"they left us something more precious than silver and gold..."

Thursday, December 30, 2010

i'm not afraid to admit it...

yeah, that's right, i'm not afraid to admit it...admit that as i was taking down christmas decorations, i got all teary eyed. mostly when i started peeling off the cute christmas cards off my cupboards where i post them throughout the month...my eyes were all moist. i can't believe another december has come and gone. i especially luv to hear from all our friends and family and see the special pictures & messages. i know some of you may be thinking, "no she certainly must have been teary eyed because she was CLEANING up the mess & clutter that december sometimes brings into our homes", but if you truly you know me, you know i like to clean (call me Cindy...Relly = Cinderella). the truth is, the christmas spirit is such a special spirit and i hope that it can linger throughout these next 11 months, even if we don't have the tinsel, stockings, christmas nativities, gingerbread houses, candy canes, gift wrapping paper & bows strewn throughout our houses.
we had a great pre-christmas get-together with the kesler's up in blackfoot...we had delicious soup & salad, lots of fun conversation, cousins galore, a late night of zumba up in IF & a drop by visit to my sister-in-law misty's who is due any day with baby #4!, a quick get-a-way to destinations inn for my anniversary & an 80 minute massage (11-years, luv ya cam!), scrumdidliumpsous bundt cakes (cooked by yours truly) - let's just say...they were gone before dinner started :), perfect presents (thanks again marva lu!) and a special family home evening presented by papa kesler himself ("okay kids...lets pretend like you are in church and really try to listen to this message" says the grandpa of 18 grandkids under the age of 8! they really did listen amazingly though!)
christmas eve at the freeze fam...we had such a fun night together...sub sandwiches, chips & dip, our own little sparkling ciders, a great round of "cameron's game", pillowpets & jammies from nanny, classic $10 gift exchange with all the freeze side of the family, some cute presents from mom, and the very traditional reading of the 'night before christmas'...my dad has been doing this same book/audio reading since i was 8 or 9.
"merry christmas to all & to all a good-night!"

looks like we all made the
Santy Claus was really good to us this year...
vannah got her american girl doll (complete with many accessories)!
lucy got her snowglobe (if you only knew the obsessions...)
jilly got herself a little rocking chair...
i was also surprised by a beautiful painting by bonnie rochester... santy you shouldn't have, but obviously i am glad you did because i luved it and cried! haha
christmas morning always brings another special tradition and so many memories flood into my heart...my grandpa freeze always felt so grateful for all my grandma did during the month of december and was pretty quick to admit, he didn't do much at all to aid in the hustle and bustle because of his work responsibilities. so to make up for it, every christmas morning he took the family out for lunch/dinner, thus my grandma did not have to cook or worry about cleaning on christmas day. this tradition has continued on throughout the years...as a little girl, i remember hoping to get a special outfit to wear out to lunch and was excited to take one or two of my new presents with me to show my cousins & grandparents. my dad has carried this tradition on, it was great to go out with our family and eat at the marriott. no cooking or cleaning...just great conversation, yummy food, natalie cole playing on the television dad had brought into our private room, planning for the upcoming year, and smiles of relief as we all felt pretty great about pulling another christmas together!
this is one of my favorite pictures of the month...i really do hope the christmas spirit can last with us throughout our 2011 year...here is a great message by Dean Hughes on how to make this possible in your life.

After we put Christmas away…

January is such a great month. It feels downright stimulating to lay off the rich foods, clear the sugar from our veins, work up a sweat on the old stationary bicycle – and feel so righteous about it. January is also that wonderful time when I’ve worn out my desire to go to the mall ever again. Every day that I don’t charge a penny on my credit card, I feel like I’m bringing a healthy balance back to my life & checkbook. (SO much joy for doing so little!). It’s that dark, cold time of the year (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), when we may feel some cabin fever, but sleep comes so naturally. It’s great to go to bed a littler earlier, turn on the electric blanket, and curl up like a big old bear (we’ve even stored up the extra fat to sustain us through the hibernation). I just hope, as we throw out the dried-up Christmas tree and store away all our decorations, that we don’t put away Christmas entirely—that is the best part of Christmas.

