Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Scripture! Short & Sweet

We just got back from Wyoming with my parents (YAY!) , so I am limited on my spiritual thoughts and insights for the evening, but I actually thought this was quite appropriate since we were sort of camping!! :)

1 Nephi 2:15
" And my father
dwelt in a tent ."

Speaking of which I should be dwelling in my bed as I type!

Love to you

Friday, September 25, 2009

Flashback Friday!!! Here Comes the Pitch!

I have a brother who is 6 years my junior and man, do I love that kid!! OK so he isn't a kid anymore but in my mind I still picture him as a kid. I was scrolling through my pictures and this one just gave me a happy little feeling in the pit of my stomach as I studied it. You see my brother played Baseball from the moment he was cut from my mother's womb, my Dad had been waiting for a very long time to finally get "his boy". In fact he had us all named Jack until he found out we were girls and then when he got my brother is was like life had just handed him the best gift ever! Now I never really fully appreciated the whole father and son thing until I had my little boy and now when I watch Jimmy and James it just brings me joy! Back to the field, well my brother played spring ball, fall ball and all the seasons of ball there is, and in Vegas that means year round! My Dad never missed a game or a practice and most of the time my Mom was right there too, it was often a family thing to go watch him play.

When Jack reached High School he was the pitcher, well actually, if you know anything about the grooming of baseball players they are placed at a very young age in the position that they have the "most potential" in, so he had been doing it awhile. This stage of his playing was probably my favorite to watch, I would go to the games with my parents and sit in the hard bleachers and cheer him on. I loved watching him standing on top the pitchers mound as he took his side step position, waiting for the sign from the catcher, occasionally shaking his head no, eying home plate and any possible runners, then lifting his right leg, lunging forward, releasing the ball and then, my favorite part, "Strieeek" the ump would grunt! I remember hearing the reactions from other parents in the stands "Oh man did you see Jack's curve ball!" or "Man, that kid has an arm!" I was sooo proud of him! I wanted to just yell out "Yup, that's my little brother!"
He wore number 14 and my voice could always be heard above the others, yelling "Strike 'em out 14, you can do it!" I miss those days!

I don't know that I have ever told Jack how happy watching him play made me, or how proud I am of him now as well! Jack has had some struggles, as many of us have, but I sure love him and I am so glad that he is where he is now! He is an AMAZING uncle to my children, a son to my parents and a brother to me! Love you Jack and thanks for the flashback little brother!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Educate Me!

I am need of a little education on a little something I have seen at the grocery stores since our move, Meat in a tube!! Let me start off by saying that I am not a MEAT kind of girl, I do not eat hamburgers, hot dogs, meat loaf, sloppy joes or anything that has a big chunk of ground meat involved. On the other hand I will eat select cuts of steak, tender roasts, turkey, chicken and a few other meats but I am a bit of a snob, thanks Dad :) !!

When we lived in Vegas I NEVER bought meat from Wal-Mart and when I was buying it from other big chain grocery stores, it was fresh from the butcher or occasionally in the little plastic covered packages. Well one of the first times we were at the grocery store when we moved here I was looking for some ground meat for tacos (they are on the "acceptable to eat" list) and I saw these ENORMOUS plastic tubes of ground beef!! I had never seen such a thing before and honestly it made me feel a little like throwing up!! Since our budget is limited I haven't been able to buy meat the way we used to but I just CAN NOT bring myself to buy meat in a tube. Now I am not talking about Jimmy Dean sausage, (I don't eat that either) but I have seen it before. Somehow it, (meat in a tube) reminds me of Spam or Bologna and the mere thought of fake meat makes me nauseous!! I am sorry if there are Spam and Bologna lovers out there, but I just can't!

