So I've been look at everyone's blogs and I'm seeing images of beautifully decorated Christmas plates carefully packaged and ready to take to friends/neighbors, with a sparkling clean houes in the background, and these are moms with multiple kids, and I'm just starting to have this great realization as I approach my 2nd year of being a mom around the Holidays. I'm not quite sure how to put it, but basically it amazes me what moms do around the Holidays and I'm starting to feel a little pressure. The first year Michael and I were married I decided to do the "wife thing" and make Christmas plates to take around to some family and friends. Well to my surprise, it took an unbelieveable amount of work and effort--I couldn't believe that what was supposed to be fun and simple ended in craziness and stress. Last year (our 2nd year being married during Christmas) I must have been on the crazy train because the DAY before we were supposed to leave for home Michael and I did the following: baked and decorated a homemade cake for Stetson and had his 1st bday party with lots of people over, baked like a million sugar cookies, frosted and decorated them, baked homemade bread to take to friends/neighbors, and of course tried to clean house and pack to leave the next day. Well I think I'm starting to learn my lesson. This year I didn't even feel bad about not taking Christmas treats to friends/neighbors (except sisters I visit-teach) and I left a ton of Christmas decorations in storage because I didn't feel like putting them up then taking them down again. I'm just SO TIRED. Anwyay, I know I'm weak, I'm not in denial of that at ALL, this is just kudos to all you amazing moms who do it ALL. I don't know how you do it.
Well 2 years ago today at 12:21 pm our lives were changed forever!! Our precious Stetson Simmons Asay came into the world. We had such a fun day today. Stetson was such a happy little man ALL day long, making for an extra special day. We kept it simple this year and went swimming at the rec with Matthew & Charlene, then had pizza at Pizza Hut then came home for cake and presents. It was so fun this year because unlike last year, he actually opened his presents and got excited about it. From gma & gmpa Asay he got a cool book with magnets and a football target game. Matthew & Charlene got him a magnedoodle. Besides me, Charlene's probably drawn the most "bow-bows" (rainbows) for Stetson and they know how much he likes to draw his pictures, letters, etc. So thank you Matthew & Charlene, that was the perfect gift!! Michael & I got him a basketball and of course boring clothes, but he needs them as he's growing out of his old ones too fast. Michael leaves for work at 5am every day so he didn't get to tell Stetson happy birthday before he left so he called Stetson this morning on his way back to tell him happy birthday. What a sweet dad. The batteries we bought on the way to the rec didn't work so I didn't get many pics of us at the pool but like usual, Stetson had a ball. and here is the infamous birthday cake, which should get a post in and of itself. I am too vain to just buy one already made and save myself the many nights I lay in bed previous to his birthday thinking how I'm going to make it work...but it was ALL worth it when I showed him the cake for the first time and he said "Boots!" (the name of the monkey). I was so afraid he wouldn't recognize who it was. Stetson's favorite show to watch is "Dora the Explorer" so I wanted to make a Dora cake, but Michael put the ka-bosh on that because that wouldn't be "manly" enough so we did boots instead. I won't be expecting a call from the culinary arts institute of cakes any time soon. :) ...lighting his candles This is when we were singing to him--definitely my favorite part of his birthday--he was so happy and excited! Last time we were at Christian & Jill's, Stetson found a puzzle like this in Carson's room and loved it, so Jill being the very thoughtful/observant girl she is, got him a "fishing puzzle." Thank you, he loves it! Stetson LOVED his basketball from mom & dad. Happy birthday Stetson boy, we LOVE YOU!!! XOXOXOXO
1 EMBARRASSING MOMENT: Hmmm...dropping my tray in high school OR the many MANY times I biffed it in Rexburg, ID
2 BEST FRIENDS: Michael & my dad
3 THINGS I BUY REGULARLY: milk, diapers, cheese
4 PLACES I WANT TO GO: temple with Michael, Washington D.C. (I think it'd be fun to check out all their museums), Cabo San Lucas AGAIN, and Santa Rosa to see my neices and nephew that I NEVER get to see :(
5 GOALS FOR THE UPCOMING YEAR: Be a good mom to Steston and new baby, be more patient, read scriptures more, stop twisting/pulling hair and train better for 5K in April
6 THINGS MOST PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT ME: I was born at home, its really hard for me to sleep w/out Michael, I was born on Mother's Day AND share a bday with my older brother, Todd, I HATE needles, especially blood draws, I love getting professional massages
7 THINGS I WOULD NEVER SAY: i hate ross, i don't want you to rub my feet, i don't want to go out to eat, i love waking up early, i love the winter, i wish michael were gone more, i love cleaning the toilet
8 THINGS I LOVE ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS SEASON: music, smells, lights, thinking about the Savior, presents, christmas movies and egg nog
9 THINGS I SAY TO MY KIDS: stetson do u have poop in your pants? i love you, do you know i love you? want to eat? where's daddy? say please, brush teeth? time to go nigh night and no
10 THINGS I DO A LOT: wash my hands, change diapers, go up and down the stairs, put stetson's books away, blog, kiss stetson, clean, clean stetson's high chair, go to the bathroom and talk to michael on the phone (not at the same time)
