Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 28

I am grateful for rainy days and hot chocolate.

Day 27

I am grateful for a sense of humor. Life would be so boring and serious with out one.

Day 26

I'm grateful for a neighbor who will text me to let me know I left my garage door open, again. We are blessed to live on a great street.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 25

I am grateful that I had the chance to play many sports growing up. And, I am grateful I can share my love of sports with O. We went to a basketball game recently and during the game, she told me she wanted to be on a team and play basketball. Wa-hoo!!!!!!

Day 24

I'm grateful for people who can talk politics without getting angry if you have a different opinion.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 23

I'm grateful for all of the rich memories I have of family game time during the holidays. The Murphys are huge game players and I hope to teach O how to enjoy family game time. Right now, she's got Go Fish and Old Maid down. We'll work on Rummikub and Cribbage a little later :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 22

I am grateful for that great big piece of chocolate I had after lunch.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 21

I am so grateful my husband has a job in this tough economy. I truly feel for those who are unemployed. We had to deal with that when we were first married. LT did construction and mowed lawns for about 6 months. It was very humbling and we are so very blessed.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 20

I'm grateful for my talent for massage. O asked me for a back and butt massage. I don't know where she got the idea for a butt massage, but it made me grin. I'm so very grateful I can do something I love that helps other people feel better and in some cases, heal from chronic pain. I'm grateful I can use LT for my guinea pig to practice new stuff. I'm grateful my daughter shows interest in something I love. Grateful, grateful, grateful.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 19

I'm so very, very grateful I know how to read. Life would be pretty difficult with out that ability.

Day 18

I am immensely grateful for play dates. O gets to play to her hearts content and I get to clean the house, or sort the laundry, or pay bills. Just kidding, I get to do fun stuff too, like read a book.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 17

I am grateful for Joy. I LOVE seeing other people happy. Truly, I do.

For example, I love watching the olympic athletes receive their medals. Some of them beam and others cry. I can only imagine the rush of emotions they feel at their sense of accomplishment. I love watching The Biggest Loser because I love seeing people learn about themselves, lose weight and change their lives.

I love watching O figure out something she's been working on. This past week she figured out how to skip. My heart smiles when I watch her. I can see how proud she is of her new found talent. I have that feeling a lot when it comes to her. She is truly a joy in my life.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 16

I am grateful for "Once Upon A Time". We are having so much fun as a family watching it. O gets so excited she runs around the room when it's time to watch it. She has a bazillion questions and it is a great way to get her to behave.

What happens at night?

O went to bed in pajamas last night, but this morning, she woke up in this dress.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 15

I'm grateful for rock climbing. I really like to climb things.

Aw, look at that view.

I just can't get enough.
I've only been climbing once since I moved to MD and I didn't bring a camera to capture my cool moves.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 14

I am grateful for adoption.

Nov. 14th marks the 3rd anniversary of O's adoption day. I am grateful for the selfless choice her birth mom made to allow us to be O's parents. Our lives have changed so dramatically, I can't really remember what we did with our time before we became parents.

I LOVE the longhorns hanging on the wall in the background.
Go Texas!!

I have very strong, and possibly even offensive to some, opinions about adoption. I wish more people would choose adoption over abortion. There are many, many wonderful people waiting for children to love. I can't think of a more precious gift you could give to another.

Day 13

I am grateful for gum, especially on days when I had a lot of garlic the night before.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 12

I'm grateful for bugs and animals that eat mosquitos. I think mosquitos totally suck.

Day 11

I am deeply grateful for this wonderful nation and for the brave men and women who sacrificed to make it so.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 10

I am grateful that I have been blessed to travel to many parts of the world and as a result I have an even greater appreciation for this great country in which I live.

I lived in Scotland and England for a year as a small child. I've visited Mexico, France, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Brazil, Argentina, the Bahamas and Germany. I'm not sure if a layover in Taiwan counts as a visit, but I'll put it on here anyway. (I have yet to make it to Canada, crazy, I know, because it's so close.) I still plan to visit Africa and Australia before I die. (LT has requested that I let you all know that HE has been to Africa and Canada :p

With my brother in Loch Ness, Scotland

With my dad in Can Cun, Mexico, 2000
(I love that fanny pack, it accentuates my geekyness)

Thailand, May 2006

Malaysia, May 2006

Cambodia, May 2006

Cambodia, May 2006

Rio de Janero, Brazil, August 2006

Iguazu Falls from the Argentina side, August 2006

Nassau, Bahamas, May 2009
You can't go to the Bahamas and not hug a dolphin.

