried to work on my resume, it hasn’t felt right.  That job would be PERFECT for days like today, b/c I could work, but still keep Autumn home w/ me instead of having to send her to daycare.  So, we’ll see how it pans out.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Dash The Fish

Today was one of my busy Sundays!  I had ward council this morning before church, so I dropped Autumn off at the angel family’s house that watches her for me & brings her to church.  This angel family even had a balloon & sign on their front door wishing her a happy birthday!  They seriously are such an amazing family.  Church was really good today, and one of the Laurels taught our class on the Holy Ghost.  I am so impressed when the girls teach, b/c they always do such a great job.

IMG_4038 Autumn & I rushed home after church b/c the Deckers were coming over to deliver Autumn’s birthday present from them.  They already gave her gum & chap stick (her FAVORITES) yesterday, but they had another present for her.  They got her a beta fish!  This is the first pet she’s ever had and she was so excited.  They even brought us all the food, filtered water, a tank, etc.  They taught us what to do to take care of the fish.

IMG_4043Isn’t he pretty?  He really is this bright blue/green color.  Autumn decided to name him Dash.  We watched the fish for a while and then scarfed down some taco salad for dinner.  We went to BYC (Bishop’s Youth Committee) meeting at 6:00 and Autumn went upstairs at the house we were at to play w/ the kids while I was in that meeting.  Then we had to leave to go over to the church for her “Great To Be Eight” meeting where all the kids & their parents that are turning 8 this year got to learn about what to expect and what to do.

After we got done with Great To Be Eight, we went back to the place where we had the BYC meeting b/c I had accidentally left a bag w/ all my Young Women’s stuff in it there.  We grabbed that and headed home so Autumn could go to bed.  I watched the last half of Downton Abbey on PBS, and ended up staying up too late editing pics & blogging.  I really need to start making myself get ready for bed at 10:00 so I can be in bed by 10:30 and get a full 8 hours of sleep!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Happy 8th Birthday, Autumn Bottom

IMG_5906 For her birthday breakfast she wanted breakfast in bed and she requested Eggos w/ nutella, blueberries, and apple juice.  We spent the whole morning watching the Disney channel, b/c that’s what she wanted to do.  Her hair is curly b/c she wanted me to put curlers in her hair after her shower last night.

IMG_5908 We finally got cleaned up & left the house at 1:00.  It was a surprise & I didn’t tell her where we were going.  We met up w/ the Deckers to pick up Kylie & Kenzie after Kylie’s color guard practice.

IMG_4020 We stopped & picked up Ashley and went to the movies to see Paddington Bear.  We saw that one b/c it was showing at the time we needed, plus Autumn & I had already seen all the other kid-friendly movies at the theater during Christmas & New Year’s break.  I had really low expectations for the movie, but it actually ended up being REALLY cute!  There was some kid in the theater that had a really LOUD laugh, and it was so funny when he would laugh during the movie.  I’m so thankful to these AWESOME teenage girls who took time out of their super busy Saturday to spend time w/ an 8 year old for her birthday.  Autumn just adores them and looks up to them, and I’m so thankful she has such great role models & friends!

IMG_4024 We dropped them off at home and then rushed to Costco to get a big huge pepperoni pizza & a few other things we needed.  We came home started party #2 w/ some of Autumn’s friends.  The kids ate and then went upstairs to play for a little bit while I cleaned up.  Then we had brownies & ice cream & sang to Autumn while she blew out her candles.

IMG_5914 We loaded into the car and went to Kid Mania for the kids to play.  Autumn thought she was SO COOL b/c she had to sit in the front seat so everyone could fit.  The kids had such a great time and ran themselves ragged for an hour and a half.  I should have taken an “after” picture of them w/ their red cheeks & sweaty heads.

IMG_5918I didn’t want to mess w/ party favors, so I took them to the $1 Store and let them pick 2 things each.  They thought that was the coolest thing ever.  We dropped the kids off at home, and then Nate & Riannon & Olivia came over for brownies and ice cream.  It was fun to visit w/ them.

