Brett, Heather, Kayla, and Tyson

Brett, Heather, Kayla, and Tyson
Brett, Heather, Kayla, and Tyson

Thursday, November 28, 2013

My Gratitude List

I have loved reading everyone's post on Facebook with their daily gratitude. I decided that rather than posting every day, I'd save it for a post on the blog. I would be a fool not to focus on my many blessings and remember where they really come from - a loving Heavenly Father. I, of course, know its important to remember all year long, but I love the season that reminds us as a society to bring our blessings to the forefront of our minds. As for yearlong remembrance, I feel the key is daily prayer, as a family and as individuals. What better way to remember our blessings and where they come from than by thanking Heavenly Father for them every morning and night? So that leads me to my first item.

30 Items of Gratitude (In NO particular order)
1. Prayer. What a blessing! I would be lost without prayer. Communication and a relationship with my Father in Heaven is what has gotten me through any and every trial that has come my way. I remember developing a personal testimony of prayer at a very young age (3 or 4). I have always made an effort to pray daily, at least. The comfort that accompanies this practice is  immeasurable. 

2. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I feel that with each passing day, my gratitude for the Gospel and the church organization grows. I feel such peace in my life and in the decisions that I make from the guidance of the Spirit. How wonderful to be a member of Christ's restored church on the earth.

3. The Priesthood. I'm so grateful for the power of the Priesthood. I'm thankful for my father, who honored his Priesthood throughout his life, setting an example to me. I'm especially thankful to my husband to also honors his Priesthood and uses it to bless our home. He gave me a blessing as we left to the hospital to have Kayla. He blessed Kayla at church. I appreciate his decision to live worthy of that Priesthood. I'm grateful to have the Lord's Priesthood so we know there is the correct authorization to act in His name.

4. The Spirit. Life is tough! I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father didn't send us to earth just to leave us hanging! He sent the Spirit to accompany us always. I'm also SO grateful for the ability to receive Spiritual guidance in life's big decisions. I'm a worrier. Without receiving confirmation and edification, I'd be a wreck. With every big life decision I've made, I've received the confirmation to know it was right or wrong. I've also received priceless comfort from the Spirit when I've been sad, confused, or lost, usually accompanying prayer. :)

5. Brett. Oh, my word, I don't know if words can describe how grateful I am for this man! I waited awhile to find him and it was definitely worth the wait. He's so perfectly suited to me. He makes me laugh every day. He's the best husband I could ask for and a better father than I even imagined he would be. I smile every time I think about him. Who wouldn't love that face!? :) (pardon the cheesyness on this one)

6. Marriage! This has been one of my goals for as long as I could remember. It came along a little later than I thought it would have, and I was able to have a lot of adventures before I got married. But now, I'm so grateful for marriage and the blessing of it being forever. Brett is my best friend. I've genuinely been grateful for my marriage every day since we were married. I'm also grateful for the marriages around me, both good and bad, that I was able to learn from. I knew what I wanted in a marriage partner, and waited until I found the right person. And every day, I strive to be the right person for him. 

Our wedding day September 17, 2011

7. Temples. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we so blessed to have the Lord's Temples here on the earth again. I've been blessed to be able to attend the temple as a youth and as a young single adult, but being able to enter the temple to be married to Brett was one of the best days of my life. As I stated before, we're in this thing literally FOREVER! Our marriage has no end. It's an eternal union. And with that, Kayla and any other children we may have, are also sealed to us forever. It also works in reverse, as we are also sealed to our parents and siblings. What a wonderful blessing to have the knowledge that Families are Forever.
Idaho Falls, Idaho Temple
8. Kayla. The joy in my life has grown exponentially since Kayla entered this world of ours. Her smile brings my heart such joy. Snuggling and cuddling her gives me such comfort. Kayla inspires me to be healthier and kinder to others. So many things have a deeper, new meaning. Life is more profound. I'm so much more emotional, as life is more tender now. Motherhood truly is a gift that I do not take for granted. Here are just a few of my favorite pictures of our sweet precious girl.
Kayla 6 weeks
Kayla 9 Mos
Kayla 1 day old
9. My Mom. My mom has always been one of my best friends. I've always been able to confide in her and have open communication with her, which I'm grateful for. I'm thankful for all she has taught me in my life. I'm thankful for her example of love. She's a great listener and many people open up to her. I hope to be like her in many ways. She's also a wonderful Grandma!
Grandma and Kayla at 1 week old
10. My Dad. My dad is a wonderful man and father. I'm grateful for the example he's set for me with his testimony of the Gospel. I always saw him reading his scriptures. My dad loves to laugh and he has a loud one! My dad doesn't judge and is quick to forgive. I'm grateful for the love he has for me.