This is where I need to be educated. Is meat in a tube really ground meat? Is it good? Does it give your unborn children birth defects? Is it safe? I know this might seem silly to some, but I am serious here, how exactly does one buy meat in a tube and not feel a little weird? Is the only difference the packaging, or is it like a hot dog and no one really knows what it's made with, except for those permitted into the plant to package it? C'mon now Educate me!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Highly Recommended

Last week I spent my evenings, once the kids were in bed that is, reading a book by one of my favorite authors, Lynn Austin!! I read my first book written by her about 6 years ago on a total fluke and I have been hooked ever since! Her style of writing just keeps me interested, and let me tell you I can be kind of a picky reader, but only because I don't have time to sit and waste time reading something that I'm not REALLY into!! I also tend to fall asleep when I read, so it has to keep me awake!!

The latest is called "All She Ever Wanted" and it's about a Mother and daughter who become very close after learning about where they come from. It's a bit hard to put into words, but using some flashbacks, Lynn Austin teaches the characters that it's much easier to understand why they do the things they do when they know why their parents did the things they did!

Much of the book is placed during the 20's 40's and 60's as it goes back in time but it has the modern day to tie it all together! I LOVED this book! I loved learning a bit about different times in American History and connecting with the story. It's fiction but with some historical facts twisted in, making it my favorite kind of book!! It has some great suspense, surprising turns, a little love, war and peace all mixed together!! Oh gosh I LOVED it!!

Books can be tricky to recommend because EVERYONE has such different tastes, but I really think that Lynn Austin is great at pulling you in and keeping you there! I am actually planning on heading out to find another one this week!!

The first book I read is called "Candle in The Darkness" and it's placed during the Civil War, I also highly recommend that one too!!

Love to You

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Scripture! Just and True Friends

Today our lesson in R.S (Relief Society) was entitled

"How Glorious Are Faithful, Just, and True Friends"

From the teachings of Joseph Smith

True friends ease one another’s sorrows and remain faithful even in times of adversity.

Joseph Smith wrote the following about the family members and friends who visited him on August 11, 1842, while he was in hiding: “How good and glorious it has seemed unto me, to find pure and holy friends, who are faithful, just, and true, and whose hearts fail not; and whose knees are confirmed and do not falter, while they wait upon the Lord, in administering to my necessities, in the day when the wrath of mine enemies was poured out upon me. …

I bawled through most of the lesson as I had already been feeling the effects of Home sickness today and so when the discussion was about friends who have stood by you through even your darkest hour my mind was flooded with the friends who have helped me in my darkest hours.
I will never forget the friend that came to visit me when I was pregnant with Alexis and just 19 years old, she just came to visit with me and to be my friend. No judgment in her eyes or disappointed tone in her voice, she just sat and talked with me as a friend.
Or the friend, who after my second miscarriage came when I called and just sat on the bed and wept with me, brought lunch for my other children and my favorite ice cream. Her compassion was exactly what I needed in that moment.
And the time that a friend who brought my family dinner for no reason other than she could tell by an earlier conversation that I was not at my best. Her love and service taught me so much.
I really could go on and on about the times in my life where my friends have stood beside me and at times pulled me up from the deepest depths of pain and just held me until I was stronger. I pray that each of you know how much your friendship means to me, and know that I would go to the ends of the universe to help each and every one of you in your time of need. Your support and love have taught me and strengthened me many times and there truly are no words to thank you enough!

Love to you

Friday, September 18, 2009

Flashback Friday!!! and Happy Birthday Dave!!

This weeks picture is of me when I was 5 or 6. The thing that I love about this picture is that I am holding a doll that has quite the significance. For my birthday that year (5 or 6) my Uncle Steve Novakovich ( I have two uncle Steve's), at the time I called him "Uncle Moneybags". For my birthday he laid out several piles of money, a stack of $1's, stack of $5's, stack of $10's and so on until there was at the end a $100 Dollar bill!! He then told me I could choose any ONE of the piles I wanted, being quite versed on my currency I went straight for the $100 Dollar bill, he tried to persuade me to choose one of the others but I was not changing my mind!! He then took my sisters and I to the toy store and let us choose anything we wanted, well my sister Alyssa chose a doll that could roller skate, my sister Janna and I were both eying the same doll, one that could eat and poo and you had to change her diaper! Janna decided that was the doll she wanted and I don't remember all the details but somehow my uncle and sisters convinced me that I wanted the black doll that ate and pooed and Janna got the white one. Tricky sisters!! I did love that doll though, and the fact that she ate and pooed!! Janna stop laughing!!!

