Is Something Really Better Than Nothing

While updating my blog recently I noticed that I had over a dozen blog posts that were unpublished, simply sitting in "draft" mode.  They were mostly pictures that I hadn't taken the time to add my commentary to.  While I had taken the time to title them and to add pictures to them, I didn't get around to putting all the final touches on them so I didn't feel like they were worthy of being published.

It got me thinking about how many things in my life are in "draft" mode simply because I don't have the ability or time to accomplish them completely; or exactly the way I feel they should be.

This made me question, "Is something really better than nothing?"

When it comes to documenting my feelings and life on this blog.  Absolutely, yes!  I would much rather have a few pictures posted with a couple of comments than nothing at all.  Something to trigger my memory.  Something for my children to look back on and remember.

When it comes to raising my children, is it better to give them 100% some of the time or 50% all of the time?  Ideally, I'd love to give my children the best part of me.  I'd love to show up and be a 100% Super Mom all of the time.  Realistically, that's not even possible.  I'm not perfect, but I can always try to show up for my kids.  I think my children are pretty happy with my mediocre job.  They don't seem to notice that I don't make gourmet dinners or Pinterest worthy crafts.  They seem to be content to just have me around.

As I go through the different facets of my life; my relationship with God, my husband, my extended family and friends, I would love to give them all the best part of me.  For now, giving all these things something of my life is better than nothing at all.  As I show up each day, little-by-little the "draft" version of my life will turn into an amazing published final version, but as any great story unfolds, I must be patient.

Here are some ideas I thought of that can help me remember how to give "something" as opposed to "nothing?"  I would propose that there are three things we can all do:

1.  Listen.  Most people around us just want to know that somebody cares.  My children don't ever want to hear what I have to say, but they always love when I will sit and listen to them.  The same goes for our husbands, friends and extended family members.  People want to be heard.

2.  Be present.  All you have to do is show up.  Be around for your children so that you can listen.  Put down your electronic devices and enjoy the things going on around you.  No need for frills or bells or whistles.  Just simply be there!  Wherever there is.

3.  Lower expectations.  We need to lower our expectations of ourselves and of others.  We need to be happy with our best effort.  Sure, setting high standards and goals is something we should do, but not with everything-all-the-time.  Let's make our expectations more reasonable.  This will lead to less disappointment and more fulfillment when the little things get accomplished.

As we do these three things, we'll notice that our first draft starts turning out pretty good, maybe our second draft will be even better.  We can continue to edit and build upon our masterpiece constantly until we are satisfied with the life we are living!


enough IS enough

I saw this quote today:
"What we see depends mainly on what we look for."  
 -John Lubbock

It sparked something in me that has had me pondering, reading and praying all day.

I wish that more often in my life I was able to see all the good things that I am doing in my home, with my children, with my husband and for those around me, but usually I'm just seeing all of the many, MANY, many things that I'm not getting done.

Lately, (I'll blame the winter doldrums) this is what I see:

My house in not big enough, clean enough or perfect enough to raise my family in.

My body is not pretty enough, skinny enough or perfect enough to enjoy life in.

My parenting skills are not good enough, polished enough or sub par enough to even raise children.

So on and so forth...

My thoughts look pretty ridiculous in writing, but often these are the things my head (Satan) is trying to tell me!

I realized today as I read the quote by Sir Lubbock that I need to SEE the imperfect perfections that are all around me.  I need to see that I have more than enough.  I'm usually striving to make life PERFECT and that isn't going to happen.  I need to look for the beauty in my life without all the perfectness surrounding it.  Today I realized there are a couple things I must do daily to make this happen:

1.  I MUST fear God more than I fear man.  Meaning, I must not be afraid that others will look at me and judge my life by my messy house, body or parenting style.  I must care much more about leading my life in a way that is pleasing to God and not other people.

2.  I NEED personal revelation ALL.THE.TIME.  I NEED to feel close to my Heavenly Father in order to stay far away from the thoughts that Satan puts in my head.  I NEED to fill my life with good things and good people to help keep me close to my God.

3.  I WILL have more faith.  More faith in the power of revelation, more faith in prayer, more faith in myself and in others.  More faith that what I am doing truly is Heavenly Father's plan for my family and I.  More faith that I can do hard things.

