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I’ve officially made it today.  I think I might be a grown up.

While many women seem to balk at the idea of being 30, choosing to stay 29 for a number of years until they decide instead to stay 39 for a number of years, I have approached this number with enthusiasm.

For as long as I can possibly remember I have wanted to be a grown up.  I’ve wanted to eat ice cream whenever I felt like it, I’ve wanted to be in charge of what we had for dinner, I’ve wanted to be able to light fires & use the iron all by myself.  I’ve wanted to be married and have kids most of all, all these grown up things.

And 30 feels like a grown up number.

And 30 also seems like  a pretty big deal! In my estimation of things, I have now accomplished approximately 1/3 of my mortal life.  (I don’t aspire to be the one who lives the longest, FYI.) And it is an extremely significant third, so much has happened.  Let’s take a look in 5 year increments.

Ages 0-4:

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These were huge for me.  I basically went from a lump of consciousness to a walking, talking person.  I grew a body and learned how to use most of its functions.  I lived in 4 different houses in 2 states and ended up in the one I would spend the next 15 years of my life. I went from being the absolute center of my parents’ universe to sharing the limelight with 2 brothers. I even started going to school. So much!!

Ages 5-9:

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More learning, a new sister, making friends.  Strange that the only friendships I’ve seriously maintained from this period of my life  are with people who were already adults at this time (i.e. my mom’s friends and people from church).  I really don’t keep in touch with most of the people who were my own age.  I wonder if this goes back to what I was saying about always wanting to be a grown-up.  By the end of this period, I was already doing quite a bit of cooking & sewing and I knew that I wanted to be a stay at home Mom. I’m grateful that my Mom introduced me to these experiences early so that I had a longer opportunity to develop the talents that I use the most in the current portion of my life.

Ages 10-14:

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And the hormones began.  I think of this piece as the baby-sitting & developing greater interest in boys chunk of my life. I started baby-sitting early, my own siblings and then kids from church.  I loved it.  And I was a good baby-sitter, too.  Not only did I entertain the kids with something other than TV, I also cleaned their houses, put their kids to bed, folded their stinkin’ laundry… And I made about $1 an hour.  And I LOVED it!! I won’t go into my feelings about the current generation of baby-sitters in this post, but I’m sure this alludes to it enough that you understand.  I’m grateful for my church leaders at this portion who helped establish a testimony in me that would get me through the next part, which I’m already dreading thinking about.  Towards the end of this section I had developed some health problems that would stick with me for the next bit, as well as an unhealthy infatuation with members of the opposite sex.

Ages 15-19:

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Can we skip this part? I mean, not only thinking about it, but also in my own kids??  These were some rough years.  I did manage to graduate from high school (just barely. I know that lots of people say that, but, oh boy! That was certainly a close call!!) I’m going to just skip over most of the angst, depression, and junk, and mention that I did develop one of my most meaningful & lasting friendships in here (albeit I did manage to estrange myself from my siblings. One of my greatest regrets. Thank heavens that didn’t last long.). I moved away from home to go to culinary school, dropped out of college, got engaged, called it off, moved back home for a little while, moved away again, moved back again.  I also did a lot more sewing during this time. Yeah, thats enough.

Ages 20-24:

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The Utah years.  I moved to Utah to help care for my grandparents. It really worked out exactly the opposite though.  There were plenty of lingering hormones, as well as some lingering health issues, but we made it through.  I went to college, graduated with an Associate’s degree, went to work as a Medical Assistant. I spent the greater portion of these years wanting DESPERATELY to be married.  Ridiculously so.  I learned to be a much better employee than I had been in my other jobs.  I went to the temple often and made some sacred covenants that greatly improved the quality of my life.  I worked in the temple on my day off.   Most importantly, I met my husband and at the very end of this chunk of time, we were married.

