Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A New Year and some changes

With this new Year, comes some new changes for our family. We are expecting twins!!!

Just kidding.   Sorry, bad joke. 

First things first, Ryan graduated!!! WOOOO!!! He graduated in Marketing at Utah Valley University with being the top of his class, and the President of the marketing club. He worked so so so hard and we are THRILLED for him. He accepted a full-time job at Acumen Learning where he will be taking a new product to market. Exciting stuff!! 
Since Ryan is now working full-time... that means that I get to go part-time!! Wooo!! Working full-time has been recently draining and I have felt this empty hole inside of me for not spending as much time with Ellie as I should be. I can't wait to be able to stay home with Ellie more. Which brings us to Ellie girl:  Ellie has been going to the same daycare now since she was 9 months old. It is definitely time for a change. We found a fabulous preschool that will be more structured for her and has a great learning environment.  She starts at the new school on Monday and is excited to go to a "Big Girl school". :)

With these changes come excitement and happiness, yet also brings me a lot of anxiety and makes me absolutely terrified to be a part-time stay at home mommy. I can't remember the last time I was a stay-at-home mom, so I don't even know what the heck I am doing or what to expect. I don't cook? I don't craft amazing things?  I feel completely inadequate to be a stay at home mom. You ladies make it look easy and fun! So tell me your secrets...... Because I am super close to begging Ryan to be the stay-at-home dad while I work for the rest of my life. (he is a natural at this parenting thing)

I have had these thoughts on my mind for the past few months and they are eating me alive. I guess the thought of the unknown is getting to me, and making me over-think things.  I have had so many mixed emotions about being a stay at home mom--- Like for example... I like to stay busy.  Probably because if I don't, then I will die of over-analyzing.  Will I be able to stay busy as a stay-at-home mom? Will I feel like I am making a difference? Will I feel like I am being productive and innovative with my life? Or will I get stuck in this routine of cooking and cleaning my life away? Will I still be able to find time to read? or rock-climb? Will I still be able to keep a balanced life? Will I be lonely because I am so used to working with and seeing Ryan every day? Will I be able to make... ahem, "Mommy friends" ? The thought of breaking out of my shell to make "mommy friends" makes me cringe.  I feel like I am in 7th grade all over again trying to meet new friends.

But then the other part of me says that maybe I will absolutely love being a stay-at-home mom. And I will feel more worth than ever before. And I will feel wanted and needed, and feel satisfied by finally being able to clean my house for more than 10 minutes a day. Maybe I will feel more of a love for being a mom because I will be around Ellie more to be able to feel that reward of going through ups and downs with her.  Maybe being a stay-at-home mom will open more doors for me. Maybe since I am a terrible cook right now, I will be forced to just try and cook, and maybe even enjoy doing it and make something that tastes like actual food. Maybe. 

I tend to over analyze everything, as you can tell! But I just get anxiety trying to be a good wife and mom in this life.  I know that my over-thinking definitely gets in the way of that sometimes. I just need to stop THINKING and start TRYING or DOING. Easier said than done, right? But with this New Year, I hope to try and be more optimistic, and stop comparing myself to other moms.  Try and be a little more relaxed with my thinking. Be a little more spontaneous, and not try and plan every little thing out ahead of time. Because let's face it. No matter how hard we try and plan things out or make things perfect, life is always going to throw curve balls. I just need to be ready for whatever life brings to me and learn to go through it happily with my amazing family by my side to help me out.  

Now that you all think I am crazy... do you have any suggestions for me? How do you mommy's out there handle being a stay-at-home mom? -What are the hardest parts about being at home with kids?  How do you find time to still be "You" ?  
I would love to hear your thoughts or suggestions. Just please, no one suggest that I need to see a shrink or therapist.. That is already in the works. ;)