Another view in the Bahamas

Stuttgart, Germany, December 2009

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The playground

A typical day after NB pre school.
Running and screaming

Being brave.
Those monkey bars can be a bit intimidating. But, here she goes.

A ride down the slide.

Halloween 2011

I'm only a couple of weeks late getting this up, but who cares.

We had a fantastic Halloween season this year. I think the last thing I have to report on is the day of Halloween. Well, the night before, O lost her second tooth. It was a perfectly gory way to start Halloween Eve. Blood.... ew.

In September when my parents were visiting, my mum bought O two princesses dresses. (Because she needed one for a friend when they play dress up.) Most of the month of October, O would say she was going to be a princess if someone asked her what she was going to be for Halloween. Well, a few days before her school party, LT influenced her to choose something else. He said, "Remember last year, when all of the other girls were princesses at school? You could dress up as a Jedi and then you'll be something different." Well, it worked. At her school party, she dressed up as a Jedi. I didn't know why until LT explained it to me later.

Here she is with some of her Princess friends.

Mom and daughter. I was the school bus that came to pick her up from school.

Here are 2 of the most wonderful teachers EVER!!!

That evening, O wanted to wear one of her princess dresses, without anything else on. I told her she had to wear pants and a t-shirt underneath it or she couldn't go outside. (It was cold. I'm such a mean mom, I know:) So, she put on her leopard costume and we set out to trick or treat. LT wanted to stay at home to pass out candy. We made the round on our street and then headed over to our friends neighborhood to see if we could find them. I was wearing a 2 foot inflatable skeleton head, so I was easy to find and my friend found us. We joined a small group of friends and wouldn't you know it, O's very best friend in the whole entire world, J, was in that group. They took off running from house to house. It was a blast so see them go into a frenzy. I don't think it could have been a better Halloween. And what else is cool is several people told me they really liked my hat. I'll try to get a picture of it soon.

Here she is, pre whiskers.

O, in action.

Lounging after a good night of trick or treating.
(Not the best of pictures, but I had a tough time getting a lot of good ones that night.)
I love that you can see her mouse shoes in this picture.

O funnies

"Hey O, smile for the camera"

Saturday morning, I spent my time cleaning the house. Well, I cleaned a bunch of it and there was still a lot more to do, but I'd promised O we would go to the swimming pool on base. So, once it was time to head out I had to stop where I was to keep my word. Originally, I envisioned our family going together, but LT didn't want to go because he wasn't feeling well, so, it was a girls trip. I think LT felt a little guilty about bailing on us, so on our way out he asked me if there was any cleaning I wanted him to do while we were gone. I paused to think, but before I could even take a breath, O rattled off a list for him.


"Daddy, you can sweep the floor and then mop it." was basically what she said. LT and I grinned at each other. I didn't want to openly laugh because I didn't want her to think we were making fun of her. But what was funny, was, she was totally serious. Little Miss In Charge!!!

I added that he could clean the bathrooms and she said, "Ya, and clean the bathrooms."

Another thing that makes me laugh has to do with the name of our property manager. His name is Norman, O calls him Mormon. It makes me grin every time she does.

M-"O, you can't swing on the stair rails from your jump rope because it will break it."
O-"And then Mormon will be mad?"

M-"Shoot, our toilet isn't working."
O-"Will Mormon have to come and fix it?"

One day the Sister Missionaries had to drop something off at our house. They weren't sure which house was ours so they looked in our car. Sis E said, "As soon as I saw the red lipstick in the booster seat, we knew it was yours."

Yep, O is probably the only 5 year old who has a stash of lipstick in her car. She was also the only one in the entire primary who wore BRIGHT RED lipstick and dangly earrings during their sacrament presentation. She couldn't be missed.

And, just so you know, she is really good at putting it on all by herself too.

Day 9

I am grateful for working cars. What a HUGE blessing.

I really don't like bicycles.

Day 8

I am grateful for 4 seasons.

I've always enjoyed the changing of the seasons. It think there is a lot that is beautiful and poetic about shifting from one to the other. When I was in massage therapy school several of my courses focused on Traditional Chinese Medicine. In TCM the elements characteristics are evident in the seasons. In those classes I began to see the wisdom and beauty of the seasons and I became more aware of how I moved through each of them and how they effected me.

My favorites, in order are;
1. Spring - Birth, newness, beginnings, awakening, rapid growth.
2. Fall - Harvest, gathering in, slowing down, casting off.
3. Summer - Heat, passion, life, extrovert.
4. Winter - Stillness, looking inward, depth, replenishment, intrinsic, introvert.