Ages 25-29:

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Wow. I feel like I’ve grown as much during the last 5 years as I did in the first.  You read the first, right? That was some heavy growth! These years have been my most significant so far.  For so long I wanted to be married, to start my own family, and it happened, and it was so much more wonderful than I could have possibly imagined.  Being married is so much better than the alternative.  Steve is the best thing that ever happened to me.  The best thing that could possibly ever happen to be.  Being a part of him and him a part of me… I have so much more of a respect for the phrase “greater than the sum of its parts.”  I am a better person because of him, and he is a better person because of me, and while we don’t get everything right, we are doing pretty darn well.

And kids!  My whole life people have called me smart, and I felt smart.  There is nothing like having a kid to make you realize how much you don’t know! But they teach you so much.  I think that is why the gospel of Jesus Christ is centered around the family.  I could have kept learning & developing myself into a better person alone.  I could have done so many great & incredible things without getting married and having children, but I could never have done it as quickly and as thoroughly as I am doing it right now.  More than anything, my kids have taught me how to love.  Love is amazing.  You worry that you might not have enough to divide between your kids as they come along, but your capacity to love increases so much that I don’t just love the new child as much as I loved the first, I also love the first one more than I did before!  It’s this crazy love growth spurt cycle that stops just short of spinning out of control.

My family really only grew for the first 7 years of my life, as I added 3 new siblings and became a family of 6.  But during these 5 years I’ve added exponentially!  My husband, my 3 kids, my brother’s wife & kids, my husband’s family (new parents! new siblings! new nieces & nephews!)… I’m not going to take the time to count them all out right now, but I know it is much bigger than 6!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying life is a piece of cake and that I don’t have significant struggles with my sanity on a day to day basis.  I’m not saying that I feel like I’ve learned it all, or that I’ve become the person I want to be.  No way, Jose.  That is what I will spend the next 2/3 of my life doing.  I’m so excited for these 2/3!!
So, in short, Happy Birthday to me!!  30 feels so exciting.  As I start my journey into the next decade of life I’m grateful to be doing so on such a great path, in a place that I love, with the people I love.

I have lots of goals, lots of dreams & aspirations. And lots of time!  

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First Time on the Swings

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We had a few nice days last week and made a couple trips to the park. This picture is Mikey’s first time in a real swing. He hated it at first, but Steve got him to calm down and eventually he loved it. Sorry to our loved ones in blizzards for posting this today!

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Happy Halloween 2012

In case you can’t tell, we went with an Alice in Wonderland theme this year.

Hope yours was a happy one, too!

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loving… beautiful summery days with my family. It is so fun having Steve home during the day right now, since he has finished his classes and works evenings.

making… quiet books, nightgowns, and about 45 other things in my to-do stack.

listening… to Evelyn play with a puzzle and Mikey suck away on his pacifier.

wanting… to feel more rested with the same amount of sleep (i.e. nada).

thinking… I should really be cleaning my house.

(inspired by Mary of Owlhaven earlier this month)

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Can you believe my handsome little man is one month old today? We are sure enjoying him!

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As most of you are already aware, the newest member of the Flynn family came to join us this week.  Michael Bradford Flynn was born at 9:17 am on April 1st, 2012, weighing in at 7 lbs 13 oz, and 20.25 inches.

We are busy loving every one of those .25 inches this week, but I’ll share a few picture highlights with you.

Grandpa Smith brought Evelyn to the hospital shortly after he was born.  There were probably 10 cameras pointed at her, but I don’t have any pictures of her actually looking at one of them, or at the baby.

We did manage to capture the first hug, though.

Her interest in him has been in spurts- mostly ignoring him, sometimes reaching out to pat his head, and occasionally throwing a tantrum because he has a blanket she wants.  In other words, it is going MUCH better than we anticipated.

Evelyn went home with my parents for a couple days after the hospital visit to be spoiled rotten.  Meanwhile the other 3 Flynns did a whole lot of this:

He is a pretty good sleeper, and a voracious eater.  He would prefer to be snuggled up and nursing 24 hours a day.

