I'm in love!
Archer has started giving the most enormous bear hugs ever...even when he's asleep he has his little arms wrapped so tight around my neck...takes my breath away literally and figuratively :)

This is my new cowl that Lindsay over at Green Vanilla Baby made...I love love love it! Everything she makes is awesome...check it out!

I have tons of pictures to post both on this blog and on my photography blog (hint: I got to photograph my nieces!) but I have another shoot tonight and I'm trying to recuperate my house from the weekend full of company. It was awesome to have everyone here, thanks for coming!


Strengths Quest results for one of my classes. Accurate?

The Strategic theme enables you to sort through the clutter and find the best route. It is not a skill that can be taught. It is a distinct way of thinking, a special perspective on the world at large. This perspective allows you to see patterns where others simply see complexity. Mindful of these patterns, you play out alternative scenarios, always asking, “What if this happened? Okay, well what if this happened?” This recurring question helps you see around the next corner. There you can evaluate accurately the potential obstacles. Guided by where you see each path leading, you start to make selections. You discard the paths that lead nowhere. You discard the paths that lead straight into resistance. You discard the paths that lead into a fog of confusion. You cull and make selections until you arrive at the chosen path—your strategy. Armed with your strategy, you strike forward. This is your Strategic theme at work: “What if?” Select. Strike.

“When can we start?” This is a recurring question in your life. You are impatient for action. You may concede that analysis has its uses or that debate and discussion can occasionally yield some valuable insights, but deep down you know that only action is real. Only action can make things happen. Only action leads to performance. Once a decision is made, you cannot not act. Others may worry that “there are still some things we don’t know,” but this doesn’t seem to slow you. If the decision has been made to go across town, you know that the fastest way to get there is to go stoplight to stoplight. You are not going to sit around waiting until all the lights have turned green. Besides, in your view, action and thinking are not opposites. In fact, guided by your Activator theme, you believe that action is the best device for learning. You make a decision, you take action, you look at the result, and you learn. This learning informs your next action and your next. How can you grow if you have nothing to react to? Well, you believe you can’t. You must put yourself out there. You must take the next step. It is the only way to keep your thinking fresh and informed. The bottom line is this: You know you will be judged not by what you say, not by what you think, but by what you get done. This does not frighten you. It pleases you.

Woo stands for winning others over. You enjoy the challenge of meeting new people and getting them to like you. Strangers are rarely intimidating to you. On the contrary, strangers can be energizing. You are drawn to them. You want to learn their names, ask them questions, and find some area of common interest so that you can strike up a conversation and build rapport. Some people shy away from starting up conversations because they worry about running out of things to say. You don’t. Not only are you rarely at a loss for words; you actually enjoy initiating with strangers because you derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection. Once that connection is made, you are quite happy to wrap it up and move on. There are new people to meet, new rooms to work, new crowds to mingle in. In your world there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met yet—lots of them.

You like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public, and to write. This is your Communication theme at work. Ideas are a dry beginning. Events are static. You feel a need to bring them to life, to energize them, to make them exciting and vivid. And so you turn events into stories and practice telling them. You take the dry idea and enliven it with images and examples and metaphors. You believe that most people have a very short attention span. They are bombarded by information, but very little of it survives. You want your information—whether an idea, an event, a product’s features and benefits, a discovery, or a lesson—to survive. You want to divert their attention toward you and then capture it, lock it in. This is what drives your hunt for the perfect phrase. This is what draws you toward dramatic words and powerful word combinations. This is why people like to listen to you. Your word pictures pique their interest, sharpen their world, and inspire them to act.

Your Individualization theme leads you to be intrigued by the unique qualities of each person. You are impatient with generalizations or “types” because you don’t want to obscure what is special and distinct about each person. Instead, you focus on the differences between individuals. You instinctively observe each person’s style, each person’s motivation, how each thinks, and how each builds relationships. You hear the one-of-a-kind stories in each person’s life. This theme explains why you pick your friends just the right birthday gift, why you know that one person prefers praise in public and another detests it, and why you tailor your teaching style to accommodate one person’s need to be shown and another’s desire to “figure it out as I go.” Because you are such a keen observer of other people’s strengths, you can draw out the best in each person. This Individualization theme also helps you build productive teams. While some search around for the perfect team “structure” or “process,” you know instinctively that the secret to great teams is casting by individual strengths so that everyone can do a lot of what they do well.


If you think this post is about you, it isn't. Actually, it's about me.

I'm not arrogant enough to think that anyone noticed or cared when I stopped writing real posts and started posting cute pictures of my kids with little captions underneath.

If we're being honest, we all want to be included and recognized to a certain extent, it's in us by nature. I was not the popular girl in school, after all, who would want to be friends with someone who wore dresses to school everyday? I wasn't even the popular girl within the group of girls that all went to the same church. I was a few years younger than them all, and most of the time I tagged along with my sister when my mom said she couldn't go unless I was included, but I don't think I was really invited on my own merit. I became okay with that when Jason and I got together and I had a boyfriend (a cute one whom the girls drooled over) to hang out with every weekend. I had friends at school, but I lead such a different life than they did that we really only hung out when we were at school. Jason loved me and was smitten with my personality, quirky laugh, and something about me having a nice butt (aha! there is something someone likes about me) :) I learned that it was all a matter of finding people who I could relate to and had a similar sense of humor and that was the key to making friends. I also realized that I was not going to force myself along with people. Simply put, if they didn't like me for me I would get over it and find people who did.