As I spent the day focused on the beautiful things that happened, instead of the many, MANY, many messes and things that didn't get accomplished, I was able to see the incredible beauty that surrounds me!

I have realized that enough is actually enough!


merry christmas

One of my favorite things about Christmas time is receiving all the Christmas Cards with updates about everyone's families.  Here's a quick update on our family.

11 years old.
Sixth Grade.
LOVES soccer and is still playing on a competition team.  This past year they won the President's Cup Tournament and his team took first place in their division.
Great student.  School is easy for him.
Babysits for Dad & Mom all.  the.  time.
Ridiculously responsible.
Endures Piano.
Obsessed with all things sports.  Soccer.  Football.  Basketball.  Had fun playing fantasy football this year and likes to spend way too much money on jersey's and nike elite socks.
He is the easiest son and such a joy to have in our home.  He really steps up when Tim is out of town and takes over the "Man of the House" role very well.  Never have to ask him to do anything twice.  He is an ideal oldest child!

8 years old.
3rd Grade.
Started taking Piano and LOVES it.  His favorite thing to play is a Beethoven song his Grandpa taught.  We hear it at least 30 times a week.
Loves school.  Loves his teacher.  Loves his classmates.
An amazing big brother.  Peace maker/Fight starter of our home (depends on the hour).
Loves animals.  Does pretty good taking care of his Guinea Pig and Leapord Gecko.  Always asking to get more pets. 
Family clown.  He loves to be silly and make people laugh.
Of course, he plays soccer (a requirement in our household).
He has a heart of gold.  Always wants to be good and do good.  Very sensitive to everyone around him.  Love his creative spirit, which means he is always leaving something laying around the house, but usually that is combined with some sweet note that he has written for someone or a bracelet he made for one of his brothers.

 5 years old.
All boy.  Loves superheros.  sports.  wrestling.  weapons.  fighting.  being wild.  chaos.
Has an incredible imagination and lives in "la la land" much of the time creating amazing scenarios in his head.  Tells people he's left handed and allergic to peanut butter (both not true).
Loves school...especially that he is old enough to be in the same school as his brothers.  His favorite part is taking the bus to and from school, recess and all his new friends.
Loves playing any sport, but especially loves playing soccer with Dad as his coach.  He really turned it on this past season and left "la la land" a few times to score some goals.
Super competitive.  Always arguing with his brothers or friends about something.  If you say your Dad is 30, he says his Dad is 50!!  (Sounds bigger and better, right?!?)  That's Cooper.
At the end of the day, this all boy, boy is the biggest sweetheart.  He gives the best kisses and hugs.  He tells us over and over how much he loves us.  He really has the softest, sweetest, side that is just bursting to come out when he's not busy trying to keep up with his two older brothers and his millions of friends.

2 years old.
Mommy's sidekick.
A year ago we thought he wasn't saying enough words and now he won't ever stop talking!
Loves singing "twinkle, twinkle little star", "how much is that doggy in the window", and "follow the prophet" (which he learned in nursery at church).
Loves playing with "guys,"  obsessed with Hulk and chose to be him for Halloween.
Keeps up just fine with his 3 older brothers.  Is constantly following them around and trying to do anything they are doing.
Also obsessed with his Daddy, especially when he's working on a project around the house.  Loves to help with tools.
He is the light and joy of our family.  We love this incredible age of learning and growing.  We all want to bottle him up and keep this little guy like this forever.  He keeps us all laughing and smiling all day long!

Working hard.  Traveling lots.  Supporting our family.
Still playing soccer.
Still coaching soccer.
Still obsessed with soccer.
The best Dad that 4 boys could ever ask for.  He is constantly running around the house kicking the ball with them, shooting hoops, throwing the football, or (trying) to beat them in video game sports. It's always a party when Dad's around!
Amazing husband.  Works hard so that I can stay home with these wild boys and spend all his hard-earned money.