Speaking of Janna the event of note today is that it's her husband Dave's Birthday!! I love Dave because he is so good to my sister and my nephew Ethan! You see us Holler girls could be placed in the category of "Mid-High Maintenance" and I would say that all of us older 3 girls have found men that have handled it quite nicely!! Dave is such a great man, he is a talented concert pianist and composer, he loves riding his bike for miles and miles and he has such an agreeable disposition!! He is probably one of the most stable people I have ever met, very calm and hard to rattle, well except that time he fainted when my niece busted her head open, but I don't blame him for that!! Dave is the eternal optimist and I am grateful that my sister snagged herself such a hard working, honest and kind guy to be her eternal companion!! Happy Birthday Dave!!!

There aren't too many uncles that would let their nieces do this to them!!

Love to you,

Monday, September 14, 2009

And We Have Lift Off!!


If you are offended or nauseated by the discussion of breastfeeding, boobs or children then I suggest you stop reading now!!

OK. Now is a good time to stop!!

OK well if you are still reading then don't say I didn't warn you!!

I am a breastfeeding MAMA!! With all three of my kids I have been blessed with gallons and gallons of milk, somewhat like a cow only I am not black and white and I only Moo occasionally. That's besides the point, I have often said that I produce enough to feed a small nation and so I have nursed to my hearts content.

I have had different experiences with all my kids. Lexi and I both figured out the process rather quickly and it was a good thing because she WOULD NOT take bottles or pacifiers at all!! She might have starved had I not produced enough milk because anything but me was OUT OF THE QUESTION! I remember on a few occasions trying to get her to take formula because we were somewhere that I couldn't nurse and she screamed for like an hour before giving in and drinking a few ounces!! Since I was divorced when she was just 10 days old and I was only 20 I didn't have anyone else around me telling me how and when to ween her so I just nursed her until I no longer wanted to and until she was old enough to drink from a cup! She was about 15 months old.

Grace was my child that got the shaft when it came to nursing (You know now that I think about it maybe that's where her issues all started!!). When she was just under 9 months old my appendix burst and I ended up in the hospital for a week and she was not allowed to see me so that ended it right there! I remember being so sad because I hadn't been able to make the choice of when I was ready to stop. When I got home from the hospital she wouldn't even come to me for at least a week and at night she would have NOTHING to do with me for months after!! That was tough! Side note: I highly recommend having your appendix removed for precautionary purposes!!

James, oh James, my boob man! I know that someday I will have to apologize to his wife!!
James LOVED, LOVED, LOVED to nurse! While he was in the NICU I would go in every two hours to feed him once they removed the tubes and he was ALWAYS happy to have a little snack! Once we got home his love grew, he would just snuggle into me and get so happy at every meal! He was different than Lexi in that he would take or leave bottles, but he also was not interested in pacifiers! I tried weening him about 5 months ago when I went out of town for Women's Conf but the minute he saw me he laid down in my lap and began to grunt! It was also the weekend that Jimmy left for Colorado so I think we both needed the comforting! Anyway, ever since I have been very slowly trying to slow the tap, and finally last week I decided that I was gonna be strong and just do it!! I mean I will be honest and say that many aspects were nice for me too, I mean being able to go sit in the Mother's room at church when your are too ADD to pay attention in sacrament meeting can be nice!! It is also a nice feeling when your child wants you, and who can resist the cuddle of a sweet boy like James!! By this point though he was pretty much down to having a little at night and in the mornings, but man the first few nights were rough, as I would have to tell him "no more." as he laid in my lap looking at me like "c'mon lady don't be holding out on me!" But we made it and now he can go on to other things like school and his mission without needing breast milk to go to sleep!!
Isn't that the true definition of successful parenting??!!

