Sunday, June 11, 2017


This morning Anna woke up at 5:30 to eat and then went back to sleep for a  hour. By 6:45 she was done with sleeping and ready to get out of that bed! I grudgingly got her up and took her into the living room, wishing for another hour or maybe two of sleep. I put her in the floor and surrounded her with toys and turned on Baby Einstein so I could maybe get one more wink. As I did, the thought occurred to me that she won't do this forever. She won't need me to get her out of bed and she won't need me to entertain her constantly. She'll only be little for another minute or so  (at least that's what it feels like) and as I lay on the couch watching her play, I decided I'm grateful for early Sunday. It's just my baby and me and a few toys and she needs me. I need her. And sleeping is for wimps!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

Dear Anna Elizabeth,
Today is our first official Mother's Day together. Technically I counted last year because you were growing very well inside of me, but this year you are here and we get to celebrate together. I assumed I would do this blogging thing better because I wanted you to have a pretty good record of your life. Unfortunately it's been about seven and a half months since I last posted and I'm doing a pretty crappy job with keeping a record. However I take lots of pictures and I post them on Instagram with captions so hopefully we'll be able to put the pieces together and you'll have an idea of your first year. I am so grateful for you for making me your mommy. You are one of  my greatest joys. This morning you woke early as you normally do, you ate (you still breastfeed) and then I turned on baby Einstein for you. That is one of your favorite things. If I turn on baby Einstein I can shower, do dishes, and blog! You are growing well. Rachel says you're chubby.  She's right. Your legs have rolls in all the right places and you have adorably chubby cheeks and a double chin. You are a very happy and relatively social baby. You enjoy people and don't mind being passed around. You love your daddy! You two have a game where you growl at each other. It's hilarious. You also love your sissy Dalynne. She has lots of games she plays with you. I need you to know that you are loved! You bring so much joy to this dark world. I am convinced that Heavenly Father saved you for "such a time as this". I know that He loves you more than I can possibly express to you. I love you too my Lizzie!
Love Mom

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Sleepless nights

Dear Anna Elizabeth,
This post is a result of some musings I had last night around 3.  You had been fed and burped and you were wide awake. I stood in the lamplight, rocking you, willing you to go back to sleep so that I could and it hit me how fleeting time really is. How many more nights will you wake to eat and just want to be snuggled by mama? Already at 6 weeks I feel you are growing way too fast. I already miss the tiny you that came home from the hospital. Already I'm dreading going back to work and not spending all day, every day with you. I realized as I rocked you back to sleep at 3 a.m. that you will grow quickly. I realized that it's already time to start teaching you the things you will need to survive this world. Yesterday we spent the day watching General Conference. I was called to repentance by many of the talks and realized I need to do better to make sure we start gospel teaching early so that you have the best chance of having the tools to make it through life and back to your Father in Heaven who held you not so long ago. Sometimes when I feed you in the bedroom, you stare at the picture of Jesus on the wall above the bed and I am convinced that you recognize Him. In my patriarchal blessing it states that I was close to my Father in Heaven and His son Jesus Christ. I'm convinced that you were too. I've decided we need to read scriptures and pray together regularly to get you in the habit early in life. Lizzie, I pray that you continue to be strong. To remember, at least a little, the love that you have for your Savior and the love He feels for you.  I also love you my little Anna. I'm so grateful that I get to be your mama. I pray that we will be close and that you will always remember who you are. Love, Mom

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Birth Story

Dear Anna Elizabeth,
Today I wanted to write down your birth story so that we'd have a record for when I've completely blocked it from my memory... you know in the case where I decide I want another baby.  It all started on August 17.  We were told to go to the hospital at 7:30 am to start the induction.  Dad and I didn't do much sleeping the night before.  We were up and ready to go very early.  After a quick stop at McDonalds for my last meal, we headed into Salt Lake.  We arrived a little after 7 and got checked in and assigned to the labor and delivery room.  I tested positive for group b strep so I had to receive a couple of doses of penicillin to protect you as you came out.  Around 8 they started me on the penicillin and a slow dose of pitocin.  The nurse Caitlyn was in often, checking vitals and making sure all was well.  She was a really great nurse.  She was also pregnant and expecting a boy in October,  Around 10 she came in and told me the anesthesiologist was going to be doing a c section soon so if I wanted an epidural I should maybe think about getting it now, or I might have to wait a few hours.  I decided it was a good idea to go ahead with it.  To be honest, I was really scared about it.  I'd heard so many bad stories about epidurals gone wrong and the size of the needle... it was nerve wracking.  Caitlynn assured me that the anesthesiologist was the best one in the hospital and it was going to be fine.  He came in and had me face away from him hunched over a pillow.  The good thing was I never saw anything he was doing- including the giant needle.  Dad sat in front of me and gripped my hands. It only hurt for a minute and then all I felt was numbness all through my legs and feet.  After that every time a contraction came I only knew about it because it showed up on the screen.  For the rest of the day we just hung out.  Pam came to visit and Grandma G. came for awhile.  As the day progressed, I was checked a few times and things went very slowly. Around 10 pm the doctor came in and said I could start doing practice pushes. He also mentioned that you had a bowel movement on the womb so the nicu people were going to be there when you were born to make sure everything was okay. With your dad on one side and a nurse on the other, I began pushing. I pushed...and pushed...and pushed...for an hour and a half until I was completely exhausted. My upper back and shoulders were so sore that every contraction it was incredibly difficult to even want to continue. Fundamentally I knew that I couldn't stop, but I didn't want to keep going. The doctor came in again and checked me but you weren't dropping into the birth canal. He went out to consult with another doctor, the resident surgeon, and while he was gone I told Dad that if Dr. Kasteler came back and suggested a c section I'd do it. I didn't want one, had so many complaints about people doing emergency c sections; but at that point I didn't care, I just wanted you out.  Dr
 Kasteler came back and said he thought you were really big and that was keeping you from dropping so he recommended a c section. I quickly agreed and they brought the anesthesiologist in to get me ready for surgery. They wheeled me in and warned me that the operating room was cold. Once we got in there, I started shivering uncontrollably and I couldn't pay attention to anything except the shivering. The anesthesiologist stayed very close and kept the drugs pumping into my system, and he kept talking to me to make sure I was okay. Dad stood on my left side and watched the doctors work. I was completely unaware of everything going on below my sternum. Dad took a couple of pictures while they were working. The nicu people were ready in the nursery next to the operating room and we'd been told that as soon as you were born they'd send you through the window and Dad could go in to watch them. When you came out your umbilical cord was wrapped twice around your neck and you were very small. I heard you cry briefly before you were taken away. The doctor was surprised by your size,  but said that if you had dropped the umbilical cord thing would have been dangerous but since you stayed high you were fine. The doctor said time of birth was 12:50 am. The nicu people took you into the nursery and a nurse took Dad, and they checked for meconium, and got a little bit out, but it wasn't major. When they weighed you, you only weighed 6 lbs 10 oz. You were 21 inches long so super tall but really skinny. They got me all stapled up and Dad brought me some pictures he'd taken of you, but due to the extreme convulsions and the fact that I was freezing, I had a hard time paying attention. I do remember saying that you were beautiful and not at all funny looking. Confession: I was terrified you were going to come out ugly. I was happily surprised by how adorable you were. When I was all stitched up they laid you next to me on the bed and wheeled us back to our room. After a few minutes, we did skin to skin and got ready to try nursing. You latched right on and ate for 45 minutes. It felt very surreal. Around 3, they moved us from labor and delivery into maternity. They told me since you were so small compared to your gestational age they wanted to keep an eye on your blood sugar before you fed the first few times. Each time it came back normal. Realistically you could have had so much wrong with you, but you were literally perfect. We were in the hospital until Saturday night. It's hard to remember the details of our stay, but we had visitors: Grandma G., Grandma Dette, Aunt Pam, Aunt Sarai, Aubrey, Tierny, Aunt Cherie, Dalynne, Grandpa G., Kayla, and Greg. (I think that was all... I'll edit if I remember more.) We watched the Olympics and slept and you ate okay, but Saturday you didn't eat as much as I felt you should, but you were doing good weight wise, so the nurse, Marguerite told me not to worry too much. Also on Saturday you had your first bath. I got to watch and take pictures.  Kayla tried to do newborn pictures Saturday morning, but we kept getting interrupted so we only got a few, but she came again when you were just over 2 weeks old. At your two week doctors appointment you weighed 7 lbs 11.6 oz and were 21.5 inches. You eat well, sleep pretty well, and you keep getting cuter! Now you are 1 month old and you are still perfect and we love you so much!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