I think Autumn had a good birthday.  I know it’s so cliché to say I can’t believe how fast the years have gone, but it’s so true.  When I got divorced and we moved back to Texas, she was only 5 MONTHS old, and now I blink and she’s eight YEARS old!  I feel like I’ll blink again and she’ll be 18 and going off to college.  We for sure have our times where we clash, but I am so thankful she’s mine and that I get the privilege of being her Mom.  I tell her all the time she’s my greatest blessing, and it’s true!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Pre-Birthday Celebration

IMG_5895 I left work a few minutes early today so I could stop at the $1 Store & get some balloons for Autumn.  It was nice and sunny today, and in the mid 60’s, which was really nice!  I’m for sure ready for Spring.  It was such a pretty sunset tonight.

IMG_4011 I think it’s lame that I can’t go to Autumn’s class at school to celebrate her birthday.  I had to just send in some treats for them to hand out in class.  I took treats & drinks to her daycare to share, but they had already closed the classroom & were already in the gym.  The teacher offered to bring them all back into the class, but that was going to be too much work so I told her not to worry about it.

IMG_5928We haven’t seen Nate & Riannon this week b/c we’ve had stuff going on in the evenings.  They were so nice & made dinner for Autumn’s birthday.  They made meatloaf, Red Lobster cheddar biscuits, and broccoli.

IMG_5901 Autumn cracks me up w/ her funny faces & how she always makes a heart shape on her chest w/ her hands.

IMG_4016I got all the dinner dishes finished up and we watched How To Train Your Dragon 2.  For dessert I got an Edward’s turtle pie and we sang to her.  Her hair is so stinkin’ long, and she looks way too grown up & needs to stop growing!!!  It was a fun night celebrating Autumn as a family!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Taco Salad Helper

IMG_5889 Tonight we stopped at Kroger to fill up w/ gas, and it was only $1.719 a gallon!!!  While we were there, we went in the store & got some stuff to make taco salad for dinner.  Autumn did an AWESOME job of cutting up the lettuce & cucumbers.  She’s a good helper.  She wanted me to take a picture of her by her taco salad, and she wanted to show off a tooth that came out last night.  I was brushing her teeth & must have brushed a little too hard b/c her loose tooth fell out!

IMG_5891It was so GLORIOUS this morning to take a HOT shower.  It was weird to have it a little too hot, b/c we’ve been living w/ it being lukewarm for at least a month before we knew the hot water heater was broken.  I ran the dishwasher, unloaded it, refilled it, and ran it again.  I also did 4 loads of laundry.  WOOT WOOT!  I sat & folded clothes while I watched Parenthood.  I can’t believe there are only 2 episodes left.  I for sure shed tears a few times while watching tonight’s episode!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pizza Cook Off Combined Activity

IMG_5882 Tonight for Young Women’s, it was everyone combined but we met separately as classes to start.  The Deacons (12-13 year old boys) were in charge & they wanted to have a pizza cook off.  So, the Laurels all met at my house and we used naan bread as our crust & then put basil pesto for the sauce, chicken, cheese, & crumbled up crispy bacon.

IMG_5884Then we all met at the Young Men President’s house at 8:00 & they had 2 judges there to taste all the pizzas & declare the top 2 winners.  I for sure thought we were going to win, but we didn’t even place in the top 2 (out of 6 classes).  Oh, well.  It was still a fun activity and we had fun making our pizza & pretending like we are on a cooking show on the Food Network.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hot Water Heater Woes

IMG_5880 It really stinks not having hot water!  I have all these dishes that need to be done, but I can’t clean them properly w/out hot water.  The hot water heater was supposed to be replaced today, but they said they couldn’t get a hold of us to schedule the install.  That’s b/c they were calling Dad’s cell & he’s out of the country & in another hemisphere right now!  So, I got it scheduled for tomorrow morning.  It will be so nice to take a hot shower, wash dishes, and do some laundry!  It really is such a small first world problem in the grand scheme of things.

IMG_5881Tonight for reading homework Autumn read the Frozen book in the upper right hand corner, and then we read in Mosiah 18 in the Book of Mormon about the people wanting to be baptized & about the baptismal covenants they made with Heavenly Father.