Grandpa and Kayla at 6 mos
11. My sister. Haley is one of my oldest and best friends. Being just the 2 of us, we had a lot of fighting, but we've also always been there for each other. Haley loves life and loves talking. :) I'm grateful for her sense of humor and her support in my life.
We're goofballs! 
12. Education. I've always loved learning. I'm so grateful that I was able to get a good education growing up with wonderful teachers and then to have the opportunity to continue on to get my Bachelor's Degree in Radiographic Science. I'm so blessed to be able to work in a well-paying job so I don't have to work many hours. I'm grateful for all the continuing education opportunities I'm blessed with. I'm also grateful for Brett's education. He is also working hard to get a second degree in Meteorology to bless our family. So many are not fortunate enough to get the education they want or deserve. I will strive to provide the best education for my children as well.
Idaho State University Graduation

13. Friends. Friends are the never ending blessing! What else in life multiplies continuously the way friends do? Every phase of life I've experienced has been filled with the right people that enriched my life at the time. I can't include a picture here because there would be dozens of all the different friends I've been blessed with. My friends have come from all different walks of life and each one has taught me so much about life and about myself. 

14. Jobs. Since the age of 13, when I started delivering papers in the mornings, I've had at least one job. I can't express how grateful I am that I have always been able to easily find wonderful jobs. Many jobs have seemed to fall in my lap, which is very humbling for me. I have had wonderful bosses and worked for great companies. Some better than others. With my current job, I've been very blessed with the schedule I have. We try to work it so that I work on Brett's days off. We don't want to pay for a day care. The way it always seems to work out with our schedules is nothing short of miraculous. We are so very fortunate to have all our needs met and more. Brett also has a great job with a company that makes us feel like family. We are so blessed and I hope that we continue to be fortunate in this department so we can bless others.

15. Co-workers. I've had awesome co-workers my whole life, accompanying my many great jobs. Still now, I consider my co-workers at Community Care to be some of my greatest friends. They got me through some hard times and know A LOT of details about my life. When working, especially full-time, your co-workers become a family, and I'm grateful for all the wonderful people that have come into my life through work.
A few of my Community Care peeps
16. My in-laws. When I married Brett, I inherited an awesome family along with him! I love how fun-loving his family is. There is so much LOUD laughter whenever we're together. I've learned a lot from my mother and sisters-in-law. I'm so grateful for the friendships I have with each of them. I also got quite a few adorable nieces and nephews and some awesome brothers-in-law! Also, I'll forever be grateful to Brett's family for helping to shape him into the wonderful man that he is. Family is a blessing and I gained a great one to add the wonderful family I already have. 
Look at this good looking bunch!

Kayla's lucky to have 4 cousins her same age.

17. Food, Cooking, and Baking. This is appropriate for this one to follow my in-laws in the list since I haven't met many people who appreciate and love food more than the Crandall bunch! My appreciation for food has definitely increased since I've joined the ranks. I've taught myself to cook a lot of things along with many friends, roommates, and family members giving me tips. I truly love cooking and baking. Meal planning and grocery shopping are such satisfying tasks to me. Finding ways to be healthier and trying new recipes is so fun! I always try to remember how blessed we are to have such ample food supply. So many on this earth are less fortunate.  Here's a link to our family cooking blog with LOTS of good recipes! I'm not kidding when I say my in-laws love food! :)

18. Church Callings. One of the awesome things about our church is the opportunity for every member to serve in a variety of positions in the church organization. I've been privileged to have several calling, as these assignments as called, that have changed my life. I LOVE working with the youth, particularly the Young Women. I'm currently working as the Stake Young Women leader overseeing the different ward leaderships. Its a heavy responsibility, but I'm very grateful for the chance to learn and grow. I've also been blessed throughout my entire life to have leaders and church teachers that taught and inspired me to be a better person through their own testimonies. I pray I can be a positive influence to those I work with through my church callings. 