41 weeks

Dear Anna Elizabeth,
 Today I am 41 weeks pregnant. Like I said last post, you are a stubborn little girl! Last night I didn't sleep well. I keep having contractions that don't do much. At my appointment yesterday I was only dilated to a 2. The doctor is going to induce tomorrow. This morning I got a call from the hospital telling me what to do before we get there. I have been looking forward to this for roughly 36 weeks, but to be totally honest I am scared. Keeping you healthy and safe inside of me was relatively easy. I didn't change my lifestyle very much at all.
 You grew and developed just like you were supposed to, but now comes the fun part. The part where your dad and I become totally responsible for the person you become. The world is a frightening place.  There is so much hate and evil and yet so much joy and happiness. I prayed last night that I would have the intuition to do what is best for you. I pray all the time that I can be the mom you need to navigate your way through it. I'm scared that you will grow up too fast, that I will forget to live in the moment, that you and I will not be close. I'm scared that in six short weeks I will have to go back to work and leave you to be raised by someone who isn't me. I'm worried about messing up and all of these worries and fears may be irrational, but they are real and I'm just trying to wrap my head around everything before you come out. I promise to love you forever. I promise to do my very best with you. I can't wait to see your face.
Love Mom

Friday, August 5, 2016

39 weeks 4 days

Dear Anna Elizabeth,
I have learned something about you that I probably should have figured... you are one stubborn little girl. Starting at 36 weeks we've had appointments every week and you are rather content floating around in your balloon. Last appointment at 39 weeks I was dilated to 1 cm. Grandma and I believe that Anna is holding you hostage. Just another way to mess with me. Your dad and I are anxious for your arrival. I'm super uncomfortable and it's hot! We put the car seat in the car yesterday, so we're ready for you! The doctor promised me that he wouldn't let me go more than a week past the due date, but I'd be more content if you decided to come on your own. We are so excited to meet you.
Love, Mom

Saturday, July 16, 2016

36 weeks 5 days

Dear Anna Elizabeth,
It's been a really long time since I wrote. Things have been hectic and I've been trying to get everything ready for you. I've had all three of my baby showers, one for the ward thrown by Monique Melnychuk and Emily Gunnell, then one thrown by Aunt Nicole for friends and family and finally one thrown by Aunt Cherie. Lynae was in town for Nicole's shower which was awesome. I got a lot of really cute clothes for you, lots of diapers and wipes, and some fun toys and books. Grandma has the top of your sensory quilt done and we showed it at each shower. After the last shower your dad and I went to Babies R Us and bought some essentials like a super nice stroller and changing pad for the top of the dresser. I've been spending the last few days washing clothes for you. Many people gave me hand me downs and there are so many clothes! You will be one very well dressed little lady.
I am down to weekly appointments with the doctor. He is checking your progress and you are head down but not progressing really. I haven't started dilating yet, but we are in the final stretch! Just 3ish weeks till we see your beautiful face! We are so excited and a little nervous. Only a bit of time until our life changes.  Can't wait to see you. I love you!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

27 weeks 5 days

Dear Anna Elizabeth,
Today I am 27 weeks and 5 days pregnant with you. I'm very excited for your arrival, mostly because I am incredibly uncomfortable! Being pregnant at 37 years of age is not what I imagined for my life and I'm pretty sure it would be easier if I were younger. That being said I don't regret
any choices that I have made or the lateness of your arrival. I am still really scared about raising a child in today's world. Looking at politics and the way that governments are run and seeing the arguments that come from people making choices that I feel are wrong there is a lot to be desired when it comes to living righteously. Still I am grateful for the opportunity to help you to get your body and live your Earthly life. I hope and pray that I will be able to teach you the things that you need to do and to know so that your life will be an example to those around you and so that you will have the tools to conquer this earth life and be able to return to your heavenly father. There's a lot of pressure these days to make sure that you are raised properly with manners and that you are not spoiled or "helicoptered" and that you have the tools you need to survive. In my patriarchal blessing it tells me to teach my children to pray as I pray. Right now I'm not awesome at praying and I hope to get better at it so I can know exactly what I need to do as your mom. It's going to be a really big job to raise you appropriately. I'm a little scared, but willing to try.
I love you!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

