Brett, Heather, Kayla, and Tyson

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

Monday, February 17, 2014

Its time for the OLYMPICS!

Brett is a HUGE fan of the Olympics! I remember watching as a kid, but it wasn't a priority by any means. Brett has been talking about the upcoming Olympics for quite some time now. Not only does he get excited about the event, he's been studying up on random trivia about the history of the Olympics. I can't tell you how often he randomly pops up with some kind of fact about any given year, location, change, drama, financing, etc surrounding the Olympics. I love seeing him get passionate and excited about things, so I've been totally supportive. We talked about having a few friends over for a Russian (of course) themed party for the Opening Ceremonies. 

Brett assigned me to find Russian foods to make and I also looked on Pinterest for some fun ideas. I had fun learning to make a new food - Baklava! I made beef stoganoff and the Jenkins brought apple bread and fancy grilled cheese sandwiches on delicious bread with munster cheese. We had popcorn in ice cream cones, as torches of course, and separated M&Ms into the Olympic rings. 

Brett's sister served her LDS Mission in Russia and brought home a Russian hat to Brett, which we busted out for the Opening Ceremonies (and the rest of the Olympics actually). Brett's also been blaring the music for the Olympics. He even looked up the theme song for the 2002 Olympics in SLC, downloaded it and has been playing that as well. Side note - we both regret not having gone to those Olympics. Oh well. Kayla probably thinks she's already won a medal the way she's been hearing the music so much. :) 

Doing victory laps to the Olympic theme!

She's not sure what to think of the hat 
We invited the Jenkins and the Wilhelmson's over for the party. We ate food while watching the Opening Ceremonies. With 3 kids running around, screaming and adults chatting, we didn't get to hear everything, but it was fun getting to know everyone better and seeing the show the Russians put on for the Opening Ceremonies. It was pretty impressive!

During the Parade of Nations, we didn't know where all the countries were, so Brett busted out the globe to help the children (and the adults) locate the lesser known countries. :)

We had a great time eating LOTS of food, visiting, and enjoying the unique experience that the Olympics deliver every 2 years. Brett's already decided that the next time the Olympics are anywhere in the continental U.S., we are definitely going. We'll see when and if that happens :)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Why I Blog

I have been reading a blog that I've recently found and love. Stephanie Neilson's blog has been something that is completely inspiring to me. I read her book "Heaven is Here" last month and have heard about her terrible plane crash and subsequent recovery in the past, but while reading her book, I was humbled and inspired. I would suggest it to anyone! She also has had some wonderful Mormon Messages done about her journey. Check out her most recent video here.

As I was reading her blog, I came across a post where she talked about why she blogs. It got me to thinking about why I blog. I came into the world of blogging much later than most. I never felt like I had much to say about my life before becoming a mother. Now, that I've gotten into it, I see that is not true. Its not just about showing off cute kids, but cataloging memories, recording feelings, and journaling. While I treasure motherhood, I have had a fun and adventurous life before this phase and wish I would have chronicled those days better. 

Initially, I came into the blogging task from a logical approach. I knew that people on Facebook would become tired of me over-sharing the cuteness of my baby so a blog would be a much better outlet for me to post photos, events, etc. for my family and close friends to see. So, my reason was just that - catalog Kayla's adventures. Now, there have been times in my life when I was very diligent in my journal writing. Unfortunately, the past several years, I would write every few months or with major life events. I have LOVED how blogging has allowed and motivated me to keep up on my "journal" so to speak. I do still have a personal journal for thoughts that need not be shared with the world, but this has been fun and exciting for me. That is the practical reason that I blog.

Reading Stephanie Nielson's blog post got me to thinking though. She talked about the reasons she blogs being her children, her husband, and her faith. I really appreciated what she said and decided that I too want to be more direct in my purpose of blogging. So here is what I came up with.

I blog because I want Kayla to know how much I love her. I want her to know how excited we were for her to join our family. I want her to know what joy she has brought into our world. I blog because I want Kayla to know that motherhood is my greatest job. I want her to know about my testimony of the Savior. I want her to know how much I love her father and how wonderful he is.  I want her to learn how to focus on the joys that life brings and learn from the trials. I blog because I like to praise Brett publicly. I like to brag about how amazing he is as a husband and as a father. I like to declare my love for my husband.  I blog because I want the people in my life to know that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that I have a testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel. I blog because I want to document my gratitude for my many many blessings. 

Now I know that these things should be expressed through every day living, and not just in a blog, but I'm not perfect. While I always try to express my feelings in my daily life, there will surely be days when I don't express my love the way I should. There will be days that I'm frustrated as a parent. There will be hard days in life. That's why I'm grateful I've been blogging the past year. One night, I couldn't sleep. I got on my blog and started reading old posts. I loved it! (and not because I'm an amazing writer) but because life is wonderful. Not perfect, but wonderful. It has its ups and downs, but when I'm down, I can come back and focus on the ups! I hope that Kayla will be able to read these posts someday and enjoy them. 

Some might say that's exactly what a journal is and I would agree. But for some reason, I've stayed much more motivated at keeping up a blog. I also love the accompanying photos. Finally, there is something to be said about public praise and gratitude. So, there you go. That is why I blog. As life becomes busier, and our family grows, or the new-ness of a blog wears off, maybe I'll taper back a bit, but for now, I'm grateful for blogging. I'm also grateful for all those others who blog and share their memories, experiences, and feelings with the world. I have been enlightened by them all. Life is a joy and remembering that only enhances our joy! This quote by President Gordon B. Hinckley sums up my feelings nicely. Happy Sunday!