19. Music. I can't think of much that touches my heart the way music does. I was raised in a musical family and I loved it! I love singing and listening to music. I do feel that my sense of music has changed. I have a hard time appreciating or even tolerating a lot of current popular music. That being said, there is a lot of wonderful awesome music out there. I'm grateful for the exposure I've had to wonderful music. I'm grateful for my own musical talents, as limited as they may be and hope to foster these talents in my own children.

20. Traveling. Oh, what a beautiful world! As a young child, we didn't have the financial means to much traveling. As I got older and became more financially independent, I made it a big priority to see as much of the world as I can. There is a big world out there and I've only seen a fraction of it, but what I have seen has enlightened me. There are so many wonderful people in the world and I'm grateful to travel, experience many beautiful things and places, and learn. Not to mention that it was on a fateful trip to Hawaii that I met my wonderful husband. I never knew my love of traveling would lead me to my love!
Brett and I when we met on our Hawaii vacation

21. Good books and movies. There is a lot of filth out there, entertainment wise, but thankfully, there are also many wonderful and educational books and movies. I've always loved reading and though I don't have the time for it that I used to, I love snuggling up with a good book. I've been informed, inspired and impressed by so many books I've read. There are also a lot of movies that are inspiring. Not to mention funny! I love laughing and there are a lot of great things out there.

22. Seasons. I never knew how grateful I was for seasons until I lived somewhere that didn't have them. Idaho has LONG winter, but we do have the other seasons as well. Each season has its down-sides and its wonderful aspects. I think its important to have all the seasons, so we appreciate the changes. 

23. Holidays. Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! I love the holiays, but not just Christmas. I love celebrating and continuing traditions and even making new ones. So many holidays hold special memories that stand out. I'm loving the opportunity to build memories with my little family. 

24. Extended Family. I have some of the best Aunts, Uncles, cousins, and grandparents a girl could ask for! So many of my good memories include different memories of my extended family. Even though we never lived that close to any of them, I always loved getting together with my family. We had my Grandma live with us for about a year, and I learned so much from her in that time. I look forward to the next life when I can reunite with my eternal family and learn from them.

25. Laughter. Laughter is one of my favorite things. The sound of laughter makes me laugh. The joy that comes with genuine laughter is a treasure. The first time I heard Brett laugh, I knew he was pretty great. Then the more he made me laugh, the more I grew to like him. Kayla's laugh makes my heart leap. Her sweet little joy is so innocent and pure. I love being around others that make me laugh. Life is just better when you can laugh. 

26. Air conditioning and heat. I've lived in places where both of these things are a necessity. How blessed we are to have access to this wonderful thing that makes us comfortable. Many people in this world don't share this gift we have. 

27. My Health. I've always been really healthy. My body may not be the ideal body according to the world's eyes, but its always served me very well. I'm grateful to have been taught how to take care of it by avoiding drugs, alcohol and other harmful substances and practices. I'm grateful that I had a healthy pregnancy and a quick recovery. I'm grateful that I can do everything I want to do with this body I have. Working in health care, I've seen the miracles that the body can do. I've also seen the flip side when someone is sick or even dying. Our bodies are not indestructible and I do my best to keep it as healthy as I can. We came to earth to gain a body and I'm very grateful for the one I have. Many people are not as lucky to have health, due to no fault of their own. That could be one day, so I'll always appreciate my health.
Me walking into the hospital to have Kayla. The body is such a wonderful thing.

28. Technology. While technology can definitely be a distraction or a medium for trouble, I'm so grateful for the chance it gives me to keep in touch with my family and friends that are far away. We have everything at our finger tips and I'm in awe at how much technology has changed in just a short few years. 

29. Sleep. Oh, how I love sleep. I've always loved sleep. Thankfully, for the most part, Kayla's been a good sleeper, but when she's not, it makes me feel even more thankful for sleep. When I don't get sleep, I'm not the funnest person to be around. I really just love sleep. Good thing its so good for us! (with healthy moderation, of course)

30. Faith and Hope. What would any of these blessings be without faith and hope. Faith in a Heavenly Father that loves us and provides the best for us. And hope that our blessings will continue and that we will always have what we need to grow in this life.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Kayla 10 Months

Our big 10 month old!
(I didn't intend for this to be so patriotic!)

