Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Letter

The Cleavers (oh I mean) Kelley’s

Well it has been a super year, filled with happiness and joy for twelve months. Everyone is doing just fine and we are thrilled for the New Year. How could our lives get any better? I mean honestly, with a charming husband and three perfectly mannered children, my life as a homemaker is swell on all accounts.
Let me begin with my kind husband, as he is the leader of our home, and so perfect in every way. He loves his job, while I am not quite sure what he does, he is always happy to go and when he returns home to us his disposition is quite enjoyable. He is thrilled to sit down to our home cooked meal and share his day with us and then politely ask each of us about our day, he is so thoughtful. He is always so loving and kind with the children, yet he knows when to have a firm hand. Jimmy is such a good man, it really is true, father does know best.
My day is not nearly so hard it is a dream to tend to the needs of my husband and children. They are all so special to me it is truly a pleasure to pick up after them, clean their clothes and prepare well balanced meals for them. I rise early each glorious morning to help them get ready for their day, I want it to be started off right with a nutritious breakfast and lovingly packed lunches. With a kiss and a smile I send them on their way knowing that their day has started on the right foot, oh what a swell feeling that is.
Sweet Alexis is growing into quite the young women, she will be twelve this coming January and fills our home with harmony each and every moment. Lexi, as her friends call her, began 6th grade this year and is doing just splendid. She participates in the band playing the flute and does such a fine job, she is also getting perfect A’s in all her classes. This year she is also a member of the esteemed theatre club, and has the part of a Narrator in the school play. Alexis loves to watch over her younger siblings so Jimmy and I might have a weekly date, she is such an angel.
Our wonderful child Grace is six and has a great spirit for life, she smiles all day long and takes glee in spreading smiles to others. She is in the 1st grade this year and works very hard. For Grace, GYM and art class are just nifty. Grace plays just beautifully with her younger brother, always looking out for him it doesn’t bother her one bit to have him tag along behind her.
The youngest in our family, James is turning three in a few short weeks. Golly gee he is such a boy, running, jumping, playing sports and enjoying comic book characters. James is well behaved and never flips his lid. Spending my afternoons with James puts me on cloud 9 as we sit and play educational games and when the weather is nice we visit the park.

We feel blessed this year and expect great and wonderful things in the year to come. Our family has been enriched with family and friends who love and support us; we are grateful for you and hope that your homes and hearts are filled with joy and wonderment this holiday season.

Most Humbly,

The Kelley's

Keepin it real:
Jimmy is currently working at Buckley Air Force Base as a Project Manager in the Engineering department. In his off time (when that occurs) he enjoys watching Supernatural and sleeping.

-Marylin (me), this year has been quite busy with my Photography business. I made 3 trips to Vegas for photo sessions, and have more trips in the works. There hasn’t been much time for sewing or anything else really but I am working on finding that “balance” that I hear so much about. When I am not editing I love to try new recipes, go on date nights with my husband, and spend time with my amazing friends.

-Alexis (almost 12), says that “She feels as though she was always meant to be in middle school.” Her life goal is “To visit the Mall of America and then be an actress.” Lexi really did achieve a 4.0 GPA, and loves being in the drama club (very surprising).

-Grace 6 ¾, continues to be our little spitfire, she makes me laugh and lose my mind on a daily basis. She loves to laugh, and since she is now missing both of her front teeth her smile is that much more enthusiastic. School is still a challenge but she is making tremendous progress and she loves to learn, it just comes at a little bit different pace for her.

-James (almost 3), is such a silly boy. He loves to dress up as “Pider-Man” and Batman regularly, watch Little Einstein’s, and help me in the kitchen. While he can be wild and crazy, he is super sensitive and hates getting in trouble. James constantly has some new catch phrase that he has picked up from his sisters, like “That’s not fair!” or “You’re so mean MOM!” (Aww the joys of an expanding vocabulary.)

Just in the last few days Jimmy accepted a position in a completely new line of work and in a completely new state. He will begin working from home for an internet marketing company starting in January, and then in July we will be moving to Utah (Lehi/Orem area). We are very sad to leave our home and friends here in Colorado, but life is an adventure and we are excited for what new things are ahead.