We seem to care more for others during the holidays and make special effort to express those feelings with our cards, our greetings, our donations to those who are not as blessed as we are. And then, for some reason, we act almost as though those expressions were part of our over-indulgence, and we seem to withdraw to a spirit that isn’t nearly as generous. It almost seems as though we’re a little embarrassed now, in the cold of winter, for all that warmth we shared. Do we think it got a little too cheesy, a little too over the top? What is we took a treat – a healthy one – to all our neighbors now or in April or September? Would people think we had gotten all weird on them or something? How did we get started with the idea that we should be what we really ought to be in December and then pull back and wait again for eleven months?

I remember a United Way director who said that Americans love to buy turkey for a single mom with kids at Thanksgiving or Christmas, even though she would be helped much more by a case of peanut butter in August – and that’s when no one thinks about her. Interesting. “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, How still we see thee lie. Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent…” It sounded good, didn’t it? When I was a bishop, I once had our chorister do all Christmas songs during a sacrament meeting in July. I told our members that we always say that we want to keep the spirit of Christmas with us all year, but we won’t work very hard to do it. The songs were just a little reminder. Maybe we should sing them all year.

To celebrate Christ’s birthday, we eat too much and spend too much, and we feel guilty about it. It feels good to return to some austerity. We vow not to get so carried away next year. Suppose we actually did that? Suppose we cut back on some of the eating & spending next year but began right now to spread out the spiritual side of Christmas to every month of our year? It may sound a little too idealistic, but don’t we actually know people who do just that? The fact is, there are those around us who need us every month of the year, and we need them. We also need Christ – his Spirit – with us, always. I think this should be the year we make some changes. Let’s do this year right, and then make next Christmas the fitting conclusion to a year full of kindness & generosity. I’m serious. We can do it.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

TROLL tHe ancient YULE tide cARol....

you've got to be NUTS not to LUV this time of year...
if only i could have a taken a picture of the GRISWOLD lights that adorn our house at this time...different colors, mid-strand blinking lights and of course the ever so clever drop from the gutter to the tree and the wrap around (please tell me you are imagining this!). but what is so wonderful about this time of year, is often see through the eyes of children...the imagination, the excitement, the love, the magic, the energy...and i can't get enough of it!
one of the things i luv most about the christmas holiday is sending and receiving christmas cards...i luv to reconnect with friends across the miles who have made an impact on our life...because i really do love and appreciate the value of friendship. we had the chance to go up to Temple Square in Salt Lake yesterday with my college roommate and dear friend, Lindsay. it is so fun to be able to live closer to her...she is a great mother to 3 cute, charming, fun loving, clever, energy packed! boys and i am so lucky to have her as a friend (i think she is pretty lucky to have me to, seeing that i set her up with her husband rion :)! she is also a fantastic photographer! she has been a great friend to me throughout the past 10 years and i have always valued the friend she has been to me...true, FUN, forgiving, happy for me, a cowgirl at heart, understanding, hard working, honest, strong in her faith & testimony of the gospel of jesus christ, and real.
temple square on a saturday, mid-december...um yeah, probably about 30,000 people there BUT the weather was great & the atmosphere was pristine & beautiful.
lucy, vanny & vienn!
we were so glad our friend Summer & her girls came up with us!
lindsay's JACE & my JILL...JACE & JILL!
sisters. vannah & lu.
we had dinner at the spagetti factory at trolley square!
another highlight of the month was our night out to the FESTIVAL of Trees...what an amazing event! Hundreds of gorgeously decorated trees on display for sale - all proceeds go to the Children's Hospital. Some trees sale up to 10's of thousands of dollars. they also having dancing groups performing, singers, events for the kids, food, and beautiful quilts on display as well! thanks emma & linds for introducing us to a december MUST!
talking to one of santa's elves...
the bubble machine...
"and THIS is my aunt linny!"
what else have we been up to in december...
- stuffing our christmas envelopes & mailing out christmas greetings
- celebrating the Advent like it's nobody's business...what a beautiful tradition filled deep with meaning, love, peace, & recollection. i really wanted to start something this year for our family that is an opportunity to daily focus on our Savior...his birth, life, and His Second Coming. the girls have loved the lighting of the advent candles...i complied a family book for the whole month that has different scriptures, quote, questions, activities...it's simple & perfect for our family...we do it anytime during the day - sometimes breakfast or dinner...sometimes mid-day, sometimes we read scriptures, sometimes we talk about topics, like HOPE. we are really excited to be able to grow into this tradition as a family.
- celebrating cam's birthday, a night out a koi & some delicious sushi
- decorating the tree & of course the angel on top...our tree is quite the sight...the ornaments are on the upper half of the tree due to jillian's cute little hands! also we have had to be creative with space & lack there of...hence the stockings tied to the back of our chairs at the dinner table (thanks for the great tip on good morning america!)
- a couple christmas crafts (as crafty as i can be, which is not much!)...the girls & i made a family advent countdown.
- trying not to get daily headaches and avoid total breakdown...yes im in love with christmas but that doesnt mean i am super woman/mom and dont get extremely frazzled, occasionally short with teh girls ("I KNOW SANTA IS WATCHING YOU!!! TRUST ME, "HE" IS!!"), and overeat on all the christmas goodies. but hey, who doesn't luv the holidays!
last, but cetainly not LEAST, we have been doing a little of this as well!!! hope you like the video!