Now for those thinking holy cow he is 19 months, yes, I am aware, but guess what? I wasn't asking you to nurse him, was I!?!?! So don't worry bout it! And at least I wasn't featured on the special about Extreme Parenting with women who nurse their 8 year olds. Oh and you can find the clips of it still on youtube if you think I am messing with you!!

Love to you

Thursday, September 10, 2009


For years my husband and I have wondered if it is us that has an evil aura around us that causes people to divorce!! Let me explain.

Exhibit A

When we were very first married we lived in a great apartment complex full of other fun young married couples, but within the first year we started seeing the other couples dropping off like flies. It was crazy, we were a part of a Temple Prep class and there was just two couples (us and another couple) well the other couple was divorced a few months later, while the teachers of the class separated and moved out of state to try and save their marriage. Then we witnessed our friends that lived below us separate and divorce, and I believe there was one other couple that also divorced but I am not positive.

Exhibit B

After being in the apartment for a year we bought our Condo and moved into a new ward. Our VERY FIRST summer (about 8 months after moving in) 6 couples DIVORCED! Coincidence? I think not!!

Exhibit C

The same year that Jimmy and I were married so were Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, I had already thought they were a cute couple but then when they started a reality show, I loved them even more. I loved watching the show so much that Jimmy began buying me the seasons on DVD, well just days after Jimmy bought me the last season, they announced their separation. Again, I ask you, Coincidence?

Exhibit D

The other T.V couple we were big fans of was Jon and Kate Gosselin. Jimmy would often laugh in the earlier seasons as they bantered back and forth and even said how we were similar. Then a few years into following the show Jimmy and I were talking about me purchasing their show on DVD and I kid you not the following day the news of Jon having a girlfriend went public!! Are you freaking kidding me?? Now that whole situation just makes me so sad for those kids, but that is another topic!

Back to me, I mean how can I not start to wonder if there is something about me or us as a couple that just puts wedges between people?? Could it be our deep love that others look at and just feel they can't measure up? Or maybe it's our smell and it causes them to loose their minds and they just have to get away no matter the cost?? But the most likely culprit is, I mean it's obvious right? Our children!! Others take one look and fear that any future spawn will turn out the same way!!!

You weren't expecting that twist were you??? Fair warning to all those that just welcomed us into their ward and neighborhood!! MUAAAAAAAA MUAAAAAAA

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday Scripture! A Ruby!

Proverbs 31:10,11 & 12

10 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

11 The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

12 She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.

Our lesson today in R.S (Relief Society) was on Unselfish Service. It touched me because lately I have struggled with where I belong and I really felt like this lesson was just for me! The scriptures we used were in Proverbs where it talks about how Virtuous Women are needed! It made me realize that there is no amount of notoriety from the world that could equal the feeling we can receive from serving each other, our families and our communities! No amount of money can be paid for the talent that women have to inherently serve those around them. It might go unnoticed by some but not by those being served. The small things do matter and can change the lives of those being blessed by our service, our time and our talents, as well as, change us, change me!

I know that I have become closer to the women whom I have served and I love them more. I also know the deep affection and gratitude I feel for the women who have served me in my times of need. There have been numerous times that I have been blessed by others who were in tune to the spirit and I pray everyday that I might also here the promptings to know those in need of the gifts that I have to offer!

Happy Sunday to you

Friday, September 4, 2009

Flashback Friday! "Labor Day"

As I pondered about today's post I thought back to when James was born and what a unique experience my Labor and delivery was. Right after James was born I was so overwhelmed with a new baby in the house that I never got around to documenting the event and before I get too old and lose my memory and since it is "Labor" Day weekend I thought what the heck!!