Well, it happened! Kayla reached the double digits. She continues to be such a joy in our lives. We're especially loving having Kayla with us as the holiday season begins. She gets so excited about new things. She loved Halloween and I can't wait to experience Thanksgiving and Christmas with her.
Kayla cut her 2 top teeth this month. The left one came in 3 weeks ago and the right came in 2 days ago.
Kayla will now walk along holding onto one of our hands but still isn't quite brave enough to take more than couple steps on her own. She will go from one piece of furniture to the next if they're close together. 
Lately, Kayla really dislikes getting cleaned off during bath time. She loves the "playing" part of bathtime, but as soon as I start cleaning her off, she screams the whole time. 
She also puts up quite a fight during meal time when we try to feed her. If we give her finger foods on her tray, she'll happily eat away, but when its coming from us on a spoon, she's not quite so easy going.
I think both of these things are stemming from a new-found independence. I think Kayla likes doing things on her time and when she wants to. If people try to pick her up (besides Brett and I), she'll scream. But 10 minutes later, she'll crawl right over to them, pull herself up to their lap, and be happy as a clam. Go figure.
Kayla puts EVERYTHING into her mouth. Everything from crumbs or rocks or flies on the floor, to the burrs on her stroller tires. Those things are sharp and when I get them out of her mouth, it cuts up her little tongue. Its so sad! And yes, I sweep my floor all the time, but she's like a white glove inspector the way she finds crumbs as soon as they fall. :)
She is such a cuddly little baby. If I'm sitting on the couch and she's walking along it, when she gets to my legs, she stops, lays her head down on my lap and sucks her thumb for about 3 seconds. Then she pops up, and continues along the couch. Anytime I pick her up, she cuddles in for a few seconds before popping her head up and looking around. I LOVE it!
Kayla is really easy going, schedule wise, which I'm really grateful for. I recently was called to be the Stake Young Women 1st Counselor, which is wonderful but means lots of meetings. Most of those meetings end up on Sunday while Brett is working, so I take Kayla with me. She'll sit contentedly on my lap through hours of meetings and everyone remarks at how good a baby she is.
We left Kayla alone with babysitters for an extended period of time for the first time this month. She didn't too so well and our friends that came had quite an interesting experience. She's going to have to get used to this.
Kayla recently discovered the joy of my kitchen cupboards. She's pulled lots of stuff out of them to play with. Thankfully, nothing has broken.
Kayla loves singing. During church hymns or here at home when the iPOD is playing, she's making singing noises. Its so precious!
She also loves to dance! She bounces her little bum anytime music is playing. 
She's starting saying Dadada and Mama to me and Brett. She gets so excited when Brett comes home from work or even enters a room.
Kayla makes weird noises. For example, when she's nursing, she makes a strange groaning or grunting noise. I have no idea where she's learned these things.
She also will scrunch up her nose and breathe very loudly through her nose. We laugh so hard whenever she does it!
Kayla has busy little hands. When she nurses or cuddles, she has to be grabbing, pinching, or squeezing something on my face, neck or chest. I have the marks to prove it. Maybe its time I gave her a little lovie or something to carry with her for comfort. 
My perfect little sleeper is no more. After sleeping 11-12 hours a night for a couple months, she now wakes up randomly anywhere from 4-6 am. Maybe its karma to me for bragging about her sleeping schedule. Either way, I'm perplexed. I try to feed her more during the day and it doesn't seem to help. We try to let her cry it out, and that doesn't work. I'll go in, comfort her, and lay her back down, and that doesn't work either. Oh well. If she's hungry, I'm here to feed her. :)
She's eaten all sort of new food this month. Pretty much anything we're eating, we chop up and give to her and she LOVES to eat! 
Nothing melts my heart more than the smile that Kayla gives me when she sees me. It is pure joy on her sweet little face. She knows I love her and I have no doubt the love she has for me. 
Motherhood is such a rewarding job!

Kayla 10 months
This outfit was mine as a baby and I LOVE seeing it on Kayla.