Monday, November 1, 2010

momma said there'd be days like this...

...there'd be days like this, my momma said.

looks comfy doesn't it? i mean who doesn't want to curl up in bed sometimes, throw the pillow over all the worries and just check out for a couple hours! poor little Lu, the candy festives or maybe just life in general, has got her all out of sorts as of late.

yesterday at church, all 36 minutes of it, drained me of what energy i had left from a busy week. cam has to work alot of sunday's and i usually do my best to rush around frantically on sunday mornings, keeping the spirit strong as i play my ipod sunday list and shout at the children & dog above the lyrics...
i knew yesterday was going to be "one of those days" when i ran downstairs in my 3 inch black church high heels to find jilly taste testing some yummy dog food to my aghast...oh yes it got worse...
not noticing she had also spilled the water bowl, i went to snatch her up only to see those beautiful *high heels are so overated* black high heels flying witch like above my head as i slammed on to the nice, cool tile.
gather yourself. you can do this. tight lipped smile, let's go.
onto to sacrament meeting...the tile really had knocked the humility back into me and i knew i could do it today, i wanted to be at church so bad. im eager to meet the new faces in my ward but more than that, i needed to feel the spirit. i needed to belong. things were going rather smoothly when right before the sacrament i noticed lucy had snuck in one of those glow in the dark necklaces from her trick or treat loot. i couldn't have it being twirled about, even if we were back sitting in the chairs. gently explaining, here comes the most important time of our week...here comes our best behavior....i must take the necklace...
oh no. oh no.
it set-in, quickly. limp nooodle. lucy's body lost all proportion. grimaces and snarling. patiently patting her head, bouncing jillian on my lap...i can do this. bread. water. sigh. but here comes the commentary. she just couldn't let it go...i sheepishly "walk" her from the chapel, totting jilly along. savannah stay put...we WILL be right back. back to the back corner of the building we go, i knew in my heart of hearts you could hear her screaming bloody murder for miles. i tried to reason with her for about 7 minutes but my friends, she was too far gone. i wanted to cry.
i kinda wanted to scream too.

life's lessons are profound.
when we think we need something, we sometimes find out,
we need the exact opposite.
when we think all is lost, we need only look into that pair of folded up jeans in the back of the closet, the grocery list IS right where you left it.
when we feel like we need to feel the spirit, we need only to look into the eyes of the ones we love most.
when we feel like we need to belong, we need to remember who we are and who we are becoming in order to be the person that is wanted.

a sweet young woman gathered savannah and my belongings as i packed everyone up and headed back home. lucy slept for 2 and half hours and then came upstairs with a halo "everyone, I AM AWAKE!"

luv to you all.
the queen of the nile.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

c'mon, tell me you will read this one...

okay, my peeps...who is ready for fall?
i'm actually really excited about it...
the cool brisk air, the beautiful fall colors.
ALL the "S"'s...Sweaters, Soup, quilting SHOP hop, the Scent, Special holidays, Solitude on rainy / cold days...that at times feels so needed after a busy summer.