25 weeks

Dear Anna Elizabeth,
It is early Sunday morning and I am wide awake although I'd much rather be sleeping. Last night started a massive wind storm that made sleeping difficult, but this morning it's pregnancy discomfort making sleeping difficult. I have some sort of weird pain in my left thigh that acts up and makes sleeping positions very uncomfortable. Add that to the hip pain from my ever growing belly and the fact that I can no longer sleep on my stomach or back and you have a recipe for insomnia. Work has been hard the last few weeks as you continue to grow and constantly move. I'm happy that you are growing well, but the fact remains that pregnancy is just not comfortable! In case it sounds like I'm blaming you, I'm not. I'm just feeding you the harsh reality of your existence. Feeling you move and imagining what you'll look like and be like is amazing. You have been the product of my dreams for many years. I'm anxious to hold you in my arms and teach you everything you need to know to conquer this world. In the meantime, I'm excited to carry you safely for another 14 weeks. Stay safe in there little girl! Time will pass too fast as it is. I love you lots baby girl. Love, Mom.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

21 weeks

Dear Anna Elizabeth,
Today is General Conference.  I have been able to feel you move for about 2 weeks, but today you are playing acrobat.  As I sit and listen to church leaders, you are making your presence rather known. Every time President Uchtdorf speaks you turn flips.  I like him too, so apparently you have good taste!  I've been very sick this week.  It started as being very achy which I attributed to you.  I woke up Tuesday with a headache and scratchy throat.  I went to work for an hour and a half, then came home and slept.  When I woke up the achy feeling was gone, but I woke up Wednesday with headache, sore throat, and earache.  I called the doc and he called in a prescription for my ear and told me to get over the counter cold medicine.  I worked for 4 hours, then came home.  Thursday I woke up so dizzy I called out of work.  Friday was the same.  Finally Saturday I woke up feeling somewhat normal, so I picked up Dalynne and spent conference Saturday with Grandma, working on your sensory quilt.  We've decided instead of doing a wrap you up quilt, we're making a floor quilt, that you can practice tummy time, while being entertained by lots of different textures, and sensory activities.  It's been fun to choose blocks that will hold your attention and to find material that is fun to touch and look at.  It's going to be very different from anything we've made before, but that's most of the fun.  I don't like the ordinary.  I went with Aunt Nicole to register at Babies R Us for things for you.  We've also registered at Target and decided to stay in our apartment instead of finding a house right now.  While thinking about how to make our small space work, we've figured out how we can rearrange Dalynne's room so you can share.  We're going to decorate with flamingos.  I have found so many cute decorations and things that will help us get the theme across.  If it turns out the way I'm imagining, it will be a fun place for you to live.  Well, I think that about sums up the last little bit.  We are getting more and more excited to meet you everyday.  Please stay where you are safe and sound for another 18 or so weeks!  You are growing just right and doing so well.  I love you Lizzie!  Love, Mom

Sunday, March 13, 2016

It's a girl!

Dear Anna Elizabeth,
This week we learned that you are a girl and we are thrilled. Last night we threw a gender reveal to let our families and friends know. It was a lot of fun. Now knowing that you are a girl, we can start registering for things and getting ready for your arrival. Aunt Nicole keeps asking what we have so far and the truth is, not much. We've found the car seat we want and we're considering some other things, but we haven't done much to get ready for you yet. We have 21 weeks still so I'm not freaking out yet but we need to start.
On a personal note, I have been waiting for you my whole adult life. I have dreamed my first baby would be a girl for 20 years. Little did I know I'd have to wait this long for your arrival. So very little in my life has gone according to "plan". I hope that you and I are always close. I hope that we will always strive to be a close knit family. I hope that you are close to your sister Dalynne. I hope that we have lots of love for each other and Heavenly Father. I hope the spirit will always be in our home. I love you Lizzie! I can't wait to meet you. Love Mom.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Dear Baby...

It's been a really long time since I've blogged.  I want to pretend that I might do it again soon, but it's been hit and miss for commitment lately... as in I'm scared to commit because I don't follow through.  I just pulled out my journal, where I made a new years resolution to write daily, in 2014. My last entry was January 3 of that year... I'm awesome!  Anyhow, most of my readers (all 3 of you) know that I'm pregnant.  We found out December 8.  When I was young and apparently less busy, I decided it would be fun to write letters to my baby while I was pregnant, so s/he would have some sort of personal history to start with.  I wrote on my phone December 8-10 and then nothing... see I told you I was awesome at commitment.  SO anyway here I am... attempting to do a better job of writing letters to Baby McDonald (or as Allen fondly calls it Pre-jit).  I thought if I blogged it I would do a better job of keeping it up.  We'll see...

Dear Baby,
I am nearly 18 weeks pregnant and we are just days away from the ultra sound to find out if you are Anna Elizabeth or Kaden Allen.  We have had names chosen for years and years.  If you are Anna Elizabeth, we will call you Lizzie.  Your name came from my best friend when I was 19 and 20. Anna was a lady I met because of Grandma and Dee's.  She was a regular who was 30 years older than me and had a goal to corrupt my mothers children.  It was because of Anna that I saw my first R rated movie at age 19... it was Pretty Woman.  Anna was a dear.  She loved me like the daughter she never had.  We went to dinner, took a road trip together to visit her mom in Idaho, and hung out scrapbooking and just chatting.  When I turned 21 Anna wanted to take me to Vegas to teach me how to gamble, but I'd received my mission call and we didn't have time for the trip before I had to report to the MTC.  She assured me we'd go when I got home.  We never made it.  Anna was killed 5 months into my mission.  Your name came from a conversation we had once.  I told her I loved the name Elizabeth and someday would name my first daughter that.  She told me I should name her Anna and I argued that I wanted her to be Lizzie.  She told me I could name her Anna Elizabeth and still call her Lizzie.  I agreed that was a beautiful name.  After she died, it became a memorial and I've been waiting 16 years to make it happen.  If you are Kaden Allen, you are also named for an outstanding person.  Your grandma Karen, Allen's mom died when your dad was just 16.  Allen wanted a name that would honor her name, and since Cherie used the name Kearen for a girl, we decided we'd use Kaden and make your name what we consider the boy equivalent of Karen.  I have always wanted a girl, because of the whole Anna thing, but I adore the name Kaden Allen, and so if you happen to be a boy I will love it.  I am struggling right now, trying to figure out what to do once you're born.  Our apartment is much too small for all of us, and I never wanted to have to work once I had a baby.  We can't move right away and me working is inevitable, so I will have faith and trust that God will take care of us.  The way I figure it, He sent you to us now and He'll provide.  I just need to believe it.  Well I think that's all for tonight.  I'll try to write again soon and let you know how things are going.  Love Mom

Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's okay to be real

My last blog post got a lot of attention. Not necessarily the attention I wanted. I'm okay. I am making my life happy. I am struggling daily with being who I want to be, but I haven't given up yet. I'm still here and I'm still striving.  Today in relief society we are talking about being grateful in trials and a sister just said it's okay for us to be real. At the beginning of the attention I was considering deleting my last post but I won't because it was real. I struggle. I strive to be what I want to be and sometimes I fail. And that's real. I wake up everyday and I work on it. And I'm happy. And Heavenly Father knows me and loves me and will continue to bless me and that's real and therefore I'm okay.