11 THINGS I WOULD RATHER NOT LIVE WITHOUT: michael, stetson, my dishwasher, hot water, water PERIOD, my computer, my camera, my flat iron, my face wash, lotion, chapstick
12 PEOPLE I TAG: shay, shan, jill, charlene, rachel, emily s., mandi f., sarah r. & b., laura, rachel & Becky boo (beutler)
I wanted to include this picture of Stetson we took last night. You can usually expect some crazy hair-do when Michael gives Setson his bath. :) Tonight it was a mow-hawk. I love these fun little surveys, and I think you should all do it after you read mine. :)
5 Things he loves
Stetson me & my big belly :) his momma his mom's salsa working on the farm with his dad
5 Things on his to do list
*go to library tonight and study *take final tomorrow @ 10 am *cook us yummy chicken quesidillas tonight *help me organize our outside storage unit *drive bus
5 Foods he enjoys
his mom's salsa any kind of Mexican food hamburgers & fries steak biscuits & gravy (w/ salsa)
5 things you may not know about him
*He comes off as big and tough to some people but he's really a tender heart :) *He's a really good cook *If farming paid better he'd rather farm the rest of his life because he likes it so much *he's really kind/sweet with kids *he snores REALLY loud
5 quirky thing about him
*After he brushes his teeth he doesn't rinse the toothpaste off with water--he wipes his mouth off on the towel and it drives me nuts *He gets mad if I leave the milk out for more than 10 seconds--if its not being used it HAS to be put away asap *He hates shaving so he pretty much just doesn't do it :) *He doesn't like talking to strangers (asking for directions, asking a sales clerk with help finding something) and he gets embarrassed when I do. funny huh *He thinks salsa goes with everything
Me and Lubby a.k.a. Charlene sang in the Messiah this year and our performance was tonight. I LOVED it. There is such a good feeling that comes from singing such beautiful music. I'm not sure what happened in this pic... :) lol me and my very handsome boys
So when I took my shower today, Stetson came waltzing in as usual becaues he's figured out its the best time to get into all the "goodies" mom has stashed under the sink. I tried to deter his attenion and told him, "Stetson, go play with your blocks!" Because they were in his bedroom. Well he must have taken that as, "she probably would like me to bring my blocks into the bathroom and play with them in here!" because not long after I took a peek to see what he was doing and he had erected this lovely statue in the bathroom while I was in the shower. I love this kid. :) Here's my angel, crooked smile and all. :)
We've been getting lots of snow here in Laramie. Yesterday I bundled Stetson up and took him out for a little while. He wasn't the biggest fan but when we took him out last night to go look at Christmas lights he LOVED it.
This is a fun Christmas survey I found on Janessa's blog. Its fun and gets you in the spirit--you should do it!
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Mostly paper
2. Real tree or Artificial? I've always liked real better, but when you live in a 2 bedroom apt, you have to compromise :)
3. When do you put up the tree? Whenever I'm over this nasty cold
4. When do you take the tree down? when we get back from Christmas break
5. Do you like eggnog? LOVE LOVE LOVE it but its pretty high in the kcals if ya know what i mean
6. Favorite gift received as a child? oh man, i thought everything i got was the greatest--i was pretty easy to please, but I remember one year I was obsessed with dolls and had a huge doll collection I got this really big life-like doll that was almost as big as I was.
7. Hardest person to buy for? Probably Michael
8. Easiest person to buy for? Stetson (its pretty easy when they're more into the wrapping paper than the present :)
9. Do you have a nativity scene? 2, neither of which I've set up yet
10. Best Christmas gift you ever received? One year my dad had my friend from high school and I think one other person pick out a bunch of clothes they knew I'd like, and like them I did. I was so surprised and excited to have new clothes I really liked :)
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? Hmm...I think fruit cake is gross, my grandma and my mom are notorious for their...interesting presents. Any family members reading this will understand
12. Favorite Christmas Movie (s)Home Alone--it brings back so many memories and ALWAYS puts me in the Christmas mood. Plus it has a great message I think
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? As soon as I can, so whenever Michael's available which might not be for a while...anyone wanna go with me?? :)
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?? I don't think so
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Egg nog or Christmas sugar cookies
16. Lights on the tree? heck yes
17. Favorite Christmas song? I could never pick one--they're all great
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? probably travel even though last year when we filled EVERY crevice of our little malibou for the trek home after Christmas we vowed never to do it again...lol
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and RUDOLPH Thanks for the answers Janessa :)
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? I think we have a star
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? we open pajamas at Asay's Christmas Eve, other than that we open them all Christmas morning
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Can't think of anything.