want to know what else i'm excited about? c'mon i know you do...
!!!eXcITEd about!!!
~ cameron is finally in utah! i survived, my children survived :) life is good!
~ i finally feel like we are into a good routine here...
school is going great for the girls & savannah is luving her swim team & lucy is a hoot in her gymnastics class.
~ jillian is talking more everyday and her big wet open mouth kisses
are too cute and i'm pretty much in luv with her.
~ hiking to the Y in provo...i don't know why i luv it so much but i do...
and its especially awesome because i hike it with my friend summer,
who is a super great friend.
~ my reward chart for the girls...it's working,
it was easy as pie to "create", and the girls are into it!
~ salsa. i just luv it. and my wonderful neighbors have been giving me fresh tomatoes from thier gardens & it just makes it that much better.
~ my friend JEN is coming down from wyoming to take our family pictures...we haven't had them taken for 3 years...so its time & im excited.
~ after having knee pain since july, i finally got an mri & found the problem...the treatment has helped so much already & i had a couple early morning jogs that were priceless.
~ i've finally committed to relaxing / chilling out / taking it down a notch / don't give yourself a migraine....i won't go into details, but it includes me not being overly obsessed and worried about some of the following: the amount of homework my 1st grader is doing, book covers being torn into pieces, our dog taking off and roaming the neighborhood, snails all over my back porch - don't get me started - remember the commitment, cameron's stinky feet (i just threw this one in there in case he reads this & also to give you guys a good laugh...please tell me someone else has this problem...), lucy begging for snacks 5 minutes after breakfast 5 minutes after lunch & you guessed it...5 minutes after dinner, laundry, desperately wanting to potty train my 17 month old cause the dirty diapers are killing me one at a time, buying things at the store if i really want / need them so as to not cause myself pain by having to return to the store & they are no longer there - just buy it the FIRST time!

and im excited about it.
just to name a few.


oh! and in regards to my post title:
"c'mon tell me you will read this one..."
it had nothing to do with this actual post :)
right HERE or HERE
tell me you luv it, cause i do!
i also luv this
and this
*pics courtesy of my sweet cousin, who my girls luv, miss Kay-Kay!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

4 and a wedding...

being 4 is a tough job...but lucy lu does it pretty well!
we had a super great time celebrating lucy's 4th birthday at her favorite...
there is really so much to love about Lucy...
which was evident at her little party...
~ The way she held her arms out to embrace "her Chuck-E"...she is a loving little girl, with a big heart and her loyalty at such a young age is amazing.
~ Her reaction to all her gifts...it was like everyone brought her little pieces of gold...she luved them all! She is a grateful little girl
~ The way she ran from game to game...playing golden coin after golden coin...she is a very independent little girl. Strong willed & determined. Which at times, leaves me exhausted and frustrated, but at other times...makes me smile, laugh, and sit back in awe as her little body & mind seem to walk, talk, and interpret beyond her years.
~ Holding my hand. She is loving. She is tender...sneaking into my bed in the early morning hours to put her hands up around my face..."are you awake mommy...cause I luv you."
~ She is social...she luvs her cousins & her friends. She is the first to say "what is your name?" the first to say "you look real pretty" the first to say "want to be my friend" and she is usually pretty quick to say "im sorry"
~ at her birthday breakfast...she is patient. the day before we were at target shopping and she was patiently making her way through target with her slurpee & popcorn as i was picking up some needed things. along the way, she picked up this giraffe, elephant, and snake to entertain herself. as we arrived at the checkout, i quickly informed her to "put those back now!" without hesitation, she took one last long look, placed them on the end of the checkout isle, patted all their little heads and didn't say another thing. it made me stop and pause and think about my little lu. as the "second" child, she often has to be patient in ways that i forget about it. running savannah to school and events, then changing diapers and feeding jillian. and all along the way, she is there with me...being very patient. of course she is 4, and she has melt downs & outburst...but if i pause to think about it, i can think of the many patient times she has had with me, that greatly out weigh the others. *as she opened these gifts at her birthday breakfast, she saw the first glimpse...then she herself paused...and said "No you didnt!" LOL!
~ Adventurous! Happy Birthday Lucy Lu, we luv you!!!
and a wedding...my sister jessica got married this past weekend in denver, it was great to be together and help her celebrate! we threw a surprise bridal shower / luncheon for her...
"something blue"
congrats mrs. jessica northrop
we had a great weekend get-a-way...the girls went up to idaho for the weekend and we took jillian with us to denver. i pulled cameron away from denver :),
it's official...
we are both in utah for good!
gotta luv, a little luv at weddings...