Sunday, August 10, 2014


I'm not sure anyone still even reads this blog besides me and I'm not sure why I've gone so long without posting, but a lot of things in my life aren't what I wish they were so I guess the blog is just one of those things.  I titled this post confession because it's time I came clean with so many aspects of my life.  I am not the person I wish I were.  I'm struggling a lot with who I want to be.  You know the single me thought that if I got married everything would be awesome.  The realist me understands that that isn't real and not possible and silly.  I'm not unhappy in my marriage, lest any of you fear that this post is about that.  Overall I am happy and I am living the fairy tale and the life I always wanted to.  On the other hand, I am seriously lacking.  I've blogged before about all the ways I need to change so that I can be happy, but I am the queen of 30 second conversion moments that don't stick.  Here's the confessions:  I don't read my scriptures nearly often enough.  Praying is for some reason really hard for me.  I feel like all I do is work and sleep and start over.  My work is not fulfilling.  All it really is is a paycheck, and I'm so in debt it's barely covering stuff.  I'm not good at budgeting, not good at studying, not good at anything useful.  I am barely hanging on, and it's not okay.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Quiet Sunday Morning

"Early" Sunday mornings are very quiet at our house.  Allen takes advantage of late church to sleep in and as much as I wish I could my body wakes up just before 8 with a need for relief.  Some Sundays I satisfy that need and snuggle back up with my husband, but today I decided to get up and shower before the bathroom gets hectic with everyone else (we have Dalynne this weekend).  As I showered I thought about my myriad of blessings and my testimony of Heavenly Fathers timing.  In my kitchen hangs a plaque given to me by my dear friend Aubrey.  It's a quote by Jeffrey R. Holland that reads "Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don't come until heaven, but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come."  I've been thinking a lot about that.  I used to really like Elder Scott's talk about how no righteous woman would be denied the blessings of Eternal Marriage, even if she had to wait until heaven.  I embraced the possibility, joking with my young women at one point that Captain Moroni was just waiting for me to join him.  I read through that talk the other day with the new perspective of my eternity with Allen and I just smiled to myself knowing that I have it here.  15 months ago I was totally sure that the promise of a husband for eternity would come to me after death.  This week I've really been focused on getting pictures from our wedding developed and framed in our house.  It makes me smile to look at the pictures and know that because we were sealed in the Temple we have literally forever.  What do people think in their wedding ceremonies when they hear "Til death do you part?"  I can't imagine!  Even though 6 months later I still have moments when being married feels surreal to me, I am so grateful for my loving husband.  I am so blessed.  Heavenly Father is aware of us.  He knows who we are and what we need and He provides.  Sometimes we have to be patient.  Sometimes we think we need something before he's prepared to give it to us, but He is aware and He blesses His children.  Today that is my testimony.

Monday, January 13, 2014

The New Normal

I've started four or five drafts in the last few months but they don't say what I want to say so I end up deleting them.  It's been nearly 5 months since the wedding and nearly 5 months since I updated the blog.  On the one hand life goes on as normal, on the other hand nothing is normal!!!!  Allen and I have had a great time getting settled.  We've learned each others patterns and we've learned what makes the other crazy and what makes the other happy, and I'm excited to continue getting to know my husband.  One thing I've learned is that my husband is successful at anything he wants to be successful at.  Right after the honeymoon, he started a job with Marketsource, selling cell phones at Target.  He works at the Riverdale store and he's wildly successful!! He's made a good amount of money and he goes to work daily loving what he does and the people he gets to work with.  It's rough because I go to work at 8 am and get off at 6 pm and he goes to work between 10 and 12 and gets off at 8.  He rides the bus, since it's pretty far from our house to Riverdale, which means he gets home about 9:45 every night.  It doesn't give us a huge lot of time together, but we are lucky to both have Sundays off.
It's amazing to me to look back over the last year and see all the changes that we have made.  We were barely starting dating last year at this time and now we're married and settling into our life together.  It's a big adjustment for my brain.  I look at my still single friends and just think to myself how quickly things can change.  A short 15 months ago I had reconciled with my single life and 12 months ago it abruptly changed! It's still rather surreal to me.  I look at my hand and see my ring and wonder when I'm going to wake up from the best dream I've ever had.  Then I am reminded that this is my life and I welcome the new normal.

Saturday, October 5, 2013


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

16 days...

8 months ago today I was barely thinking about Allen in the context of a potential boyfriend and today we're 16 days away from getting married!  Time has FLOWN!! I thought when we set our wedding date in January that 7 1/2 months was such a long time and now, I can't figure out where the time has gone. Not that I'm complaining because I so can't wait to be married to this amazing man, but I feel like I'm unprepared for all I have to do to be ready in 16 short days.  Realistically I'm mostly done with everything.  Allen has received his endowment, my dress is being picked up from the alteration place Thursday, the tuxedo has been ordered, and we both have shoes.  I have my bridals scheduled for Saturday, I've had 4 showers, the bachelorette party is tomorrow, and Allen's bachelor party is a week from Thursday.  His mom and family have been crazy busy getting the back yard ready for the reception, we've been to 3 different temples getting Allen somewhat used to the endowment ceremony because our Stake President said it was important for us to go often so he could see the progression between endowment and sealing. We're pretty much ready but I'm still worried I won't feel like I've done enough.  Is it possible for any bride to feel totally secure that her plans are solid and everything will go exactly according to plan?  I mean realistically it's already not going completely according to plan.  People who I wanted to invite are lost, people who I wanted to be in the temple with us won't be, family that lives far away won't be able to make the trip.  It's bittersweet because I realize that I don't need anyone but me and Allen and 2 witnesses and a sealer to make it happen, but it's hard when there are people you want to share with who can't make it.  On the other hand, Allen and I will be sealed for eternity.  That in and of itself makes everything completely and totally worth whatever we've put into it and I'm super excited for our future.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Engagement Pictures