Monday, January 12, 2015

A Better Day & Time With The Girls

IMG_5868I’m happy to report that today went much better for Autumn & I.  It was good to be back in a routine of work & school.  After school we went to WalMart & shared a sandwich for dinner and then got a few groceries.  We also stopped by the $1 Store to get some things for a lady’s birthday tomorrow that I visit teach.  We got home & Autumn got her reading done, I picked up the house a little bit, and then it was bedtime. 

Nick is so funny!  He said that he was FREEZING (I keep the temp in the house between 68 to 70 degrees), so he was sitting on the couch wearing pajamas, a coat, slippers, and this big fuzzy hat that Mom & Dad got for him when they were on a trip in Russia.  He insisted that I try it on b/c it’s so soft and warm.  I don’t think this look is for me!  LOL!

IMG_5876I went over to Christine’s tonight so we could watch The Bachelor.  I really don’t care at all about watching that show, and I didn’t watch the Bachelorette last season either.  But, we watch it as a way to bond & connect and talk & visit & be together.  We were going to watch last week’s episode & this week’s episode, but we only got through last week’s episode. We were laughing so hard and having so much fun making fun of the silly girls.  We had nicknames for a bunch of them.  I forgot to snap a picture of us together, so I just took this one as we were leaving.  I’m so thankful for them & our close friendship!

Sunday, January 11, 2015


IMG_5866 Let me just start by saying that today did NOT GO WELL!!!  I hope that nobody who reads my blog thinks that our lives are perfect & happy & hunky dory all the time, b/c that simply is NOT true.  We for sure have our struggles and today is just one of many examples of that.

I made the decision that we weren’t going to go to church today, b/c we’re still both coughing a lot and we sound horrible.  We don’t have fevers, but I didn’t want us hacking up a lung during the prayers or songs.  It was ward conference, so I felt really bad I wasn’t there for that, but health & family come first.  We spent the morning playing games & cuddling and watching movies.  Autumn asked to watch Princess Diaries, so I put it on for her and then laid down on the couch & fell asleep, b/c I’m still recovering from being sick.  When I woke up for my little nap, she had dumped out a whole big gallon ziplock bag of rainbow loom bands on the floor.  I warned her that she would need to pick ALL of them up before the end of the day.  Well, as the day progressed she just got sassier & sassier w/ me.

I think we both weren’t feeling good & we’ve spent too much time together, b/c we’re out of our normal routines with being sick.  Well, she got mad b/c I told her she needed to clean up, so she proceeded to kick her pile of rainbow loom bands all over the living room (that’s what this is a picture of).  I didn’t lose my cool (even though I was freaking out inside) & I calmly told her that SHE would be picking all of them up w/out any help from me, b/c SHE chose to kick them all over.  She just looked at me w/ a defiant look on her face, and kept kicking them.  I put myself in my room for a time out for a little bit so I didn’t lose my cool.  Well, that didn’t help like I thought it would, b/c I did end up losing my cool later in the day.  It was NOT A PRETTY SIGHT!  Lots of tears were shed and lots of apologizing & asking for forgiveness was done from both of us!

IMG_5874While Autumn was having some quiet/alone time to cool down, she organized her room.  I liked how she had all of her dolls & stuffed animals arranged on her bed.  Satan for sure was working overtime on us today, and he got the better of us for a while.  I feel like Autumn & I took 5 huge steps backwards in our relationship and how far we’ve come.  Our relationship really suffers when I yell & get bossy with her.  Hopefully we can work on rebuilding that trust & kindness we had.  I hate having bad days like today, but they help to remind me that we all make mistakes and that I can keep working on being a better person & especially a better mother.  Here’s to starting over again tomorrow!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Bon Voyage, Papa & Mimi!

IMG_5873 Our water heater is still broken & won’t be fixed until next week, but I HAD to shower.  So, I let the water run for a few minutes and took a super fast lukewarm shower.  I went & got my nails done at 10:00 & then went home to get Autumn.  We went over to Mom & Dad’s house to say goodbye to them, b/c they are leaving on a cruise to Antarctica today!!!  Autumn & I were going to take them to the airport, but they didn’t want to be stuck in a car w/ us sickies, b/c they won’t let you board the cruise ship if you’re sick.  Plus, Nate had woken up from sleeping after his night shift so he took them.  We hung out w/ Riannon & Olivia for a while and then we left to get some things done.