I am grateful for this time in my life. It is good for me to learn to overcome my fears and to try and take things one step at a time instead of trying to think so far ahead in my life.  
I wish so badly that my own sweet angel mom was still here with me in this life, giving me advice.  These past few months I have missed her more than I ever have, that it hurts.  I often have a pity party thinking that if only I had my mom here, or if I had sisters, then everything would be better. I would have motherly advice easily accessed by a phone call, I would know how to cook, I would have a babysitter if I needed to have some "me time", I would have a shopping buddy, and someone to vent to. But I need to let the people who are here on this earth, help me. And by that I mean, taking a jump out of my comfort zone to seek help, comfort, and friendship from my amazing sister-in-laws and mother-in-law, and girlfriends. I am truly lucky to have them in my life, and need to seek them more for advice.   I miss my mom more than words can express, but I know that she is here in my heart helping me feel her love as I am going through this trial. I am grateful for her example to me as a mother, even though my last day with her was when I was only 14 years old. I hold on to the small memories that she left for me, like her being out-going, caring, loving, driven, happy and passionate about her kids and her life. I hope to live my life even a fraction of how she lived hers. 

I am grateful for my amazing husband who never loses his temper with me. I am sure there have been many times where he has wanted to shake me and tell me to stop being negative, but he is patient with me and helps me think through my thoughts until I see the positive of things.  He is always there to support me and love me, even if I am hard to deal with at times. He will never know how much I look up to him for his attitude towards life. He is so optimistic, happy, and passionate, and if he wants something then he is determined to get it. He makes an effort to make his life the way that HE wants it, and doesn't just go with the flow. He is not afraid to take chances or risks. He isn't afraid of being a beginner at something.  Instead, he works so hard at it until he is good at it. And he doesn't stop there. He works hard until he is GREAT at it.  He doesn't give up on things, and I truly look up to him for his attitude towards life.
I am grateful for my sweet Ellie and for everything that she teaches me in my life. I hope to be the kind of mother to her that my mother was to me so that as she grows up,  the fact that I wasn't a great cook, or the best at doing her hair, that she always knows that I love her immensely and would do anything for her. 
I truly am greatly blessed in my life, and I need to not take things for granted. One of my New Year's resolutions is to be more grateful. Not just in my heart, but vocally to the people whom I love. 

Thanks for letting me vent, ya'll.

Here are some quotes that I am loving lately, that I need to keep in mind as I take this next step in my life.  (all images via my Pinterest)

This last one is my personal favorite ;)

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Christmas 2013

Christmas was great this year! We are so lucky that both of our families live close to us, so that we can share the holidays with everyone. We are so blessed!
Here is a photo dump of our Christmas festivities.

Christmas at the Cope house

Ryan & King James

The girls looked so cute in their Christmas Jammies!!

The guys in their Christmas Jammies!  (I was a little jealous of their sweet hoodies)

Papa with his grandkids

Austin, Brittany, and their adorable twins- Thea and James

Ryan's sister Noelle's reaction to her sparkly backpack :)

Mimi & Papa with Bella and Noelle!

Mimi's reaction to the locket necklace that Ellie got her :)

Spencer with Thea

The only thing that Ellie wanted for Christmas was a Unicorn backpack that she saw at Nordstrom. :) Her reaction was priceless! I am so glad that I had my camera with me.

She just hugged it all day... :)

We got to Skype with Ryan's brother, Elder Conner Cope! He is currently serving the LDS church in the country of Nicaragua. We love you Con Man!!! He is doing so well, and we are all so grateful for him.

He looks so good!!!

I started a little picture tradition every Christmas Eve.. All of the handsome Cope boys get together and prepare the crab for dinner, all while wearing their Christmas pajamas. I love this shot! (minus that we are missing Conner) 
Maybe next year I will post all four pictures that I have of them :)

These babies have my heart!!

Christmas at the Duncan house

This year, my brother and sister-in-law organized a little nativity for the kids to put on, complete with shepherds, Mary, Joseph, and an adorable angel. 
Definitely going to be a tradition every Christmas!  
The kids looked so festive, and Ellie loved being Mary despite her face in this picture. ha

I could eat baby Julian up!!!

Ryan and I made Christmas brunch for everyone!

My brother Dan and his wife Alli, and their adorable boys Cody and Mason

Cody + Ellie 

Phoebe was too cute this year!!

We made a calendar for my dad to hang in his office

My twin brother Russ and his wife Jana are the cutest!! 

My brother Brad and his wife Gina and their adorable kids Phoebe and Julian

Ellie was excited about her new rock climbing shoes!