***I know it has been a super long time since my last post, if I am being completely honest I have mostly been a complete wreck, no really, I have. I think, no, I know that I allowed my photography business to take over my life. For the future I am trying to decided if there is space in my life for it, and if there is, how much. It's hard because I LOVE the art of it, but the business side kicks my trash. I already feel like I am letting my family down when I HAVE to work, but then I feel like I am letting my clients down when I HAVE to take care of my family. So in the end I am letting someone down and I end up a complete MESS, not enough time, not enough me. Forget about seeing my friends or doing anything fun, or anything else for that matter. I have never functioned well when there is too much on my plate, and this time is no exception.

The blog has been pushed to the side while I have tried to get a grip on my emotions, my sanity, and my priorities. I have missed the outlet of writing it all down and so if I were to set a New Years resolution it would be to make time to write, read, sew, see friends, work out, sleep, cook, and love on my husband and children.

I will say that one of my latest priorities has become getting back to the gym, I have ALWAYS LOVED the feeling of working out and in recent years it took a seat on the bumper (not just a back seat) of my life car. Well for Christmas I asked for a gym membership and my husband delivered. So for the last week and a half I have been working out like my life depends on it, ok so it's mostly my sanity that depends on it, but gosh darn it feels great, no AWESOME!! So this is where I am right now and for those of you that wish I were somewhere else, what can I say, but Too Bad.

Monday, November 1, 2010


I love when little kids are learning to say words, well James has this one word that I could listen to ALL day because it cracks me up!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

For You Marissa!

So I told my BFF that I would post some pics of a recent project! So today is for you Marissa, all of it, the pushing everything out in the hall to make it look clean, the open curtains for lighting, the made bed, and the frog doing yoga on the dresser to the left! Oh and please don't ask about the sock between the headboard and the wall (how embarrassing)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Skin!!

I am taking a mini break from editing to post. Recently James got some new digs and he LOVES them, he wears them all the time, as if he has found his new skin!

Oh and I got some fun new items as well

It's true. I love Football season, especially the Denver Broncos!! I have been a fan pretty much my whole life, I even had a poster of John Elway on my wall in the 4th Grade!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Slacker Blogger!

Just call me Slacker! I totally deserve it for the fact that my blog has been left soooo alone in Bloggy Land! I could tell you that the reason is because all I do now days is work work work! My photography business is hoppin and so it takes up all my time, not just spare time, but ALL my time! I could also say that when I am not taking or editing pictures I am taking reprieve in some reading and time with my laundry and Scrubbing Bubbles, not to mention my husband and children!

However I am not going to tell you that instead I will say that I am still alive and breathing most days. Having a slight mid-life crisis? Still deciding on that one since I am not sure if you can have one at not yet 32!! I have lots to show and tell about some projects that have squeezed a little time out of me! So don't give up on me just yet! Now I have to go deal with the almost 12 year old and her parent teacher conferences!! Good times!

Oh and since my friend Rachel is much better at getting pictures on her blog than I am lately I stole these from her! Thanks Rach!! :)

from a fun day picking berries with Buddy!!

Another fun day out at the Zoo with my friends Rachel and Michelle! Thanks Rachel again for the stolen pics! I swear one day I will get my act together (probably not, but it's fun to hope)

OH AND GO VOTE FOR ME Don't tell them though! - Do Parents Really Know Best? | iVillage Parenthood Contest

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Scripture: Never Alone

Matthew 14:30-31
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

In the May 1991 Ensign Thomas S. Monson spoke of the difficulties in War, not only in battles with guns and tanks but the war that can sometimes be the fight in our lives. Struggles that will inevitably come for all of us, he reminds us that we must comfort each other, reach out, love, and lift one anothers burdens and to also know that the Lord will lift ours.

To you He speaks the heavenly and divine assurance: “I am with you; you are never alone.”

The Following is one of my Favorite songs from Lady Antebellum:

May the angels protect you
Trouble neglect you
And heaven accept you when its time to go home
May you always have plenty
The glass never empty
Know in your belly
You're never alone

May your tears come from laughing
You find friends worth having
As every year passes
They mean more than gold
May you win but stay humble
Smile more than grumble
And know when you stumble
You're never alone

Never alone
Never alone
I'll be in every beat of your heart
When you face the unknown
Wherever you fly
This isn't goodbye
My love will follow you stay with you
Baby you're never alone

Well I have to be honest
As much as I wanted
I'm not gonna promise that cold winds won't blow
So when hard times have found you
And your fears surround you
Wrap my love around you
You're never alone

Never alone
Never alone
I'll be in every beat of your heart
When you face the unknown
Wherever you fly
This isn't goodbye
My love will follow you stay with you
Baby you're never alone