Me (Brittany)
Not as old as Tim.
Busy trying to keep up with all these boys.
I spend most of the time cleaning, doing laundry or shuttling the boys around.
I think my family would agree I'm a professional "nag"
Love watching my boys play soccer, piano or just play with each other.
Still love organizing.
Still love running.
Spend more time updating my instagram instead of blogging about our family, but hope to get back to updating this blog more in the next year.
Life is beautiful.  2013 was such a fun year for our family and we can't wait to see what 2014 brings!  We'd love to keep in touch with all of you and hope you're all doing well.

Much love!


week in review...

I have felt so compelled to write lately, but since I've taken quite a long break, I almost feel like I don't know where to get started. I think this is the easiest way for me is to dust off this blog of mine.  I'm feeling an urgency to journal my thoughts and my life.  I'm sure this will be lots of rambling, but hopefully this will help get my rusty writing skills back on track.

Life is busy.  My days are filled from morning until evening with stuff.  Things to do.  Places to be.  But, we are in a beautifully content spot in our lives.  I love my kids ages.  I'm loving the time I have with Tim.  I love our life right now.  Every week my iphone is filled with pictures like the ones below.  These probably give the best sneak peak into my life.

I always get a wild hair and start projects like this on a whim.  One day, after the cleaning the playroom, i felt like the Lego's weren't being utilized as well as they should.  Who could find anything in that huge container, with millions of different Lego pieces?  I HATE having things in my home that are not being utilized!  I wondered if they were organized better if the kids would play with them more.  Therefore, this project was born:

We spent the weekend sorting Lego's in our free time, which actually turned out to be perfect since I came down with a nasty cold and didn't have much desire to do anything else.  A few days later, our Lego's were all organized and now look like this.  I need to spruce it up a little more and give them some proper Lego's, but I'm so happy we got this far.  I got this idea here from the blog I heart organizing.  Hoping to make mine as cute as hers soon!  I am happy to report that my boys have been playing with Lego's for a week straight and they are still perfectly organized in the bins.  (Wish me luck).

Tim was trying to participate in "Movember" but couldn't do it any longer.  This is what he showed up to dinner looking like one night.  I'm happy to report that nobody approved of the handlebar mustache and it was removed shortly hereafter!  (Please note the can of coconut milk on the table!  I asked Cooper to go downstairs and bring me up a can of mandarin oranges, this is what we got instead!)

I take pictures of EVERYTHING!  What did I do before I had an iphone?!  When I want to remember a quote or send it to someone, I just take a picture of it.  The result is lots of these pictures on my phone.  I love that I will have documentation of these inspirational things.  I really do love the idea being taught here.

Crew has a friend!  He has more than one friend, but he now has a friend that he is always asking to play with.  "Call Mack", "Mack's House", "Mack come over."  They are adorable together (most of the time).  Sometimes Crew can be a bit overwhelming to Mack, but I love watching these little relationships form. 

Parker has a million friends!  This kid is the life of the party.  Tim and I were at the school for Cooper's parent teacher conferences, which were held during the day and decided to go spy on our other boys.  We found them in the lunchroom.  Here is Parker's crazy group of boys that he was eating lunch with.  I couldn't get any of them to hold still long enough to take a picture!

In a magical moment, Payton was also in the lunchroom!  He had to be a dun-dun-dun LUNCH WORKER.  Ugh, he hates it because you have to miss recess.  And it requires work.  This kid would not even acknowledge that he knew us so I did what ever normal parent would do, pulled out my camera and started taking pictures.  (Maybe I am just a little embarrassing!)

Whizzing by me as fast as can be...

Sometimes a clean playroom needs to be documented...

And a delicious dinner that was thrown together with a bunch of leftovers...

And these crazy kids dressing up and having fun...

One of my favorite moments of the week, was how excited Parker was about his Cub Scout den meeting.  They did a service project where they handed out "free smiles" and suckers to people that were coming into the rec center.  How would this not brighten anyone's day?  He has the best Cub Scout Leaders and always has so much fun!

Other notable events from this past week were the boys Parent Teacher Conferences.  They are all great kids.  I'm happy their teachers seem to know them and love them.  I'm happy my kids are able to do well and don't need too much help from us!

Cooper almost got hit by a car in the Target parking lot.  Happy I didn't see it, but scared us to death for a few days.  Reminded to slow down just a little bit and focus on what's most important!