23. Favorite for Christmas dinner? We don't really have a set thing we have for Christmas dinner, turkey is always good, so is Jan's spinach salad :)
24. Do you send Christmas cards? We did last year. I think we'll do it every other year.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? a bookshelf for all of Michael's school books, couch cover, gift card to the buckle or Ross or Olive Garden:)
Rachel made homemade egg nog on Thanksgiving and egg nog mustaches quickly gained popularity as you can see. Well we had a GREAT Thanksgiving. As we were driving home this morning I couldn't believe how fast it went by. Seriously. Anyway, we got to do lots of fun things. We got to my dad's Wednesday night and headed to pizza hut with the fam. The next day we enjoyed a DELISH Thanksgiving feast with the Asay's and then headed to my dad's for round 2. I'm not so much looking forward to the "weigh in" portion of my next doctor's visit. maybe I'll ask if I can just skip it, because I'm pretty sure I've put on a few in just the last week. Anyway, the next day we kept tradition alive by "preg testing" (checking to see which cows are pregnant so they can sell them/vaccinating). My nephew Travis who LOVES anything cowboy got to come join the fun. He stayed out with the boys all day and helped "chase the cows." :) The next day I went and helped dad decorate his Christmas tree and we saw Joel for a few minutes. He's working and going to school in Billings and has a pretty crazy schedule. Stetson wasn't shy at all and jumped up in his arms and thoroughly enjoyed his flips in the airs with Joel. now THAT'S a milk mustache Cowboy Travis helping with cows (don't worry Rachel, I'll send you more pictures.) Asay grandkids (l-r: Stetson, Travis & Carson) I give my dad a hard time sometimes when I go home because if I ever want to bake something I usually have to run to my aunt Marguerite's to get the ingredients because he doesn't usually have staple items like baking powder and vanilla, because he doesn't bake, but one thing you can ALWAYS count on him having is a Costco box of cheerios and honey nut cheerios, and Stetson knows exactly where they are every time we go home and he goes straight to them and requests a good 'ol bowl of honey nut. I thought this was a cute shot of Steston enjoying his favorite treat at Grandpa's. Stetson LOVED being thrown up in the air by his giant uncle Joel.
Well I've completed my alphabet of gratitudes. I'm gratefulf for this time of year that makes us think of all our blessings!! I truly belive that a grateful heart is a happy heart--we're so lucky to know this. A lot of people are constantly looking for happiness in the wrong places, and I'm grateful I know where to find it. Happy Thanksgiving! I'm gratefulf for Advanced medical technology. When I was growing up, the only reason I dreaded having babies was because I was scared of the whole “Hospital scene,” doctors, all that. I have had the best nurses and doctors for both Stetson and this one and feel grateful to live in country where its available to us. I'm grateful for my Brothers—and I have 5!! They are ALL great examples to me, I’m proud of them and I’m inspired by the way they care for their wives and children. I'm grateful for California. It’s a beautiful place and some of my most cherished memories took place there. A lot of people don’t think much of the people in California, but having lived there for 12 years, I can tell you that some of the best Christians I’ve EVER known live there and these people have made lasting impressions on my life. I am SO grateful for what they’ve done for me and my family.
I’m grateful for my Dad. I suppose I could share a million stories to help serve justice to the man I very proudly call my dad, and I will share one, but I could never adequately express my appreciation to him in words. When we lived in Santa Rosa we had a wild blackberry bush on our property that we LOVED picking blackberries off of. They were a family favorite of the Simmons.’ Right before we moved to Wyoming, a family in our ward hosted an open house/farewell thing for us, and a friend told me something that really hurt my feelings. Believe me, looking back I realize how silly it was, but believe me, I was absolutely devastated and convinced that my world had ended. When we got home and I told my dad the “sob story”, he listened intently, disappeared and came back a short while later with a white plastic cup filled with blackberries picked for me from the blackberry bush, and I’ll never forget what he told me. He said, “Emily, I want you to understand that men don’t have the best way with words, and sometimes they want you to know they love you and are sorry but they don’ts know how to say it, so they’ll bring you home flowers or something else (in my case it was a cup of blackberries). So just remember that when you’re married and your husband comes home with flowers or something, he just wants to say, I love you, and I’m sorry.” I'm grateful for Employment--Michael’s and mine. Michael really “brings home the bacon” but I’m still grateful for my little jobs because they give me fulfillment and the chance to grown and learn new things.
