Monday, January 25, 2016

A Glimpse of Thanksgiving 2015

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Thanksgiving 2015 was spent in Idaho at the Wolfley homestead.  My mother-in-law always does a great job making everything feel fancy and comfortable all at the same time.  All 19 of us were there which was a first!  Jared’s older sister, Kristen, from Utah; her husband, Richard, and their four kids - Kate, Will, Drew, and Claire; and Jared’s younger brother, Clint, from Boise; his wife, Katie, and their three kids - Max, Christian, and Charlee. 

Everyone pitched in to make it a success.  Jared did a great job carving the turkey, Katie made the most delicious rolls, my father-in-law gave a prayer of thanks, and the kids ate & ran around like wild monkeys.  AnnMarie nonchalantly imposed my dad’s favorite Thanksgiving tradition before the prayer which was always for everyone to say one thing they're thankful for - something that starts with the first letter of their name.   

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^^^ Drew enjoying himself ^^^

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^^^ Carlie extra happy to be able to spend time with her cousin Claire ^^^

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After a very filling feast, we loaded up the kids and sang "over the sagebrush and through the fields to Grandmother Julie’s house we go,” haha!  My mom hosted a Thanksgiving Feast of her own, too, so we were able to share some pie with extended family in the house that built me...and play some good ole Turkey BINGO.  Oh my goodness, it was so funny!  I wish I would’ve taken a few pictures of that; it was pretty entertaining.  It brought tears to my eyes hearing a house-full of laughter from the edge of the driveway as we pulled up that cold afternoon.

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^^^ Marley, Madi, and Carlie ^^^

I love having opportunities to be surrounded by family.  It’s one of the great joys of my life and something I look forward to creating as the years go by.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

On Being Unselfish

I came upon these quotes this morning that I want to hold on to forever.  Our Savior gave Himself to unselfish service; I want nothing more than to be like Him.  I pray that my husband & I can always be wise in our decisions - in order that we may lose ourselves in the unselfish service of others and build the Kingdom of God on earth!  It isn’t always easy to give up our personal desires or dreams when called to His work, but from my experience - at the end of the day - it’s impossible to feel peace & sincere happiness in the pursuit of personal gain.      

"We live in a time when sacrifice is definitely out of fashion, when the outside forces that taught our ancestors the need for unselfish cooperative service have diminished.  Someone has called this the “me” generation—a selfish time when everyone seems to be asking, what’s in it for me?  Even some who should know better seem to be straining to win the praise of those who mock and scoff from the “great and spacious building” identified in vision as the pride of the world.” - Elder Dallin H. Oaks

"People that know they are important, think about others.  People that think they are important, think about themselves.” - Hans F. Hansen

Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either.” - Erich Fromm

"Selfish people often mistake selfishness for strength.  It takes no talent, no intelligence, no self-control, and no effort to sacrifice other people for your ego.”  - Anonymous

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Raising Nice Girls

  Now before you start thinking this post is about how nice my girls are...it’s not.  Although I will say I think they’re getting better at being nicer more often.  

  I feel like my girls have both grown up so much this school year.  I’ve noticed changes in both of them, and it takes my breathe away sometimes.  It really wasn’t that long ago when their after-school festivities involved dressing up like a super hero (or a three musketeer princess), rearranging furniture to build forts, and sneaking snacks!  These days they're more in to just plopping down on a stool next to the counter to tell me every detail of their entire day!  I appreciate that they’ll do that though.  The social aspect of school is an education in and of itself.  The playground is tougher than it use to be!  I know mean-girl behavior has existed forever, but it’s really interesting to see some of these tendencies seep into the early elementary years.  

  I try to be careful about being that terrified parent who classifies everything as bullying though.  Some of it’s perceived, some of it’s provoked, but some of it’s real, and I guess that’s where we as parents have to make judgement calls - being attune to our child’s self-esteem and the social interactions that are affecting them - for better or for worse.  I can’t help but wonder what’s causing it though.  Girls wanting to be older than they are?  The excessive types of media made available to kids at such young ages?  Mean moms?  Who knows!  If anything, it’s started some healthy after-school conversations like - Are you saying hurtful things?  Are you telling secrets about other girls?  Are you upset when someone does a good job?  What do you think it means to be a good friend?  Are you concerned with what other girls look like or are you nice no matter what they look like and how they dress?  What’s the difference between being funny and making fun of someone?  Do you start “clubs” that exclude others?  Do you "wanna be” like someone else or do you “wanna be” YOU?  (The more I think about it, I need to ask myself these questions more often, too!)   

  It’s not easy helping girls to work through relationships, and I suspect it’s something I’ll be dealing with for a very long time, but through it all, I’m so very fortunate to have this experience - raising two beautiful daughters who are maturing the best they know how.  I’ll love them forever, I’ll like them for always - they can count on that.  Sad, but true - being nice doesn’t come naturally to most people.  

  But one thing’s for sure, we’ll continue to have plenty of opportunities to work on it here at home with each other.

PF7GSF2Q

AnnMarie, 3rd grade

WWG9E8Z8

 Carlie, 1st grade 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A few favorite moments I want to remember (from October)

Do you ever feel like we live in a world where there’s just way too much information out there?  Gasp.  I do.  I can only imagine how someone living in the 1930s would feel about that assessment.  Those who are close to me know that I really don’t like social media!  I keep giving it a whirl, and without fail, I really really don’t enjoy the obligation towards it or some of the non-essential information it fills my brain space with!  I’ll get off my soap box, but basically, I think our society could use a major social media hiatus.  Either that, or I just require a lot of brain space - probably the latter, haha!  I discovered this quote and have been pondering it:

“What information consumes is rather obvious; it consumes the attention of it’s recipients.  Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”  - Herbert Simon 

But one thing I’ve learned about myself over the years is that I genuinely enjoy blogging - so I’ll keep doing that.  There’s something about it - reflecting, documenting, and sharing - that keeps my heart happy and my mind organized.  That being said, I managed to capture a few favorite moments from October that I wanted to share.  

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^^^ Luke is walking! ^^^

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^^^^ General Conference cinnamon rolls (my favorite weekend ever) ^^^

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^^^ Ward Halloween Carnival that the Primary was over (fun times) ^^^

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^^^ a man of many talents (the attire says it all) ^^^

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^^^ Fall Festival at the Country Mercantile with Mom & Brad ^^^

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^^^ an amazing weekend with Aunt Emmy & Uncle Nate ^^^

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^^^ Trick-or-Treating in the rain ^^^

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^^^ and last but not least, lazy afternoons with my buddy Gabe ^^^ 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Where I Wanna Be

Has it been two months already?  Why, yes it has.  I won’t overextend myself with regard to the busy-ness we’ve experienced as of late.  Life moves, doesn’t it?  I’ve been reading through some tender letters & cards that I received a few months after my dad died.  My heart is full as I reflect on life’s journey - the twists & turns - the enormous amount of faith that it takes to move forward some days, and the continued gratitude I feel for God’s plan at work in my own life.  

I tend to overthink things at times, so instead I’ll just do my best to relish in the simplicity these pictures bring.  

I love our house more each day.  This new year marked the longest we’ve ever been under the same roof (going on three years people)…which called for a house celebration.  For me that meant sprucing up the place & taking a few pictures of the upstairs before the holidays hit, haha!  I like the layout and the space we have here.  Things are always a work in progress, but I can honestly say that I feel at home here.    

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Happy two and a half years house!  We’re happy to call you our home.