My love will follow you stay with you
Baby you're never alone

May the angels protect you
Trouble neglect you
And heaven accept you when its time to go home
And when hard times have found you
And your fears surround you
Wrap my love around you
You're never alone

Never alone
Never alone
I'll be in every beat of your heart
When you face the unknown
Wherever you fly
This isn't goodbye
My love will follow you stay with you
Baby you're never alone

My love will follow you stay with you
Baby you're never alone

I must say that in my life I feel and see the waves of struggle, sadness and trials roll, as well as in the lives of those I love. In many respects it is much harder for me to watch others in their difficulties when it seems so unfair and there is very little I can do. I know that those things are out of my control and that the Lord is the one in charge and yet there are still moments when I wish it wasn't His plan for them to suffer. I want to yell at Him and say "Give it to me!, give me their pain!" and then I remember it is Him who will take it and relieve them in His time and way!

I know that my part is to love, to listen, to pray and live my life being grateful for my friends and family and support them in any way that I can. Over the weekend I was blessed to spend several hours with my extended family and my heart was filled with gratitude that these people are related to me! That I, was placed into the midst of such amazing strength, kindness, love and wisdom.

I was speaking with a cousin about how amazing my mother and her 4 siblings are, that there couldn't be 5 more compassionate, loving, funny and generous people all in the same family, anywhere else! Of course we are biased, but it makes me realize how important living righteously is, that for generations after me there will be those looking up to my example. Will I make mistakes, have I made mistakes, yes, but it will be how I recover from those mistakes and how I overcome my trials that will be my mark.

Tonight I am grateful to know that I am not alone and neither are my friends and family who are dealing with their own private struggles!

Love to You,

Happy Sunday


Friday, September 17, 2010

Big Thanks!!!

The last 2 1/2 weeks I have been consumed with a small thing called editing! I made a FANTASTIC weekend trip to Vegas for some photo sessions, it was both exhausting and exhilarating, my creative juices were flowing for 5 days straight, each session was different, fun and inspiring!!

The work after wards has put a toll on my house, kids, husband and my sanity at times, but this afternoon I called it a wrap as the last session was burned to a DVD and will be making it to the mailbox asap!!

I wanted to send out a BIG THANKS to the people and things that made it possible for me to work like a crazy women, and the miracle that my house didn't burn to the ground (with me still sitting at the computer).

First to the Inventor of the Crock Pot, thank you for keeping my family fed! honorable mention to Pizza Hut, Sonic & whatever my husband can grill!

To Mr. Dyson for creating a vacuum that can dust, sweep, suction and devour anything in it's path!

Yoplait for keeping me satisfied while sitting at the computer for way too many hours!

Opti-Free "Replenish" for doing just that so my eyes were able to stay open and in focus!

Catniss Everdine for giving me a few hours reprieve into your life in District 13 as the Mockingjay!

iTunes & Pandora for filling my ears with my favorite songs and keeping me awake

for keeping the head cold to a minimum

for keeping me comfy in your sweats & t-shirts!!


My texting buddies that kept me connected to the outside world!

Jimmy the Great for making sure we all had clean underwear and that the dishes were done at the end of the day, and just plain keeping it all going! LOVE YOU

Lexi for taking her siblings to the park in the afternoons so I could edit in quiet!!

Grace for doing her homework without arguing and playing with buddy!

and James "Spider-Me" for watching Einsteins, Matilda, Spider-Man, Bat-Man & Scooby-Doo multiple times while I "worked at the puter"!

Some of the Fruits of my labors!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Do I Dare.....

Even try to catch up at this point? We have had such a busy Summer and especially the last few weeks since school started, I haven't had the chance to blog about it all!!

First off I am thoroughly enjoying the "back to school schedule", we are up and going early every morning and the day just feels more, and is more productive! Lexi has to be to the bus by 6:40am and then Grace is there at 7:40am so by 8am it is just buddy and I!

Lexi went back to school on Thurs. Aug 12, she started Middle School and was BEYOND
excited!! For the first time she has a locker and she was even able to "open it on her first
, when she got home that afternoon at 3:10pm (they have longer school days here than in
Vegas), she told me she felt like "she had always belonged there" (only slightly dramatic). Lexi
has always been a bit advanced maturity wise, so I think getting out of Elementary school is
exactly what she needed!