We had decided to let my mom take our engagement pictures to save some money and also because she's a pretty decent photographer.  We had to do a Sunday afternoon because my mom works at a reception center and is in the midst of wedding season.  We chose to do them yesterday.  It was hot!!  It was not the greatest day to be out, but with summer only getting hotter we had little choice.  We got ready and headed out behind Mom and Dad's house which is on the Jordan River Parkway.  We didn't take a ton of shots, but we got ones that we really liked.  Here is a preview:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

We've Decided on Eternity

It's no secret that Allen and I were planning on getting married in August.  It's also no secret to people who have been paying attention that we have most of the details of the wedding planned.  Many people have asked and wondered why we were moving forward when we weren't technically engaged and Allen would always answer that he'd decide when it would happen and at least he knew the answer to the question when he asked it.  A few months ago, he showed me the ring that he wanted to buy to make sure I would like it.  Last week he bought it and I knew he had and also that it was the wrong size.  He took it to get sized and we went and picked it up last Monday.  Knowing he'd been planning for a long time and knowing that he had the ring and it was sized, I was becoming a little (okay a lot) anxious.  I wanted my ring on my finger... his answer when I'd ask was always "I'll decide."  Last night we were having a conversation about it and it was slightly after midnight.  He asked when I wanted it and I said yesterday.  He told me it wouldn't be yesterday and it wouldn't be tomorrow.  I told him it was after midnight so that still left today.  He didn't say anything.  This morning he was off work and when I talked to him he said he was staying in bed because he was so tired.  I went to work, but left my cell phone, purse, and everything home.  At 12:30 one of my cooks handed me a note and said Allen said I was supposed to give you this at exactly 12:30.  I opened the note and it read, "About our plans, I kinda lied, Go to my dad's shop to find out why."  He had told me one of his friends was coming up today to play games with us, so I shouldn't make any plans.  I told him I wanted to go to the temple after work but I'd be home by like 4.  He agreed.  Little did I know....  I got off work at 1 and headed off to his dad's shop.  I walked in and his brother in law Jared handed me my cell phone, which Allen had gone to my house to get when he realized I hadn't taken it to work with me, and taken to the shop so I could do the next step.  Wrapped around my cell phone was a post- it note that read, "Your mom holds the key to your adventure.  Call her and go meet her to get what you need."  I called my mom and told her about the note and she told me she was at work till 6 so I could either wait, or come there.  I told her I'd be there in a half hour.  I drove out to Sandy and met her at work, showed her the note, and she handed me two small keys and told me to go visit Allen's grandma, the little one not the crazy one.  I smiled knowing exactly what was next and got in my car to drive to Kearns.  Now remember I've left the house purseless, and so I have no license, no wallet, nothing but my cell phone.  I had just over a quarter tank of gas and so I knew if I did much more running around I'd be in trouble, so I stopped at the bank and withdrew some money for emergency sake.  On my way out to Kearns, I stopped at McDonalds to get something to eat and drink because I'd started my day with a pop tart and that was all I had eaten.  I went to Grandma Carters house and she was just leaving, but I caught her and she tried desperately to remember the clue.  She knew it had something to do with a walk and a spot, but couldn't remember quite what she was supposed to say. She said "Don't tell him I forgot but he said you once walked from one temple to another and you have a spot.  Do you know what that means?  I hope I didn't tell you something I wasn't supposed to."  I assured her that I knew just where to go, thanked her, and left.  In 2011 when we did the temple walk with the youth, Sister Dalton encouraged us to find "our spot" on the Temple.  She told us to pick a spot and put our hands on it and then when we met our Eternal Companion to take him or her to that spot and put our hands together on that spot and tell them about our experience walking to the temple, and then when we had children to take them to that spot and put their hands on it and tell them about the experience.  A few months ago I had taken Allen to my "spot" and told him about it.  That's where he was waiting today.  On the southwest corner of the temple about chest high on one of the corners is my spot.  Allen was sitting on a bench and a box was sitting next to him.
 He asked me if I had what I needed and I pulled the keys out of my pocket and opened the box.  Inside I found this:
 Can I keep you has always been kind of a joke with us.  It's a line from Casper and it's something we say to each other all the time.  In this case though it was absolutely perfect and so so sweet.  I turned to him and said "Yes, you can keep me."  He then removed the ring from the box, got down on one knee, and said "Julianne, will you marry me" and slid the ring onto my finger.  Of course I said yes!

Sorry, there are no pictures of the actual engagement because his phone was dead and my camera was in my purse... at home.  After he asked me, we sat on the wall by the temple and talked about the journey and the surprise and I sat admiring my ring in the sun. A Temple Square hostess came walking by and said, "Oh she finally came."  After sitting for a few minutes Allen asked me if I wanted to go to Build a Bear.  I had mentioned a while back that I had never been there and I thought it would be a fun date.  We rode the train to the Gateway and walked in.  The lady asked what we were looking for specifically and I told her we needed a Bride and a Groom bear.  We told her we had just gotten engaged and she congratulated us and we went to find our bear.  I found one that had hearts on the ears and the feet in pink and blue so I got the pink and Allen got the blue.  We then picked a sound, mine makes kissing noises and his sings You don't know you're beautiful.  We stuffed them and "bathed" them and then went to find bride and groom outfits.  Mine came with a dress. garter, veil and bouquet, His with a tux where he could choose between bow tie and long tie.  We dressed them and then went to fill out their birth certificates and give them names.  Allen's alias is Sidshobob.  He uses it as his username, email address, Wii character, etc.  He was going to name his bear Sidshobob, but I had chosen to name mine Mrs. McDonald so he followed suit and named his Mr. McDonald.  