So me and my friend Amyntas went to a ballet last night. It was the first time I've ever been to one, and it was really neat. The first portion was "A Midsummer Night's Dream" which was very typical for a ballet, including fairies, pretty sparkly costumes, etc. The 2nd portion was NOT anything I expected. It was called "Ride the Culture Loop" by Anna Sokolow and it was...interesting. Just a lot of randomness that made NO sense to me, but I guess everyone has their own interpretation. Nonetheless, I'm glad I went and got a little "culture." :)
I'm graetful for Forever families. One of the greatest sources of comfort to me every day is that I can be with my family forever. I don’t know how people get by without this knowledge; it has ALWAYS been a source of comfort and strength to me. I'm grateful for General conference—I LOVE listening to the general authorities and I feel inspired by their presence alone. I love feeling the spirit when they speak and how I want to be a better person with every message they share. I'm grateful for my Health—I am SO grateful for my body and that I can do pretty much anything I want to with it –exercise, take care of my family, get around without any problems, etc. A lot of people don’t have these blessings of good health and I certainly don’t take mine for granted. I'm grateful for Inspiration—I feel inspired so easily it seems like these days—I don’t know if its being a mom or what, but I feel SO lucky that Heavenly Father lets me feel inspiration despite all my setbacks and imperfections.
I’m grateful for Jan asay. She is my mother in-law. And she is amazing. One example: When Michael and I were dating, we were really “on and off” (and I admit it was my fault), and I’m sure I drove her crazy for putting her son through the craziness, and I was sure that one of the million times I came through her door to see Michael she was going to rip me a new one or at LEAST give me a deserved dirty look but she ALWAYS greeted me with the happiest “well hello!!...how are you!!??” you’ve ever heard. She’s just that kind of person—Michael calls it the “Monk (her maiden name) magnetism.” She has sacrificed her whole life for her family and given her all. I hope I can be half the mother she is (and I hope she saved me a Sees candy for Thanksgiving). Just kidding Jan.
*You cry at the polar express *You just leave your shoes untied because its too uncomfortable to bend down to tie them *You sit for a half hour just looking at your stomach watching it move *You constantly think about how you could make your home more clean, organized, etc. *You breathe through your mouth during your shower because the smell of your shamp & cond. sends you over the edge (at least mine does)
I'm grateful for Knowledge. I’m thankful to belong to a church that encourages learning and especially for a dad who made it possible and encouraged me to stick it through college so I could learn all the wonderful things I did.
I'm grateful for Local church leaders—I’m grateful for my bishopric and the countless hours they put in behind the scenes to make our ward “run.” I feel the spirit so strong every Sunday as I sit in sacrament meeting and it wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for sacrificing, worthy priesthood holders who love and serve God.
I'm grateful for Michael. He's my best friend and I love knowing I can talk to him about anything. Plus he’s a GREAT dad and there’s nothing I could want more than a great dad for my children.
I'm grateful for Nice people. Some are, some aren’t, and I’m so grateful for the ones that are.
I'm grateful for Opportunities. I’m proud to live in a country where I’ve always had lots of opportunities and for all the other ones that have come my way throughout my life in the form of education, jobs, callings, etc.
I'm graeful for Parents. Especially for the fact that the took me to church every Sunday, taught me about the gospel of Jesus Christ and loved me.
I’m grateful for Quiet time. A.k.a. when Stetson takes his nap. I know come February I won’t have much of it, so I’m relishing my quiet moments now when I can get stuff done or just relax. Its my “recharge” time.
L-R: Me, Michael, Rocky (Matthew's buddy from school), Matthew & Charlene. Matthew Michael receiving his scholarship Last night was Michael's scholarship banquet and it was g-o-o-d. They served prime rib with green beans and potatoes with this yummy sauce on top. PLUS, a delish green salad and some vinagrette dressing. For dessert we had cream puffs with pumpking pie filling inside. Yum-o. Michael and Matthew looked dazzling of course with Matthew in his trendy brown Corduroy jacket compliments of Stan Asay, plus a belt buckle and boots to top off the whole ensemble. Michael was less daring with just jeans and a buttom up shirt. :)
I’m grateful for Revelation. I love that we belong to a church where we can receive personal revelation tailored to our lives and personal needs. It’s a wonderful thing. We woke up to some LOVELY weather this morning-its actually really pretty but doesn't make for good driving. :( AND Stetson made (well me actually) this dinosaur hat at story time yesterday. And, happy birthday to my big brother Morgan!! :)