Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Day and New Years

My last day of work was last Wednesday. It was a bittersweet day. I can't decide if planning my last day to be during Christmas break was a good idea or not. It was good because I didn't get as sad because everyone was gone, but it was sad because everyone was gone and so it was kind of anticlimatic with no goodbyes or farewell parties or anything.

I really did love my job, and it is hard to give it up. I put a lot of my heart and soul into those programs and my students over the past 3 years, and it is really hard to let go of that. I'm proud of what I did there, and I loved seeing my students succeed and grow. I'm really going to miss them.

On the other hand, it has been nice not to have to leave Emily in the mornings. She has been doing a lot better now that she has been able to be on a more consistent schedule and I'm glad I don't have to miss out on her growing up. I was reading an article in the Ensign a few days ago that really helped me to feel peace about this whole thing. It was about a mom who had a sick baby, and she was at the hospital worrying about everything. She just felt this voice tell her not to worry, that things will be taken care of, and to just enjoy her baby. I know that is what I need to do...just enjoy her and trust in the Lord that He will take care of the rest.

And I honestly feel like I can more fully enjoy her and appreciate the time I have with her than I would have had I not gone back to work. But I also know it's going to be a whole new ball game as I end one season of life and learn how to enter a new one....cuz I've got A LOT to learn about being a mom.

We had a fun New Year's. At first I was sad because I wanted to get together with our friends, but most of them live in Salt Lake, and I didn't want to drag Emily up there and drive home in the wee hours of the morning. So that didn't work out. But instead we went over to my Grandma's and hung out with a bunch of cousins. I figured that would work better because then if Emily was having a hard time, we could just take her home since my Grandma lives so close. But Emily did great and actually slept through all the noise...fireworks, gunshots and all!

On New Year's, we had family pictures with my family, and Matt's family does this tradition of eating black-eyed peas and collard greens because his Grandpa was from Georgia and they always ate that on New Year's to ensure they had a financially prosperous year. Apparently the peas represent coins and the greens represent dollars. And we can definately use some financial help this year, so hopefully it works!

2010 has been a great year. One full of changes, but we are excited for what the next year will bring (and are crossing our fingers that everything will work out with me quitting my job and Matt finishing school and getting a new job.) I can honestly say that I have absolutely NO IDEA where our lives will be at this time next year. Which is kind of scary. I've always been a planner. But it looks like this time we'll just have to wait and see what the Lord has in store for our little family in 2011.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Day

We had quite the busy Christmas.On Christmas Eve, we had our own little gift exchange at home and then we went off to visit all the family. We stopped at my Grandma's in Spanish Fork and then my other Grandma's in Draper before heading to Matt's parents for dinner. We had dinner with them, and watched their traditional Christmas Eve movie, Nora's Christmas. Then we went to my parents' to sleep over. We played Battle of the Sexes with my siblings and laughed at Laurie because she thought one of the 3 stooges was Shim, and that the most prestigious decoration in the US was a wreath. Ha! On Christmas morning, we all crammed into the family room (all 13 of us) and had a great time. Here is Rivers just chillin with his dangly toys amid all the wrapping paper.

Emily was still sleeping at this point, but soon decided she didn't want to miss out on anything. All Day long. She would not take her naps at all.

I got Matt this silly toy helicopter, and he was so excited!

His dad had gotten one recently and Matt sat and played with it for hours.

He even got some Mountain Dew to match his pants!

Emily had a grand old time opening her presents. It was so cute, she loved the ribbons and paper. And she is in this stage now where she loves to feel things, so she would rip the paper right off.

Of course she needed to taste everything too.

Here she is very intently concentrating on her gift.

The ribbon was her favorite thing!

She got these cute little finger puppets, and loved them!

She also enjoyed some horsey rides from Grandpa.

Although I'm sure who enjoyed them more, Emily or Grandpa!

She was being such a ham all day (when she wasn't crying because she needed a nap). She would just giggle and smile at everyone.

And taste all of her presents.

We sure do love our little Emmy baby! After Christmas morning at the Shepherds, we headed over to the Livelys to spend some time with Matt's fam.

This was the Christmas dress and shoes I got her. I love it so much and think she looks so cute in it. This little rocking chair Emily inherited from Great-Grandma Lively.

And then Matt's helicopter flew right into my hair and got stuck. It seriously took 5 minutes to get it out.

Anyway, we had a great Christmas and loved spending time with our families. Thank you everyone for all the wonderful gifts and fun times! It was especially fun to watch Em.

Monday, December 27, 2010

My favorite part of Christmas 2010

On Christmas Day, Emily was being quite the pill and would not take a nap. She was so tired and I knew she just needed a nap, but she didn't want to have anything to do with that. So for a good part of the day I sat with her in a room by ourselves just rocking her and singing Christmas hymns to her trying to get her to fall asleep. Although at first I was quite annoyed that she wouldn't go to sleep and I felt like I was missing out on what was going on downstairs, I began to be grateful for that moment. It helped me to remember that first Christmas night long ago when amid all the chaos happening in Bethlehem during tax season, there in a quiet stable, Mary was probably trying to rock her own little baby to sleep. There was so much happening all around, but the most important thing was happening in that quiet little stable. It helped me remember to forget about all the chaos and busyness that so often consumes our Christmases and remember what is really important, and just enjoy those peaceful moments. Thank you Emily for reminding me of the real meaning of Christmas and sharing that special moment with me.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The real Snowmagedden

Remember back in November when "the big storm" was coming and then it never did? Well yesterday it came about a month late! It snowed for over 24 hours straight, and we got about 18 inches of snow at our house. It took Matt about 2 hours to dig out our driveway. The snowplow came through our neighborhood and pushed about 3 feet of snow right in front of our driveway and locked in a bunch of cars that were parked on the street. It was quite the ordeal.