After Build a Bear, he offered to take me to dinner, so we went to the Olive Garden where we both ordered Ravioli that was AMAZING!  After dinner we decided to go to Arctic Circle, so Allen could fill up a mountain dew bottle and I could show off to my co workers.  On our way, I saw that it was 10 to 6 so I asked him if we could stop by the bank first, since they were about to close.  The bank is next door to Arctic, it's where all of my work deposits go and all of my accounts are there, so I'm pretty close with the 4 women who work there.  We walked in and I showed off the ring.  They heard the quick version of what happened and then we went to Arctic to show them.  We then came home so I could change out of work clothes and get my purse.  We then went to see my sister Kristina, his Aunt Jean, and his parents.  I was very impressed with my surprise.  I had a great day and I'm so happy that I soon get to be Mrs. McDonald. So for all of you that were worried about it being official, you can stop worrying.  We are legitimately engaged.  I'm so happy and I love Allen McDonald!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mothers Day 2013

Today for the first time in my entire life, I am not spending Mothers Day with my mom.  Today I have the opportunity to spend it with my future mother in law and the rest of Allen's family and as I thought about that I realized that I've been kind of spoiled to not have to choose sides for holidays.  Today it begins... today I have to start the great compromise that all married couples have to endure and start picking sides.  Because of that, I decided to do a little blog shout out to my mom.  Since I don't get to see her today and I don't have a card for her, I'm going to do it on cyberspace and hopefully she reads it.  My mom has been my best friend for a long time.  She is constantly watching out for me and making sure I'm making good decisions and living up to my full potential.  I know that raising me wasn't easy.  I was often referred to by a specific four letter word:  brat.  It's nice to know that some of that wore off and now we're buddies.  We do lots of things together.  In fact, I've been kind of spoiled because I got to be an "only child" for a few years after all my brothers and sisters were married.  My mom and I still hang out, we have season tickets to a theater, we get pedicures together, cook together.  Since Allen entered my world, I fear my mom got a little back burnered. Now when we hang out he is often invited so I'll stay longer.  I really don't want to lose my hang outs with mom so I have to learn how to balance the boy and the mom.  It's hard to do and I see her a lot less now than usual.  Anyway, I want her to know how much I love and appreciate all she does for me.  I want her to know that I'm sorry I'm not with her today, but that I'm thinking about her.  I want her to know that she means the world to me and I'm so grateful for our relationship and I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father let her be my mommy.  I love you, Mom!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Life goes on

It surprised me when I logged onto my blog today and saw that my last post was in February.  Where did March go?  I often complain that August is so far away but here I am losing entire months without even noticing.  I'm sure the few of you who actually read my blog are thinking you're missing out on something amazing, but really life has mostly returned back to normal, with the exception of this extra person who is always around.  That sounded a bit like complaining.  Let me assure you it is not.  We have settled into dating life almost as if we were married.  Allen and I literally spend every waking moment outside of work together.  I was reading my friend Nicole's blog today in fact and realizing that it's been awhile since I did that too and then realized that life is swallowing me.  I talked to someone a few weeks ago about cherishing the days, but I've never done that well, even before Allen.  I used to complain that my life was like the movie Groundhog Day.  I wake up every day and do the same things, and the only things that changed it were the mini crises at work.  Now I'm back to that, except that now when I get off work I don't come home alone and I get taken out on dates.  That part is pretty great, but I realized the other day that I'm not entirely happy.  Here I am in what should be the most exciting time of my life and I'm not nearly as happy as I feel like I should be.  I think what really happened, was I let some of the important things in my life slip (prayer, scriptures etc.) when Allen and I started dating and that's really backwards.  I should be doing that stuff more not less.  It occurred to me the other day that I tend to have a one focus brain.  I get really excited about something and that's what consumes my mind.  I can't multitask in life.  I'm pro at multitasking at work, but focusing on 6 things in life at once sends me into a seizure!   Right now my brain is consumed with my lover boy and so work, blog, scriptures, and all the other things I used to be pretty good at have taken a back seat.  I need to get back on track.  I need to not be so consumed.  I need to recapture what I had and then add Allen into it, or I'm going to continue to be unhappy in the midst of my greatest happiness.  Today is a jumping off point for me.  I'm going to attempt to be better, to be stronger, to be happier!!  Wish me luck!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Busy busy busy

What do you get when you cross one very busy person with a boyfriend and a wedding to plan?  One VERY busy gal!!  We are feverishly trying to get everything planned and done and out of the way so that all of the rest of the 187 days till the wedding can be stress free (Ha ha, have you met me??) and it is crazy how much goes into this.  For those of you who feel like I've dropped off the face of the earth, you are correct!  Between work and wedding and spending time with my sweetie, I 'm not around much anymore.  It's funny to me how little time I have these days.  It's even funnier to me how little of that time I desire being away from Allen.  The time I have to spend at work is enough, thank you, to the point that when I'm not at work, it takes all my effort to want to be with anyone besides him.  My mom and I agreed in December that we'd get together every Wednesday and hang out and more often than not, Allen gets invited so I'll go.  It's all I can do to allow him time with his friends, which is only hard for them, because he also wants to be with me every chance we get.  We're that pathetic dating couple that wants to be left alone!!  Sorry everyone!  In the meantime, plans are coming along really well. Allen was ordained a priest 2 weeks ago and his Bishop is all about moving forward.  We are very happy and excited to continue on with our plans and have already made our appointment with the temple.  I spoke to my mission president who is a sealer at the Salt Lake Temple and he agreed to be there for us.  It's amazing to me how well everything is falling into place.  It's just another testimony to me that this is right.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


So it's been a few weeks since that life changing event and it's still pretty much amazing!!  Every so often I have small panic moments when I wonder if I'm going to wake up and realize this whole thing was the best dream I've ever had, but so far the whole thing is legitimate.  Allen met with his bishop last week.  He could see a huge change in Allen, which is huge since his bishop is his across the back fence neighbor and knows Allen and his family pretty well.  He told Allen that if he came to church for the next few weeks he could be ordained as a priest, then if everything moves forward like the bishop figured it would, he could be ordained an elder by Stake Conference in June, and then they could set up the temple recommend interview.  We decided then that we would set the wedding date for August 29th as that would give us a couple of months for Allen to receive his endowment before we are sealed.  The engagement is unofficial... being as how he hasn't asked yet and the ring is in his possession, not mine.  People often ask if we're doing it a little backwards and Allen reassures them by saying that with the wedding date set, it just means that he knows what I'm going to say when he asks.  We are starting plans and I'm so excited that it is happening faster than we expected.  I can't wait to be Mrs. Allen McDonald!!  I've been trying to get my MRS degree for years!! I am super grateful for all the support we've gotten.  I'm super grateful for Skype, because without it Allen would have to wait till the wedding to meet some of my favorite family.  I'm grateful to be in an incredibly loving relationship.  This makes everything I've ever felt for anyone else seem artificial.  This is real eternal love and it's not going away and I've never been so happy with the way things are going.  My Heavenly Father is seriously blessing me.  He knew it all along, I needed to figure something out during this long wait, but here we are, and we are moving blissfully forward.  I love Allen McDonald!!  I love that I get to say that!  I love that I get to kiss him!  I love that we fit so perfectly together and I have absolutely no doubt about this thing at all!  I'm so unbelievably happy!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