Eventually I learned that there were lots of people I could relate to, but very few people I would want to tell my secrets and insecurities to. I made friends, and I cared deeply about them. They like to tell me that I am the friend who is always prepared to say or do something to cheer them up, and I like to think so. I love to go out and shop for the very perfect gift that would suit that particular friends personality, and any one of them could call me at any given time if they are sad or lonely and I will take that call and talk to them as long as it takes to work through the issue to the point where they feel better about it. I am your fiercest cheerleader when I call you my friend and I love to be there when I'm needed. I will never fault anyone for coming to me for encouragement or cheer and I would never feel to busy to listen, period.

So I know eventually this post is going to have a point and I am trying to articulate it just right because the purpose is not to offend anyone, but to maybe make people aware of a new outlook that I have for my own life and that you might understand my reactions to things a little better. I really don't want to hurt people, but on the same token I don't want people taking advantage of me either. I have people that want to be my friend, I don't intend to fake it with those that don't.

There are some people that call themselves my friends, and really don't have an ounce of concern for me or my family. I have had a lot of friends that I give the benefit of the doubt over and over and over again, and of course history always repeats itself and I end up hurt and frustrated. Really, I am interested in people and happy to have a conversation with most anyone. I will tell you that I will pick up on it if you don't like me (and obviously you win some...you lose some)and that is pretty much fine with me. I will guarantee you that if I think you are someone who is genuine and I think we could be good friends, I will reach out to you and try to make it happen. What I have an issue with is people who include me when it benefits them, but leave me out of the equation when the fun stuff rolls around. I really have no desire to fake it and pretend that I am your "real" friend, and I won't. It's either a mutual thing, or it's nothing...and I'm sorry if that offends anyone.

I've noticed since I stopped writing, that I'm bottling a lot of junk up and it manifests itself in tight shoulders, migraines, insomnia, and major stress. One of the things about the blogosphere is we all feel like we can give judgemental comments or insults about how we could be doing this or that better, but we add a little smiley face on the end to indicate we were kidding. I would find it hard to believe that I am the only one who is hurt by those kinds of comments, or sometimes it's an insinuation that we are or aren't some certain "socially superior" something or other. Our competitive natures as friends and mothers and students and wives kick in and now we are trying to prove to the world by what we say and post on our blog that we are "better" than someone else, that our lives are cushier...our plight worse than someone else's. I think I am merely pointing out what other people are feeling as well, and regardless I wanted to put out there why I haven't been writing. Honestly I am trying to work out some things and make some changes in my life that suit ME.

In all this soul searching I came to the realization that I don't really care what you think of me or if you consider me your friend or if I'm included in your little parties and get togethers, just don't send me the invite to your in home sales pitch either. I'm not about to force myself into any one's life and I'm not into fake friendships anyway.

I have realized in all this that the close friends I do have, well...you guys are awesome. I realize that I would rather suggest everything is cool and not burden anyone with my stress or worry or frustration, but the ones that really know me? They pick up on it and they are there. So I guess what I'm trying to get at is...the girl who always has it together, doesn't always have it together. Sometimes I need people to ask how I am, and for those of you that do...thank you. :)

Anyway...I have let go of a few relationships that weren't beneficial to my well being, and I am feeling better. I have started to tell people how I feel about certain things because when I bottle it all up it eats at me to the point where I can't stand it. I'm reaching out to people and saying "when you do that, it hurts..." and to others I'm admitting that I need to vent and they let me and I'm grateful. I feel like in doing that I am learning to appreciate the really awesome people I have in my life and intend to focus on the people who care about the relationship as much as I do. If the feelings aren't mutual, then there really isn't any point.

**I realize most people are genuine, and anything in this post that seems like it could pertain to you, but really doesn't...then it doesn't. For the rest...just think about it, and if it does and you feel like it's in order, change it. My intention isn't to come off all rude and make people assume I think everyone is a jerk. I am just trying to get some things off my chest and the relationships I've severed in the process of realizing some people really couldn't care less about our friendship unless it benefits them, well, those people don't read this blog...so I'm not aiming this post at anyone just getting it out :)


Tundra Lodge

Probably my favorite picture from the night...I love the water coming off her hair.

*blurry...but I like it because all my people are in one place :)

The Heyes' were awesome enough to invite us to come play at their hotel this weekend when they stayed for a little getaway. We all had a blast :) Thanks again!


my etsy purchase...

Brookelyn's room...we have a canopy that has to be hung yet :)


mommy blogging.

The kids looked cute all dressed fancy for church, so we stopped on our road and snapped a picture.
Well, he needed a haircut anyway...

Loves Loooooves to read. Once he read books for a whole hour while I rearranged the furniture. True story.

Just thinking he's doing something important makes his eyes dance :)
"Our mom doesn't dress us and we play trains and shoot rainbows out of our hinders all day!"
Archer's doing all these super cute things lately...and Trae's saying all these super cute things lately. If I was sleeping, I'd remember them long enough to share them. Brookelyn and Elliot are reading and spelling like lunatics all.day.long. Which is excellent until you've spelled or read the same cycle of words from the 9 cards they carry around and re-spell 14 hundred times everyday. Our van drives from point A to point B...we are making strides, people! I've been organizing and cleaning like a madwoman...that feels pretty good. Redirecting my stress...

Oh, and by the way:

Once upon a time, I started writing people off. The End


So there is this boy in my daughters class names Trenton. Apparently Trenton likes to kiss her. Apparently Trenton likes to kiss her on her neck. Apparently I'm going to have to think of a threat for if it happens again. Ahem.

Of course I'm not going to go all crazy and have the kid expelled or anything, just sayin...kissing my daughter on her neck with or without her permission is forbidden, comprende, Trenton? Don't make me call Mr. Fugi...:)


Halloween Bash 2009 @ my parents place.

Erica carved butterflies beautifully in the pumpkins :)

Just some random photo...I love the expression on Archer's face.

I think my favorite picture from the night...

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