Here he is all snuggled up and ready to go home.  I wonder if as many people will think he is a girl in this car seat as thought Evelyn was a boy.  I’ll let you know.

And here he is right now- sleeping with Dad.  I’ll try and show off some better pictures of the blanket I made (in the car seat photo) and the swaddler wrap (above) soon.  They are fabulous and I’m really happy with how they turned out.  Usually the swaddler works a bit better than it does in this photo- I put it on him while trying not to wake him up and managed to miss his arms this time around.

And there you go, that is our little Huckleberry, in the flesh!

Speaking of Huckleberry, I know you’re going to ask about his name, so here is what I have to say:  I’m having a hard time with knowing what to call this little squirt.  Steve and I debated about what to call him through the first 2/3 of the pregnancy.  We planned on Huckleberry as a middle name, and were trying to decide between Michael (Steve’s dad’s name) and Bradford (my dad) as his first name.  We decided that we wanted to name him Michael Bradford.  Steve wanted to keep it a surprise, however, since everyone already expected us to name the baby Huck.  So, I’ve basically been lying about his name for the last 3.5 months.  Sorry.

Right now we’re trying out all sorts of names and nicknames with him, including Huckleberry, which I’m sure I’ll use to refer to him in the future.  Mikey is the name that is sticking the most, although I’m having trouble using anything regularly myself.  I’m sure that will change as I get used to having him around and hearing and using it more often.  Feel free to use your own nicknames as you wish, we aren’t picky about what people call him.

My plan is to write his birth story, as I did with Evelyn’s.  I’ll need to get it down soon, my memory is no good.  For now I’ll just mention that it will (thankfully) be much shorter.

Welcome to Earth, baby Flynn!!

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I haven’t been doing too well at telling you what we’ve been up to, or even what you really want, showing off cute pictures of my daughter.

Sorry.

So, here she is!

Evelyn is modeling her piggy jammies, as well as a sneak peak at our nearly finished reupholstered couch, a poorly done bang cutting job, and our throw pillow cover of the season.  Steve and I have decided we like change enough that we’re not picking a color to decorate our living room, we’ll just change it up whenever we feel like it.  I’m loving the green pillows right now, and assuming I won’t feel like changing them for April, since I’ll be having a new baby and all.

This is when I should show you other pictures of my house and tell you all about what our new place is like, but I have a couple more things I want to fix up/clean up before I take pictures, so… be patient with me.

But speaking of cleaning up, I’ve discovered an AMAZING housekeeping tool: Let me introduce you to the fort.

Our folding table with a cover over it was made for Evelyn to hang out and play with her toys under.

But Mommy has found a new special use for it!  All I have to do is lift up the side, shove everything in on the floor underneath…

and viola! My living room looks clean! Or, it would if I vacuumed, but I’m still working on that.

Unfortunately, Evelyn isn’t really using it as a fort, so eventually my guilt at being a lazy housekeeper will catch up with me and I’ll take it down.  But for now I’m loving the laziness.

And finally, to show that I do still eventually make food (since, you know, that is all I used to write about…) here is a quick pic of Steve eating his Pi day pie.

I started out the day planning on making pecan pie, then changed my mind at the grocery store and decided on key lime.  Apparently I wasn’t the only one, since Pioneer Woman, Ree, decided to do the same 3 years ago for Pi day.  You can’t go wrong with her recipes so I gave it a try.  Fabulous!  I used 3 less graham crackers than she did, simply because I ran out, but I was very happy with the crust/filling ratio.  I also added a drop of green food coloring, since it seemed like I should.

And by the end of the day I was too tired to mess with adding more lime zest to the top, so I didn’t.  But, ohhh…. it was so good.  So good, in fact, that I think I will go enjoy a piece right now.  Maybe in bed.  Because I’m 37 weeks pregnant and that is what I should do.  Right?

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