James was born on January 24, 2008 at 4:21 AM after a very happy delivery! Since I had been 3 WEEKS overdue with Grace and still induced, I had discussed with my doctor very early on that I wouldn't be repeating that, so he agreed to induce me on my due date with James. I actually went in for my Doctors appointment on the 23rd so they could do one last check and to schedule the induction for the next day, well when Dr. Wells called the hospital they said to come in that night since they had several on the books already for the next day. I got very excited and called Jimmy telling him tonight was the night, it had seemed like it would never come and then all of a sudden, BAM, it was time!!

Headed for the Hospital

After dropping the kids off at my wonderful friend Lindsay's house for the night, Jimmy and I headed to the hospital. They checked us in around 11:30pm and got us all comfy in our room, we filled out our paper work, met our nurse and then the fun began!! They started me with pitocin around midnight, once I hit 4 or 5 cenemeters, I decided to take the offer of an epidural. I knew (from previous experience) that I would go fairly quick once that was administered so I had advised the nurses to be ready! Of course, as I am stupid and no one listens to me they had all disappeared except one, when 45 min later Jimmy went running through the hallways looking for someone, since I was now wanting to push!! Well, I lied, really I HAD to push, there was no choice, he was coming weather someone was there to catch or not!! The lone nurse came into the room saying that they had just checked me and I was only a 5, I told her to check again, which, hearing the threatening tone in my voice she did and the look on her face was priceless, as she says "Oh gosh, well I guess I will do this if I have to!" She began preparing the table as fast as she could and also calling Dr. Wells at the same time telling him to hurry up!!
The Lone Nurse

My regular nurse entered the room a few minutes later and was telling me to "just hang on for 10 or 15 minutes" I looked at her like she had just spoken in tongues, all while thinking "Yeah sure lady, I'll just cross my legs and hold him in, no problem!" I will say that at this point I began to panic a bit wondering if my doctor was going to make it in time, and then somehow he did! The moment he walked in the mood changed and suddenly I was on stage at the Comedy Shop, making jokes and laughing as if I wasn't just about to have a baby! Emily, my younger sister, and my Mom were also in the room as photographer and cheerleader, respectively!

In between pushes

The BEST Doctor on the Planet, Dr. Wells!!

The moment they were ready I was pushing and just a few minutes later, at 4:21AM, the 8 lbs. 1 .oz miracle whom we had been waiting on for at least 2 1/2 years had finally arrived! When they placed him in my arms I just wanted to stay there, freeze time, and savor his sweet face. His eyes connected with mine and I knew in that moment that we had met before, he was my little James, there was no doubt.

Later that morning as we were enjoying our new addition Jimmy was holding him and I was on the phone with a friend, when I looked at James and realized his face was going blue and he was not getting air. Jimmy handed him to me to see if I could help, I pushed the "Help" button, but when there was no response, Jimmy was again running down the hallway, but this time with James in his hands. This occurred twice more before they admitted him to the NICU for observation and tests, as a Mom I was terrified, wondering what was wrong with my baby.

As they stabilized him and he was resting peacefully they allowed us to come in to see him, my heart broke when I saw his little body all hooked up to machines with tubes in his nose. I stood next to him putting my pointer finger in his hand, he gripped it and then the tears just came, nothing else seemed to matter in that moment. My Dad arrived a little later to assist Jimmy in giving James a Priesthood blessing, they gave us special permission so that all three of us could be there with him. It was a special moment, seeing the two men I respect the most in my life laying their hands on my little boy's head to bless him was strengthening to my spirit.

While in the NICU, James, would undergo multiple tests, x-rays, and visits from specialists. They determined that he had just swallowed so much fluid during birth that his little body just couldn't eliminate it on it's own. I was so grateful that there wasn't anything more seriously wrong and after 3 days they allowed us to go home together!

The first few days home I was a nervous wreck at night, they had suggested in the hospital that we keep him nearby while he slept so we could closely monitor him. For me this meant very little sleep because I would wake up with any little noise he might make to check on him.

Even though the days following his birth were difficult, I still look back on the actual event as one of my favorites and feel blessed to have had such a terrific experience. Perhaps it was in part because it had been a difficult road to become pregnant with James in the first place, but all I know is that I will never forget how I felt in that room, as if all my angels were escorting him here to make sure he would be OK.