The first time I lived away from a 4 season climate I was 31. I moved to TX and, I could tell a huge difference. I was stuck in limbo land. It was always summer. Fall and Spring didn't really happen, kind of. They may have been a week long each. Summer was HOT and the "winter" was like a mild summer day in ID. I survived 4 years of limbo and am now happily residing in a beautiful 4 season climate again.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 7

I am very grateful for hot baths. Sigh.

Day 6

I am especially grateful for this dude.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 5

I have a great love for holy places and I have been blessed to have many of them throughout my life.

Girls Camp was a holy place for me as a teenager. I get that that sounds quite strange, but it was a place where I felt a profound sense of acceptance.

Hooray for Pocatello 6th Ward
Talk about going grungy. I'm not sure some of us used the showers at camp that week. There was a lake, who needed the shower, right?

Oakcrest was a holy place for me. I consider it my non-official church mission. I spent 2 summers in the sun making up skits, eating ashcakes, playing pranks and teaching the gospel of Christ. My understanding of how God loves and works with His children reached depths previously unknown to me. The holiness of those experiences have remained with me through the years.

The beloved Oakcrest sign at the 50 year reunion.

And, this, my friends, is what happens when you let campers do your hair.

Some of the counselors in '94. Why would any teenager take anything we said seriously? Just look at us?

Ah, my favorite activity at camp, Survival. Also affectionately referred to as Suicide. We always did this with another unit so there would be 2 counselors present. One at the top, strapping the girls in and one at the bottom, catching them before they slammed into the mattress. I always felt a little sorry for the poor little 12 year old at the bottom that volunteered to help catch. They, inevitably, got picked up and dragged along with the person on the harness. So, so funny to watch from up top.

One day I stepped out of the bathroom stall and was surprised by a group of my girls.
Don't cha just love that hair???

Duckie and M&M, the BEST FLOATERS EVER!!! I had such a great time with M&M during the week we didn't have girls. We were responsible for the weeks theme and party and skits. We were such goofballs. Also, check out those shoes, they were AWESOME!!!.

The holiest of places I love to visit is the temple. I received my endowments in Logan, UT, was married in Jordan River, UT and O was sealed to us in San Antonio, TX. Now I attend the Washington D.C. temple. I don't really mind which one I attend because the spirit is the same in all of them.

Yes, here we have the cheesy, breezy couple looking longingly at each other. The fuzzy around the edges filter makes me groan. Blech.
Wow, we were had no idea what we were getting in to and 10 years later we are convinced it was the greatest decision for the both of us.

I will remember this day forever. We waited over 2 years to have O sealed to us. It was a miracle of miracles how the timing of our schedules all worked out. LT was preparing for his deployment to Djibouti and was living back east. He was able to come home for Thanksgiving and we went to the temple the Wednesday before.

I think everyone needs a space where they can just be. And I think in the being, we can reflect and then become.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 4

I am grateful for signs.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 3

I have a profound love for my family, the family I came from, and the family I am creating. And I can not forget the family of friends that have filled in the gaps over the years.

My husband is my best friend, and I know this phrase is trite, but it is true. We fit together. We work well together, we are equally stubborn and strong so we can't really push each other around. We have the same core beliefs and values, we have similar desires. We really truly enjoy being with each other.

My daughter is the center of my universe. I am up to my ears in the world of "pre school" and "pretend". Secretly, well not so secretly now, I've always felt really anxious about being around little kids because I just don't understand how to communicate with them. Give me a teenager and I'm fine, but under 10, whoa, uncharted territory for me. O is teaching me more and more about the wonder of being a child. I love being in her world at times, it's a fun place. I am gaining a more meaningful understanding of what is it to be a mother and how my role affects the family. O, in many ways, is my mini-me. I honestly didn't think it was possible, but we are similar in more ways that I imagined. That's SO SCARY!!! The last time I was home I read through my baby book and some of my moms memoirs. Wow, it felt like I was reading the very things I would say I about O. The Lord really knows..... Do I dare say "the curse"?

I am grateful for the family I was raised in. My parents and brother have many great qualities I admire and aspire to develop. My experiences as a youth have shaped who I am today.

I am also grateful for the family in which LT was raised. His experiences growing up shaped his desires for the family we are working to create now.

I truly believe the family unit is the strongest unit of a society. It is a huge responsibility and privilege to raise the next generation. Many of the social ills of a society stem from the break down of families. I hope and work to create a family that is filled with peace and love.

My family at Christmas 2010 in ID

The Murphy family around 1993

The Hills, missing T and F

The Hills, T,F and L

The sweet angel that made me a mother.

My BFF from High School

Wow, what an incredible woman.

My YW leader S. I adored this woman.