Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas; Happy Birthday!

This time of year is such a wonderful time for us to reflect as a family upon the birth of the Savior. We are thankful for the role he plays in our lives as our brother, our friend, and our Savior. At Christmas time, we feel especially close to him as we remember his birth and strive a little harder to be like him.

This time of year also causes us to remember Mara's birth. Each year, I am able to reflect upon our own dear child, who is such a gift to us from our Heavenly Father. Because she was born on Christmas Day, I feel a special connection with the story of the first Christmas. I feel myself drawn to Mary, the mother of Jesus, who gave birth to her son, the Son of God, in such humble conditions. I learn so much from that and take so much more, as a mother. (Of course I am still in my toddler stage of motherhood...I love growing with Mara and looking back on how far we've come.)

In reminiscing on the birth of my own child, I feel an extra sense of gratitude not just to have her in our lives but to be the person chosen to be the mother of this extraordinary little girl. She is such a blessing in our lives, such a joy for each day, and such a great friend.

We love you Mara! Happy Birthday!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Happy Birthday Josh!

Josh's birthday was last Saturday, the 20th. We were busy throwing a birthday party for Mara that day, so I wasn't able to write a post then. But now, too much time is passing, and I need to get this up here.

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband. He's such a great daddy, and Mara would tell you that she loves him "more than the whole, wide world." He's such a terrific friend, funny, kind, and best of all, he's mine. Hope you had a great day, love!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

N-aughty or N-ice?

Check this out! So cute.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Ever have those days?

I was having a great day today, spending time with my favorite 2 (nearly 3) year old. We went to the gym first thing and then came home to split a bowl of cereal and scrub the tub. Oooo. Yes, it was actually fun. Because in the process of me scrubbing, Mara gave me a free sales pitch and demonstration of how make-up should be properly applied. Luckily for me, the caps remained on---probably not luckily for you because those would have been some pretty awesome pictures. Then I took a shower in the clean tub while Mara sat outside and expained how she had broken the shower door the other day in a fit (which is true) and how the elves probably thought that was "very not nice" but that it's okay now because she's trying harder. (please excuse the run-on's in this post....just trying to really convey the realness of the conversation) We finished up the shower with a few rounds of "Jingle Bells" and "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer."
After that, we hit Super Target, which became Super-duper Target, and Mara decided that she wanted to meet everyone we passed in every aisle. She later serenaded an elderly lady in the bread aisle with her "Jingle Bells", and let me just tell you that if she's ever looking for a job, Mara has it made in field of entertainment for the elderly.....seriously, Mara was so loud and enthusiastic, the lady wanted to hear it again.

When we got home, we had a little emotional meltdown about not wanting to "wait just a second" for some more chips, but we decided to watch the rest of the Polar Express, which made everything better.

It has been a fun day so far, just the two of us. Now we're off to meet dad and get an oil change. I'll let you ooo and ahh over our plans and leave you with a few older pictures.....

Mara started at a little preschool that some of th moms at church have put together. She loves it. This was on her first day. She's the youngest, but she really interacts well with the others.

This was when we were preparing to host preschool. Mara thought it would be a good idea to line everything up to be sure it was all there. She loves to put things in lines. It's pretty hilarious.
We made cookies while daddy was at the Priesthood session of conference. I normally don't do things like that, but I felt like I should try to do something "womanly" like a lot of other mom's do. I'm not sure we'll make it a tradition; however, I do like the tradition of eating the dough!

We went out on the lake a couple of times this summer. Mara loved to go on the tube and go knee-boarding. She has tons of fun on the boat! Although this picture is pretty fuzzy.

Mara just being cute.

And silly, as usual.

Well, we're off, and in Mara's words, "peace out!"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We're back

Is it really fall? I can't believe that we're here already, and it's not even just the beginning--we're half-way through already. I haven't even blogged this season yet....isn't that sad? I really need to get back on track with my blogging. I especially need to get back to posting pictures, and now that we've found our plug for the camera, I can actually upload pictures. So be expecting updates soon in an attempt to play a little catch-up.

We've been sick for the last month or so. Mara had croup, and then Josh and I got it. Right when we thought we were all getting better, we all had relapses. This virus is difficult to shake. Still, we've been able to do a few fun things, and we made it to the apple orchard/ pumpkin patch twice this year.

Mara felt it was absolutely necessary to inspect each apple for bugs and worms. She learned that the apples on the ground were squished and brown; thus, rendering them "nasty."

After we found that they were good and clean, some apples just needed a taste-test.

At the orchard during a trip with daddy to pick out our pumpkin.

I know this is just a short taste, but right now I'm being summoned downstairs. A little voice is calling for mommy to come read. This will have to wait. See you soon with some more pictures and updates.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Looky! I have a LUMP!