In a Relationship

It's amazing how much one's life can change in a short amount of time.  3 weeks ago I would have never imagined the changes that have occurred in my life in the last week.  Needless to say, I have figured out something I've been praying for, for years.  I found my future husband.  I found the man that I am going to spend the rest of eternity with and let's be honest... I can't stop smiling.  Let me tell you all what happened.  In December of last year, we hired a new cook at work named Allen.  He was close to my age, drank, smoked, and had been previously married.  I never looked at him as anything besides a coworker.  Each morning we would open together and since that affords you about two hours of time together we just talked about whatever was going on in our lives.  Fast forward about 9 months.  Allen had been put in charge of the training program at work and I was going to train him as a supervisor.  One Saturday morning, he failed to come to a training meeting and I thought that was pretty strange since he'd always been very punctual.  When he didn't show up for work, I knew something was wrong.  The Allen I knew didn't do that.  Pretty early after opening one of his friends came in and I asked him if he knew where Allen was.  He explained to me that Allen had gotten arrested the night before coming out of the bar.  I couldn't believe it.  I knew Allen had an interesting past, but he'd been doing so well and had even expressed to me how careful he was being to not go back to jail.  A few hours later, Allen's parents came in to talk to me.  They explained to me that Allen was hoping to keep his job and that they were sorry this had to happen and his mom cried a little and told me he was doing so well, she couldn't understand why.  The way it turned out though jail was the best thing that ever happened to Allen.  About 3 weeks after this, I received a letter addressed to everyone at Arctic Circle.  He explained how sorry he was that he was in jail and not with us, but that he would like to have some pen pals and would people please write him.  He also specifically asked for me and a girl named Kira to write, as he had important things to talk about with us both.  We went to the post office to get the necessary post cards and I sent off a letter that mostly talked about work and how much we missed him there, and didn't really say anything personal.  A few days later I got a letter explaining that jail was good for him because he was quitting drinking and smoking.  He was also reading the scriptures, and going to church.  He asked me to send some of my favorite scriptures.  I sent him a list of scriptures that had to do with mercy, and repentance, and encouraged him to continue on the path to change.  In the next few months (he was in jail about 3 months) we exchanged letters, and before long he was working at a food pantry and earning a little bit of money that he could buy phone cards with, so he called a few times.  I was always happy to talk to him, but still didn't think much of it.  He was set to get released on December 17, and about the beginning of December I started to wonder about my feelings for him.  As I analyzed how I felt in quiet moments, I realized that I no longer just thought of him as one of the cooks.  I started to have moments when I would wonder what it would be like to hold his hand or be held by him.  At first these feelings kind of panicked me.  Relationships are not allowed at work and I knew we'd be breaking some serious rules if I entered into such a relationship.  Also, with Allen's past being what it was I wasn't sure I could forgive him or  work out our differences.  On Sunday December 9, I was sitting in sacrament meeting where the youth speaker gave a talk about forgiveness, the next speaker talked about the prodigal son, and the last speaker spoke on charity.  I felt like each one was talking directly to me about Allen.  I wrote an entry in my journal describing my feelings, and I wondered if Allen felt anything for me.  In my mind there was nothing worse than discovering you have feelings that you don't really want about somebody only to have them not return your feelings.   I wasn't sure how to bring it up, so I waited for him to get out of jail.  On December 15, he called work and I was so excited to talk to him, but then as we talked I started feeling dejected because we didn't talk about anything personal.  The morning of the 17th I was a mess.  I didn't know what I would say or do but I had a lot of ideas in my head about how I thought it should go.  Shortly before 10, he knocked on the window and as I went to let him in I shot him a giant smile.  I opened the door and while holding the door with my foot, launched myself into his arms.  I found out later that it took him by surprise because we had never really had any physical contact.  His first words were, "Honey, I'm home!"  The rest of the day was kind of awkward.  I had ideas about what I wanted to happen but had no idea how to approach it.  Two weeks passed, and while I never really expressed my feelings, I think we both knew that something had changed.  On December 29, we were working together and I was talking to him.  I made this joke about him being my boyfriend and then laughed it off and immediately went to the office to text my friend Aubrey (who knew before he was out of jail that I liked him) and told her what I had said.  She told me to tell him that it wasn't a joke and I told her maybe I'd do it by text that night.  When I got home from work, I was trying to decide if I should tell him that I was only half joking and so I texted Aubrey again and she told me to flip a coin to decide whether or not to tell him.  Heads I send the message, tails I don't.  I grabbed a dime out of my change and threw it in the air.  It came down on tails, and my first thought was "No one flips a dime, you dummy.  If you really want this to work you need to flip a quarter."  So I went into my kitchen to find a quarter.  I flipped the quarter and got heads.  As I stared at that coin, I thought to myself, "Do or die."  I typed a quick message that read "Confession:  I was only half joking about the boyfriend thing."  I stared at it briefly and then hit send.  As I watched that message go away I was panic stricken.  What had I just done?  I then immediately texted Aubrey and told her I had done it.  Not too long passed when I received a text back from Allen that said "I know."  I was stunned!  I asked him what that meant and he asked what company policy was.  I told him it wasn't allowed but we could hide it.  He then asked if I wanted to try.  I told him I did want to try, because I was feeling very differently about him and wanted to know if it was something.  He had told me a few letters back that he wanted to be my personal genie and grant me three wishes and so now he asked me if this was one of my wishes.  I told him this probably equaled all three and he said he would only count it for one since this was something he wanted as well.  I told him we needed to talk about this face to face and we decided that we'd get together Sunday and talk about it.  From that moment on our text conversations got a lot more personal and I was overwhelmed, freaking out, and basically Butterflies had taken up habitation in my stomach.  I went to dinner that night with a friend and could hardly eat, let alone concentrate on anything going on around me.  In fact we had gotten together for the sole purpose of exchanging Christmas presents and I'd forgotten hers completely.  When I was driving home, my sister in law Nicole called and asked what was new so I told her.  It was weird to talk about it when it was so new, but I was pretty excited about the prospects of what was happening.  Later that night, I was on the phone with Aubrey and he sent me a text that said "did you go to sleep without saying good night?"  I assured him I hadn't and that I was just talking to Aubrey on the phone.  A little later I texted him that I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore so it was probably time to say goodnight.  He texted "sweet dreams, sleep with your angels and think of me."  I texted back "I've been thinking of you for weeks" to which he replied "Ditto Kiddo."  The butterflies went crazy again and between the cough that I've had since the middle of December and the butterflies, I think I got a total of about 3 hours of sleep that night.  Sunday he sent me a text wishing me a good morning and then we texted throughout the day.  He asked about church, told me he was bored at the birthday party he had to go to and was begging people to leave early.  He told me he'd probably be at my house around 10 and asked if that was too late and I told him I didn't care, because I couldn't wait another day to have this conversation.  He convinced his family to leave early so arrived at my house around 9:15.  Earlier he had asked me what was going to happen.  I told him we definitely had to talk, I would love to repeat the hug I got when he got out of jail, and whatever else happened happened.  When he got to my house, he knocked softly and I ran to the door.  When I opened it and he stepped in I gave him the hug I'd been craving and then kissed him.  Later we talked about who kissed who and he said I did it and I said he did it, but either way I think we both wanted it.  The next day I admitted to being the one who kissed him.  I'd been imagining it for weeks.  We sat down and the first thing I told him was that regardless his intentions, I was getting married in the temple.  He said he knew that and then said, "No offense, but I'm not going to the temple for you."  I told him I'd be offended if that was the reason he wanted to change his life and he absolutely had to do it for himself, not for me.  I then asked him how long he saw this going for, and he said, "I'm too old to start anything I'm not in for the long haul."  I agreed.  We talked about a lot of things that night.  We began delving into his past.  We asked a lot of questions.  We kissed some more.  I told him I wanted to be kissed at midnight on New Years Eve.  He asked me where I'd be.  I told him I'd be home in time.  He left pretty late that night and again I didn't sleep very well.  He wasn't working Monday but he told me he'd come in.  It was kind of hard, because we weren't telling people.  After work I went to my Grandma's house for our New Year's Eve party where I proceeded to tell my parents and grandma about him.  He texted me around 9:30 asking where I was and I told him I was at my grandmas and asked if he wanted me to leave and he said yes.  I left immediately and went home.  We met at my house and talked for 2 hours until just before midnight.  I turned on New Years Rockin' Eve and about a minute before midnight he started kissing me.  I pulled away and told him that I wanted to wait til midnight and he said he had to get 2012's kisses in.  About 20 seconds before the ball dropped I pulled back and we counted down from 10 seconds and then kissed again.  The next few days we decided we shouldn't keep the secret anymore so I called my boss to tell him and he told me Allen would have to be transferred, but that we could have a month to a month and a half so that he could train the cooks to replace him (he's really good at his job!) .  After Scott knew we decided to tell people at work.  We were met by looks of disbelief.  Almost no one took us seriously.  When I told my assistant manager that I had to transfer Allen because I was dating him she didn't believe me.  I called him into the office to tell her and he full on kissed me.  She freaked, my other supervisor shouted "I knew it!"  That night we made it Facebook official and people still didn't believe me.  We have spent time everyday since then together.  We've been out to dinner with friends and relatives, he's met my parents, we've been to his house and my nephew's birthday party.  The next Sunday we went to church together where I was grilled by the Bishop.  I told him I had never been more sure of anything in my life and I was going to marry Allen.  He told me he couldn't argue with that and assured me he was there if I needed anything.  We are now in the process of figuring out when Allen will be able to qualify for a temple recommend because that's the next stop.  We've been together less than 2 weeks and I've never been so happy.  I've never received a stronger answer to a prayer and I know that he's a changed person and I know that we will be together forever.  It's not going to be easy.  There are a lot of issues that need to be dealt with, but I've forgiven his past.  I love him more deeply than I've ever loved anyone.  We've talked about everything and anything and I know he is my Eternal Companion and that we will live and love forever.  That's really all that matters anyway and I'm really excited to get started!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Here are some pictures of my decorations including the wreath I made with Mom on Tuesday and the cute new nativity I got.  Merry Christmas!!
I wanted a snowman wreath to go with my idea of someday having a snowman themed Christmas.  We found the stuff at Hobby Lobby and this is what I came up with. 