Just home from the Hospital

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mixed Emotions

I don't want this to become my complaining blog and I don't want to blog just to blog. I keep hoping I will have something of substance to offer and I don't know that I have much of that going on right now. So here is a little something that has been on my mind for quite some time and I need to just get it out.

I struggle, yes I struggle lots, mostly internally because I hate burdening others with things that are just momentarily hard or things that I might feel because I haven't had enough sleep! I would say that overall my difficulties are in trying to find where I fit in this world, I know I'm a wife/mother/daughter/sister blah blah blah, all the titles we take on either by being born or growing up. They are all important rolls and much of the time I am satisfied in them but then I have times when I want to get out there and try new things and explore the interests that I have in the creative fields!! I LOVE being creative, weather the medium be photography, sewing, singing, decorating, cooking or writing I love to express myself through these outlets! It gives me release and fulfillment at the same time, the hardest part about being creative is how subjective it is. One person might think you are the "most amazing" and someone else might think you should quit all together. As humans I think we look for approval in the things we work hard on, as in "Have the efforts I made today been noticed, and are they appreciated?"

I don't believe that my life's' mission is to be a famous singer/photographer/writer/seamstress/decorator, it would be fun, but I don't assume that just because I have interest in them that it means I will be the next HGTV star, American Idol, Paula Dean or Annie Leibovitz, but it would feel wonderful to feel like my talents or passions are effecting others in a positive way. I really want to serve others, I want my gifts to not just be mine, but to be instruments in helping those around me. I am not talking about joining the Peace Core or the Red Cross, while those are noble causes, I want to serve my friends, family, neighbors, anyone who might stand in need in the simplest form, giving of my time and talent. I am not a saint but rather a sinner trying to compensate for my mistakes with a little goodwill. It's a challenge being the creative type because there are soooo many that share the same interests and in a world of competition and cut throat business the little guy just out to enjoy themselves feels pressure to belong! I am that "little guy" trying to belong, let me share some examples.

I have had a deep interest in photography for many many years, I have always had a camera in my hands, they might not be the best cameras out there, but I have always had one or two near by. In high school I would take my little film camera and drive to the edge of town, climb up a mountain side and take pictures of the city below, broken glass, or sunsets, I would sit alone just thinking and taking pictures. I never had the money to buy expensive equipment or take classes to pursue something that was viewed as just a hobby. The same thing can be applied to all the things I enjoy investing my time in, but see this is where it gets complicated, when I look around it feels like EVERYONE and their Mother has the SAME exact interests and they have the time and money to just dive right in, taking classes, buying equipment, creating websites and the balls to advertise themselves as professionals, something I lack. That is where the debilitating self doubt seeps in, if there are so many others (for example) taking pictures I will NEVER stand out so why try?

I once had a wise friend say to me when I was really starting to explore more into the photography world, "There will always be someone with better equipment, more time, and more talent than you, but the main thing is to focus on developing your own style and taking good pictures." At the time I felt discouraged, like it was an uphill battle and then one day I realized that all I wanted to do was take pictures so I could show a little bit of my perspective, to the world through my lens.

I often offer my services for free just so I can be out there doing what I really enjoy doing, do I feel insecure at times, yes, but I just keep doing my thing. I guess I try to have the perspective that one day all these talents might come to good use for something and if I just sit on them and worry about not being good enough then what is the point in having them?? I don't think I will ever be the "Best" at anything, but why stop finding joy in sewing/photography/writing/singing/cooking!?? Again it's all subjective and there has to be at least one person out there that thinks I don't stink, even if that's me, I suppose!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Some People Should Make Many Babies!!

Since being in Colorado I haven't been keeping my camera as warm as I would like, so my friend Rachel lent me her girls! It was a fun morning, they were the perfect subjects giving me plenty to work with!! Oh and Rach in case these aren't enough of a tease there are a few more on my photo blog!