Pretty girl

Here's Kayla walking along holding Brett's hand.

My pretty eyed girl!
Kayla will explore anything she can find! She got stuck under her
stroller one morning. 

I took a little too long putting away the food after dinner.
She was out like a light!

Our little bunny for Halloween

Smiling baby at the Stake Service project on Saturday.

She loved this stack of traffic cones and walked
around it over and over again.

A random lady thought she was cute, so her husband took
a picture of them together. I had my camera so I figured I should too. :)

Our family at the service project.
Kayla trying to register for the Super Saturday.
She wasn't quite big enough. :)

Kayla at the end of the Super Saturday. She was with
me at the church for 11 hours and was such a champ!

Our Thanksgiving baby!

Iosepa turned 3 this month and Kayla got him a gift!

He loved his little dart gun so much that he gave her a hug!

A happy baby at 5:30 AM!

When she sleeps near me, she has to be pulling or grabbing something on my face or neck.

Saturday, November 2, 2013


I have always thought Halloween was a fun holiday, but much like a lot of other things in life, it was even better with the baby. We had quite a few different Halloween festivities this year and enjoyed them all! Last year we bought Kayla's costume after Halloween on clearance. We were then given another costume as a hand me down, so she had two costumes. I thought she looked adorable in both. I love watching her get excited about things, and our costumes were no exception! Every time I put on my wig for my costume, she'd shriek in delight and clap her hands! She must have thought I looked good in green, haha!

On the Friday before Halloween, we went to a party with a playgroup here. I mostly went so that Iosepa could have some older kids to play with for awhile. He dressed up in his dinosaur costume, and Kayla was in her ladybug costume. His costume lasted about 5 minutes before he took it off to play. He loved it though and I loved chatting with all the other moms. 

Dinosaur Iosepa!
Later that night, our neighbor and good friend Cassie threw a pumpkin carving party for some families in the ward. It was a blast! I got serious this year and used a drill for my pumpkin. Brett carved Kayla's 1st pumpkin for her. We ate really great food and loved visiting with all the great people here in the RGV. It was strange being so warm in October, but I'm slowly getting used to it.....sort of. :)

Brett and his Ladybug!
For Kayla's pumpkin, we traced her hands and feet and carved them into the pumpkin!

She didn't like having to sit here while we carved our pumpkins

A few of our awesome friends

My finished pumpkin! BOO!
For our costume that night, Brett and I dressed up as "The World Series 2013". It was a last minute idea after Brett decided to wear his Cardinals shirt. I asked if I should wear my Red Sox shirt, to which he said, "That would be kind of awesome. Wait, you have a Red Sox shirt?!" haha!
We all know who won! (I was rooting for the Cardinals, don't worry!) :)
Our little family.

Party planner Cassie and the kids

Brett's finished product-
Baby's 1st Pumpkin!

I love these little pajamas of Kayla's. She's really into waving.
She'll wave hi all the time. It is so precious

He really is under her spell!
On Halloween Day, we dressed Kayla up in her costume that we bought last year, as a little bunny. It was so stinkin' cute on her! Here's the 2 kids sporting their costumes.

The little bunny was getting tired!

Ready for the church Trunk or Treat

Don't worry, we didn't feed her any candy. :)

Farmer Joe,  his Bunny and her carrot!

I made some cookies, since these were mostly kids we knew.
They were a big hit!
A bunny and her carrot! This carrot's been feeding her for 9.5 months now! :)
Handing out the candy!
While Brett handed it out, Kayla waved at all the kids!
Everyone loved it and she loved the attention. 
Trick or Treating is interesting here. People don't come ring your doorbell. You have to stand outside your house and hand it to them. I feel like kids should at least ring the doorbell! But maybe this is to avoid bugging those who don't want to give out candy or already ran out? Either way, it was different than what I'm used to. I'm also really grateful my facepaint was orange and not green since it left a slight tint to my skin! I just look like I fake baked a few too many times. :)
Before our trunk or treat, we also stopped by Brett's station where they were giving out candy, and we ended up being on the news. I always end up on TV when I'm not looking normal, like when I'm dressed as a carrot or 2 days after giving birth! Haha!

We had a great Halloween! I already have our costume ideas for next year and can't wait!! Let the holidays begin!