When Mom and Dad moved she didn't want to take the Christmas village because she didn't know where she would put it.  I didn't want it to get taken to DI so I took it and set it up on my coffee table.

My Christmas tree.  Mom and Dad and Grandpa Piercy (who passed away November 7) are responsible for most of the ornaments on this tree.  Mom wanted to make sure when we were grown up we'd have enough ornaments to decorate a tree since she and Dad didn't when they got married.  It's been fun collecting the ornaments over the years and then reminiscing about where they came from every time I put up my tree. 

This was a gift from my visiting teachers a few years ago. 

This was a gift from my dear friend Nicole last year, and since it fits the snowman theme, it gets a special spot outside the front door. 

This is my newest snowman set.  A snowman nativity.  I love it!!

Christmas Countdown

I decided this year that instead of letting December get away from me like normal I would do something every day that reminded me of the season.  Whether it was reading a Christmas story or watching a movie, listening to Christmas music or going to see the lights I would make this December memorable.  I started by making a calendar and planning out the whole month.  So far it's been really good.  On the first, I was in Idaho so I took Santa Maybe with me and read it in my hotel room.  The second, since it was Sunday I looked up all the scriptures under the heading Jesus Christ, Birth of in the Topical guide and read them all. I also listened to the Forgotten Carols and read the story.  On the third, Mom and Dad came up to my house and helped me put up my Christmas tree and decorate.  The fourth, Mom and I decided to make wreaths and listen to Christmas music.  Then when I got home I put up the Christmas village and watched White Christmas.  The fifth, we made a few Christmas treats.  Tonight, I'm watching the Forgotten Carols DVD and eating Christmas treats.  It's been fun so far and I'm excited to continue.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 22

Happy Thanksgiving! Today I am grateful for so many blessings. I am so grateful that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that I believe in a living prophet and continuing revelation.  I'm grateful for eternal families and the opportunity to spend time with some of them today.  I'm grateful for the opportunity to be in Arizona with my brother's family today and to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with them.  The kids want to list all the things they are thankful for and it can go on and on.  I love it.  I'm so grateful that I live in this free country and that I have the opportunity to vote and make my voice heard.  I'm so grateful for the blessing of prayer and for the support I feel from my Heavenly Father.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have this day of gratitude to help me focus on how many blessings I really have.

Friday, November 23, 2012

November 21

Today I am grateful that we had a safe drive to Arizona.