She is playing the flute in band, which makes me happy since I also played the flute, (which I
would still have if I hadn't traded it in for a guitar in college, but don't worry I don't have the
guitar anymore either since my mom decided to give it to my BIL, whatev, I'm not bitter or
anything. I kid I kid). Back to Lexi, it was fun to show her how to hold the flute and help her
figure out some notes, she felt really good the next day when she was "the only one that
knew how to hold it!"
I love that as a 6th graders she still gets excited and impressed with
just the simplest of achievements, she must be like her mother! Yup, that's us, just simple girls!

Grace had an assessment day on Aug.12th, but she didn't officially start until Monday
Aug.16th. Grace is in the 1st Grade and after the second day she told me she "wanted to go
back to Kindergarten, because it is more fun."
It has been a huge adjustment for her,
going from half days to full days, she is exhausted after school! I have been surprised by how
much she loves sitting at the table with Lexi after school doing homework, I think it makes her
feel like a "big kid", but hey no complaints on my part!

So far it is going well for her, she likes her teacher and she is making some new friends. I love my
sweet Grace, school doesn't come so easy for her, as we were walking to the bus stop on the first
day she looked up at me and said "You know what I dream about mom?, I dream
about being the SMARTEST girl in the world!"
with tears coming to my eyes I said,
"Well if you keep working hard you
CAN be the smartest girl in the world." which
she responded with "Or I could just wish on a star." touche Grace, touche. I pray that
things will start to get a bit easier or that she will at least be given the strength to overcome her

(and if my Spunky girl wants to be colorful and bright who am I to say no)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Just A Simple Girl

I have been trying to convince my husband for years that I am just a simple girl, no need to try and move the earth for me, just a little TLC, and not the "Say Yes to The Dress" kind. I find myself smiling and happy at the most unexpected, yet pleasantly surprising things. So as once perfectly stated by a nearly nun, children loving, border crossing Maria "Here are a few of my favorite things"

Men standing in line to use the bathroom

A vanilla ice cream cone from Goodtimes

Sitting on a bench and "people watching"

Walking around Home Depot or Lowes looking at power tools

Garage sales/Craigslist/thrift stores

Trying a new recipe for dinner and my family LOVING it!

My kids eating popcorn while watching me do Zumba in my office

Riding my cart through the parking lot at the grocery store

Reading in bed while my husband works on his laptop next to me

Tim McGraw in a white t-shirt, jeans and his cowboy hat (this is a new find)

When my friends and family call just to say hello

Long evening walks with my man

Dreaming my way through Target alone

Listening and getting my groove on to my favorite songs while I get ready

The few hours in the afternoons when two kids are at school and one is asleep!!

Google-ing all the places I want to visit someday

...and knowing that in just a few days I get to see my Mommy and Daddy!!

(thanks Rachel for the photo)

See I am TOTALLY A Simple girl, no, really, I am!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Spiderman in THE HOUSE!!!

Having a little boy has brought so many new things into our house and lives! James is ALL "Boy", he loves dirt, swords, guns, cars, sports and comic book characters, especially a web flinging, wall scaling, red suit wearing Spider man!!! I MEAN HE REALLY LOVES HIM, in fact he thinks he IS him, no, really, he does! He tells me several times a day "I Pider man, mom", he thinks he can climb walls, mirrors, ceilings, and when he watches it he sings the theme song! A week or so ago we got him is very own Spider man action figure and for the following several hours he just kept repeating "Pider man, Pider man, Pider web, Pider man...." over and over and over as loud as he could! We LOVE our "Pider Man" and I am so glad he decided to stay with us!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sunday Scripture: Forgiveness

D&C 64:9,10

9 Wherefore, I say unto you, that ye ought to forgive one another; for he that forgiveth not his brother his trespasses standeth condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.

10 I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.

I have often thought of myself as a forgiving person, I try not to take offense too easily and let things go.  Though recently I have discovered there is a great deal of pain that is still unresolved from a long time ago.  In my previous "legal obligation" I was repressed and suppressed, and I think that in some ways in order to punish myself and him I take it out on others, namely my husband and kids.  I realized that forgiveness isn't something you just say or do in one swift motion but that you have to work towards it, and that sometimes long after the offense, there is still a required effort to forgive and then, let go.  It is hard when the one that has hurt you is not there to see the pain they have caused, they aren't there for you to tell them, and most likely they are living their lives without ever thinking about it.  The responsibilty falls on me to pray and seek the ability to forgive.  I am the one being damaged by the lingering anger and pain, and I must make a decision to forgive him, to forgive myself, and replace it with the love of my Savior.  I am not there yet, but I will keep working on it.
All my Love,