IMG_5863 It felt GOOD to be out of the house for a while, especially since Autumn’s been cooped up inside for a week from being sick.  We went to Bath & Body Works to get some wall plugs & refills since it’s their semi-annual sale.

IMG_5864Our favorite crepe place was right down the street, and Autumn has been so good all week for Uncle Nate that I told her she had earned a crepe.  So, we walked down there & got a strawberry cheesecake crepe.  It was just average tasting this time, but Autumn’s favorite part is watching the chef’s make them anyways.  Her hair has gotten so long all of a sudden!

I was supposed to go to the temple at 5:00 w/ the other members of our ward council, but I was still coughing a lot and Autumn freaked out when I told her I was going to go earlier in the day.  She really needs some Mama time, and at this point she comes first so I skipped out on the temple this Saturday.  We came home and played some games, watched movies, and cuddled on the couch.

Friday, January 9, 2015

VHS Classics

01.09I was surprisingly feeling much better today.  I’m still sick and cough and sneeze a lot, but I can at least function.  I went into the office for a few hours, b/c there was an order that HAD to go in today.  I left at noon and stopped and got McDonald’s for lunch as a way to thank Nick for watching Autumn for me.  Autumn’s feeling better and doesn’t have a fever, but she’s still coughing so hard that she throws up phlegm, and I’m pretty sure her teacher & classmates wouldn’t appreciate that.

After lunch Nick left for work, and Autumn & I just hung out and watched these VHS movies.  Mom & Dad are cleaning out some stuff before their mission and they had a whole bunch of VHS movies they gave to us.  We still have a VHS player, so we were thrilled to have them to watch.  We pretty much just hung out the whole day & vegged on the couch and tried not to cough & sneeze all over everything.  Being sick is the pits.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Great, Now I’m Sick … UGH

IMG_5847 I was really hoping that Autumn would be better by now, but she’s still sick.  Luckily, Nate was off again today.  I think there’s going to be a permanent Autumn-shaped indentation on Papa & Mimi’s couch from where she’s been sitting since Sunday.  Poor little bug!

IMG_5862 I started to feel kind of sick, so I stopped & got a large Sonic cranberry w/ a splash of mint slush.

IMG_5851I got the full blown flu around noon, and I felt HORRIBLE.  I finally left at 3:00, b/c I felt so crappy.  My hands & feet would not get warm & felt like icicles, so I had my gloves on.  I went to use the restroom before I left, and I had one of my gloves tucked under my chin.  I leaned over to flush the toilet & it fell right into the toilet!  DANG IT!  I already felt crummy, and this was just the icing on the cake.  Not to mention that one of our hot water heaters is out, so we won’t have hot water until a new can be installed next week.  I just have to keep reminding myself that this is all just “first world problems.”

IMG_5854 I went to Mom & Dad’s house and got Autumn, had her take a shower since they have hot water at their house, and then we both came home & vegged out on the couch.  She fell asleep leaning against me while I watched Parenthood.  This episode had me crying!  They better not kill of Zeek!  I really hope we can get over this crud quickly.  I don’t want Autumn to miss too much school!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Mom’s Last Activity W/ Her Activity Day Girls

IMG_5846 Autumn stayed home from school again today & hung out at Papa & Mimi’s since Nate was off and could be there w/ her.  Mom had her LAST activity w/ the Activity Day girls.  They learned how to make individual mini pizzas on English muffins and yogurt & fruit parfaits.  She will miss these girls, but is also so happy that this is the last one!

IMG_5852For Young Women’s tonight, the Laurels had a planning & pie activity.  We planned our calendars for the next 3 months & then had pie when we were done.  We only had one Laurel there, but we got a lot accomplished.  I had to stop & get gas b/c I was down to an 1/8th of a tank left.  I LOVE it that gas is so cheap right now.  I was able to fill up for less than $24!