Ellie got her own yoga mat! This is serious business, folks!

For the past 6 months, I have been secretly working with my dad to put together another book that he wrote to surprise everyone for Christmas.  It is the cutest book! I will have to share it with you in another post, but it is about a boy and his green galoshes. So, him being the cutest grandpa that he is, he got every grandchild a pair of green galoshes to go along with the book. EEEK! I can't wait to share the book with you. It is adorable!

For a gift for my dad, us kids decided to take him on a scavenger hunt around the house and have him end up in a room in his basement. We did a room make-over to turn one of the rooms into a playroom for the kids! We thought this would be a fun idea because he doesn't have much time himself to do that, and the grandkids need a specific room that they can mess up instead of messing up his whole house :) 
It was a fun surprise for my dad AND the grandkids!

The reveal! We all just donated toys to the playroom so that we didn't even need to buy that much for it. It turned out great!

Phoebe got the most fun present of all! This mini coaster!
 The kids played on this thing forever.

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

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Monday, December 30, 2013

December Sayings

These are actually quotes from Ellie for the past couple of months... (I have been a horrible blogger lately!)
But Ellie is still saying hilarious things, so I love to share them on here so that I can remember them forever.
(p.s. Ellie is 4 years old right now)

While cuddling, Ellie came in close and stroked my cheek and said, "I just love you so very much momma. Your skin is so soft and you are OH so sweet!"

"You're my favorite human"

"I want new mommy's and daddy's!!!" 
 (gotta love the drastic change from the last one to this one ;)

"Did you hear that?! It was a pyramid of toots!"

Ellie has been asking a lot of questions lately about heaven. She said, "When I was in heaven before I was a baby, was Santa Clause there will all of my friends too?"

I asked Ellie if she wanted to go see Santa at the mall and she said, "Oh YA! But don't tell him I was naughty today.... Because I was good the other day before today, I promise!"

"I want to watch Barbie and the Graham Cracker"  (she meant to say Nutcracker, I believe.) 

We were driving in the car and Ellie said, "I'm just closing my eyes to rest and think about Jesus. Like how he wants us to brush our teeth and wash our hands after we go potty. Ya! I am thinking about what mommy and daddy and Jesus want me to do!"

"Wanna know what I wanna be when I grow up? A Player. Because I am really good at playing with things"

"I have two dads, just like Jesus!!"

"When I am older I will marry Daddy!! and I will be the wife!!"

Laying in bed with Ellie-- 
Ellie: "I wish you were my Aunt"
Me: "haha Why? You don't want me to be your mommy?"
Ellie: "No, I wish Sharon was my mommy." Then she laughed.
(Sharon is my Co-worker/family friend) haha!

Ellie woke up and wandered to our room and I said, "Hi Sweetie! You slept for a long time!" and She said, "Is that doing what Jesus wants me to do?"

** Obviously this is the age of curiosity about Jesus! ;)

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Generic Latisse Holiday Sale!

I am running a Holiday Special on the generic Latisse from now until the end of the year! 
Who doesn't want longer eyelashes??

Only $30/bottle!! (plus $3 shipping)
Email me to order, or to ask me any questions. 
This stuff is the BEST!

(And also makes for a great gift for anyone who has been wanting to try this stuff out!)
Contact Michelle --    lashlove7@gmail.com

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Heavenly homemade Egg Nog

My friends Kelli & Robyn FINALLY started selling their famous homemade Egg Nog that they make every year!
 You guys.. I am not an egg nog fan, but this stuff is AMAZING! It tastes nothing like store bought egg nog.. It is so so soooo yummy. I had it the other morning with pumpkin pancakes and buttermilk syrup. Oooohh my. It is the perfect drink for a holiday breakfast!
It comes in this cute bottle with a ribbon and tag-- These would be perfect holiday gifts for neighbors, friends, family, coworkers, parents, or for yourself! They make it fresh every Wednesday in Orem, Utah, so contact them if you want to pick some up or order in bulk! $10.50/bottle and $8 refills. (I am already on my 2nd refill) This stuff is heavenly!! Call or text Kelli Cloward: #801-822-8602 or Robyn Nelson #801-836-7665. 
Such a yummy, unique gift!!

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