Time out for Women, Catching Fire, Bergstrom's Thanksgiving Dinner, Sophia's Birthday party, indoor soccer games...it's all in a weeks work, but I love it.  I'm where I always dreamed I would be!




I am in checklist mode.  This means that anything I have put on the checklist is essential.  I put "journal" on the checklist and managed to neglect it last week.  This week I must do better.  Today our lesson in Relief Society was a culmination of all the things I have been trying to implement in my life over the past month (six months, sixteen years).  BALANCE.

I started using these checklists.  Getting back to my organizing roots and the last two weeks have been amazing.

First things first.


Big picture.

Now...I've even returned to this journal.  I've realized this is something essential to my life.  I'm happier when I'm reflecting on my week through writing in a journal.  I absolutely love looking back at the past.  Typing is a much easier venue than pen and paper.  Now that google reader is no more, I don't even fear that anyone will read my deepest, darkest, journaling tales.

I feel like when I'm not journaling, I'm being ungrateful for the many blessings and memories that Heavenly Father has allowed me to have.  I also have the worst memory and, although I have a picture, I can barely remember the details of what happened last week.  This is my resolve to be better.  Not perfect.  Just better.   

Back to the checklists.  These have changed my life over the past couple weeks.  I'm so happy to be starting week 3 and feeling better than ever.  Sure, they are great for my kids.  I'm certainly not nagging as much and I don't have to hear, "You never told me to do that."  But, my favorite checklist is not the one I made for my boys.

My favorite checklist is mine.  Who knew that by checking off a little box, I could make sure my teeth were brushed by 8 am every morning (instead of remembering around lunchtime)?!  Who knew that I could be so diligent in my scripture study?!  So far, I've missed a few exercise check marks, but for the most part, this has been fabulous.  Apparently, keeping things super simple works for adults too.

I love that I get to spend more time with these cute boys!  It was the first Utah Football game on Thursday.  Tim & Payton were the lucky ones who got to go to the game.  The rest of us were busy with birthday parties, soccer practice and house chores.  

Parker went fishing for Cub Scouts.  He loves Cub Scouts.  He loved fishing.  He is lucky that he has super awesome leaders who send me these adorable pictures.

I am blessed.  My life is chaotic and messy and crazy, but sooo wonderful.  I don't ever want to forget these amazing memories!


parker's baptism

We were so happy Parker chose to be baptized!


my tan

 I have a tan.  The high today was 34 degrees and it hasn't stopped snowing at my house.  I'm covered head to toe in clothing, but underneath it all I'm tan.  More than my tan, I'm glowing.  I'm refreshed.  I'm on a post vacation high.  Not ready for a reality check.  Even the reality check's that have come our way since coming home can't get me down.

Piled up bills & mail.  Who cares.
TV's not working.  Big deal.
Kids whining about stuff.  Love them so much.

It seems that nothing can get me down right now.  After a full nights rest in my own bed after 8 nights away, I woke up this morning feeling like the past week was a dream.  As my kids hopped up on our bed asking for milk and breakfast I was certain last week didn't happen.  As I showered, in my very own shower, I noticed the scrapes on my leg.  Must have been from the coral reef on the ocean floor.  As the thought crossed my mind, I realized how dreamy that sounded.  I also noticed the blister on my toe.  I remembered that it was from my flippers.  Just 24 hours earlier I had been snorkeling.

Now I was in my own home, my own bed and my own shower feeling like it was all a dream.  For Tim & I it was a dream come true.  8 days away in Hawaii.  Spending time together.  Laughing with our friends.  Waking up to palm trees and perfect weather.  Going to sleep to palm trees and perfect weather.  Lots of sand, ocean, food, fun and friends in between.  All while our children were happily at home being taken care of.  Being in the middle of our child rearing years, I honestly felt like this day would never come.  It was a huge sacrifice for my Mother-in-Law who cared so well for our kids all week.  We know it's not something we get to do every day so we enjoyed every second of our time away.

It was a dream and I'm not ready to wake up.  Thank goodness I have a tan.  I hope that as it fades my memory of our Hawaiian days will not.  I took lots of pictures with "my heart."  Thanks to my cute friends suggestion.  I also took plenty of pictures with my camera.  I'll be posting those just as soon as the laundry is done!