As I was growing up, my mom started a tradition of giving us a new ornament every year that represented something that had happened during that year. I love it, and I love that my Christmas tree is a hodgepodge of memories. So I decided to do the same thing with Emily. This year, she gets a lovely silver star with her name and birthdate engraved on it. The inside star spins, and her birthdate is on the back. I love how it turned out.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Livelys

Here is our annual Christmas card. Click on it to read the small text. Enjoy!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Here comes Santa...


Uh oh, Hello...that's 5 months!

 Our little Emmy is 5 months old! At 5 months Emily...

-is sleeping 12-14 hours straight (6-6:30 p.m.-7:30 or 8 a.m.) through the night (oh hallelujah!)
-is obsessed with the remote control
-has started eating rice cereal and oatmeal
-has gotten the hang of opening her mouth when the spoon comes along
-has the cutest little giggle
-loves her toy keys
-weighs a little over 14 pounds
-still fights taking her naps
-loves to put everything in her mouth
-loves to feel things with her hands
-grabs onto my bottom lip while nursing
-loves to suck her 2 middle fingers
-loves to blow raspberries and make people laugh during church
-tries to sit up, but can't so it looks like she is doing crunches

We sure do love our Emmy baby!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Santa baby

Emily got to see Santa for the first time at our ward Christmas party this morning. She was pretty much just eyeing that candy cane! Ha! We are now done with being the ward activities directors. It was fun, but also stressful. We got a new calling as Sunday School teachers to the 16-17-year-old class. Yikes!

Friday, December 17, 2010


This week as I’ve been handing everything over at work, this scene from the movie Father of the Bride keeps playing over and over in my head…

Franck, the wedding coordinator, comes over to the Banks’ house to plan how everything will be set up for the wedding. Franck takes one look at George’s house (which George is proud of and loves it just the way it is) and says, “Ah, very nice, very nice…we change it all though.” And then George says, “With one swift move, I'd been cut out of the deal. Annie, Nina and Franck were in charge now. Old Dad was history.”

That is exactly how I have felt this week. I realized that I have become very possessive of the work I’ve done, and I have hated handing it over. It’s hard letting go of all the hard work I’ve put into these programs and know that things are probably eventually going to be changed. I’m sure I'm probably overreacting and taking it too personally, and in a month from now it probably won’t bother me, but right now I don’t like it one bit.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Decorations of red...on a green Christmas tree....

I'm taking a poll. I got this stocking (the one in the middle) for Emily. I can't decide if I am going to keep it or not. I think it's super cute, but it's also pretty trendy and there's nothing really special about it. And it doesn't match mine and Matt's. So my dilhema is...should I get stockings that all match? Should I buy a whole bunch now so that all our kids will have matching ones? Does it matter that there's nothing really special about it or is it special enough that I just think it's cute? I could put her name on it. And what makes a stocking special anyway? Also, when we have other kids (if we ever have other kids) should I just get them all different ones based on whatever I like at the time?

I'm kind of a sentimental person, so this is kind of a big deal to me, so I need some feedback. She's going to have this stocking for the rest of her life. I just can't decide!

But here is our lovely Christmas tree...

It is much more fragrant than any other tree I've had and I love it!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Upcoming Changes: The Good, Bad and Ugly

The Good: I am quitting my job at the end of December. I do have another job lined up. I will be working as a writer for Demand Media. It’s a company that produces articles for a variety of websites. I will mostly be writing for,, and I will be able to work from home as much or as little as I want whenever I want. I am looking for other freelance writing opportunities, and will hopefully get more work there. I’m also looking into teaching part-time as adjunct faculty. We will NOT be going into debt. I will be able to be with Emily and focus more time on learning how to be a good mom. I won’t have to miss out on her life and she will be able to have a more consistent schedule. I won’t have to pump. Matt won’t have to stay home in the mornings with Emily, and so he will have more time to focus on school and getting his thesis done and looking for a job.

The Bad: I really did like my job, and I will be sad to end this era of my life. I will miss having people to talk to during the day. I am afraid I might get bored with no one to talk to all day. I will miss my students and being able to help them be successful. Demand Media doesn’t pay very well at all so we are going to be REALLY poor for awhile until Matt graduates and gets a job. We will be losing all my great benefits, so we will have to find new health insurance, and we won’t get that nice scholarship check every semester. We will probably have to go on crappy student insurance for awhile. We may have to pull some money out of our savings if Matt doesn’t get a job fairly soon after graduating. That is the scary part. Hopefully he will be able to get one quickly.

The Ugly: I feel like somewhat of a failure. We honestly felt like me staying at my job til Matt was done with school was the right thing for our family. But I couldn’t handle it. I don’t want to be a quitter. I’ve always been able to accomplish what I set my mind to. Until now. I hate that my best wasn't good enough. I also feel like a failure because in the 3 years I worked at BYU, I was not quite able to get the programs I oversaw to where I wanted them/thought they needed to be. Plus, if I’m going to be a stay-at-home mom, I’m going to have to get a Bump-It and learn how to cook/bake/bottle fruit/sew/make crafts/scrapbook/host playgroups & card clubs/become a Scentsy distributor/watch Barney/etc. I’m SO not good at any of those things. And, I always thought being a mom would come naturally, but I am just not a natural mother.

All that being said, I don’t regret coming back to work after Emily was born. We honestly felt like that was the right decision at that time. I just hope we don’t regret this decision either.