Now, before you start thinking that something terrible has happened or that there is some medical issue I’m about to tell you about, please relax. That’s not what this post is about. Although, I happen to love supporting non-profit organizations and things if I can, and breast cancer is something that has affected family members and friends. So if you want to help fund free mammograms with just the click of your mouse (no credit card needed this time), click here.

If you haven’t heard, my sister (in-law), Rachel, has started living with us. We went to my Zumba class, came home and showered (because MAN did we stink), and then made “dinner”. Mara isn’t the greatest of eaters, so her dinners generally consist of pieces of something substantial and fatty and then a LOT of fruit or vegetable because that’s what she likes. I know, I can’t complain, right? So for dinner, she had 3 bites of leftover turkey brat/sausage, a slice of cheese, a pear, and a plum.

In addition to a late night, last night was a study night at our house. Josh was taking some practice tests downstairs, which was why dinner was a rush. We rushed to make it and rushed upstairs to eat it. As we began eating, Mara grabbed the plum – the first she’s had—and took a few bites as Rachel was coming up the stairs. Mara then ran to the stairs, still holding her plum, and said, “Look Rach. I have lump…..a puh?....It’s a Lump!” We loved it, and although I corrected her once, I thought it was too cute to really stop her from saying it.

The rest of the night consisted of her talking about how much she loves lumps and that pears were good too. She didn’t like the sausage, and I had to nearly force feed her the 3 bites she did take. I am seriously in need of some good and EASY recipes, especially some that Mara would enjoy. Any suggestions? Until then, we may be eating lots of lumps around here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The one about what you’ve all been wanting to ask, but haven’t….

“Have you guys thought about having more kids?”
I know, simple question, right? But whenever I hear it, I feel like minutes go by without anything coming out of my mouth. Sometimes, I even feel like at that moment, I should turn, run away, and hide behind the nearest big thing. Sometimes it’s because I just don’t feel like talking about it again; sometimes it’s because I just don’t know what to say. Sometimes I handle it with no problems, and others, I can’t seem to even open my mouth without the tears starting.

So in answer to your question, here goes…… OF COURSE we’ve thought about it. We probably started thinking about it even before Mara was born. As you may know, when I was pregnant with Mara, I had a “little” case of morning sickness that landed me in the ER with iv’s and medication for the rest of my pregnancy. I made best friends with the toilet bowl, pulled over more times than I can count on my way to work, and carried bags and gum with me everywhere I went. This didn’t end…until Mara was born. I was running 3 miles a day before we found out we were pregnant; two weeks later, I could barely walk up the stairs with Josh holding me up. I was that weak. So when we started talking seriously about getting pregnant again (last summer), it was a scary time for both of us. Of course we wanted another baby, but the 9 months of pure awfulness?

We decided to try around the holidays, and on January 15, I started throwing up. I was about 3 weeks pregnant. I remember having customers in town soon after finding out and being out to dinner with them, sick the entire time. I threw up the next week, and then the rest of the week seemed okay to me…not better or worse. Just blech! I had called to set up my first few appointments, and since I obviously find out early on when I’m pregnant, I had to wait about a month before being seen (at the normal 8 week visit). And then, I started feeling better. I was still tired, but the vomiting stopped. This was not normal, and I knew it. I called the doctor and went in for blood work, which showed that I was definitely pregnant. Something still didn’t feel right, so the doctor put me on Progesterone just to be safe.

The weeks passed, and I spoke to a few close friends about my feelings. I was beginning to question what was going on in my body. I tried my hardest to have faith and be at peace, and I honestly felt that I was prepared for whatever would happen at the time. The day of the first ultrasound came, and as I lay on the table with Josh in the room, I knew what they were about to tell us. Our little one did not develop passed 6-7 weeks, and I was supposed to be 10 weeks pregnant. It had stopped progressing, and there was nothing we could do.

In the months since February, I have really struggled with this miscarriage. I haven’t wanted to talk about it, but at the same time, I have. I have debated innumerable times whether or not to post about it, and then, I decided that this is something that I write for me. It’s my blog, and I’ll post about my feelings. So let me tell you that miscarriage totally sucks. Yes, I have learned spiritually from this experience. Yes, I think that Josh and I have another connection that has made us stronger in our marriage. And Yes, I know that I just cherish every moment with Mara even more. But miscarriage really does totally suck.

So in answer to the question that you may have been wanting to ask but haven’t- or in the case of some, the question you may have already asked and haven’t received an answer- of course we want more children. And we’ll be so excited when the time comes that we can have another. It’s just kind of a hard subject to deal with right now.

Now, on another note—that’s not nearly as depressing—our lives have been filled with so much GOODNESS right now. Yes, we’re stressed. Yes, Josh is studying his brains out with chemistry this and biology that. Yes, applications are a nightmare…and SOO exciting at the same time. And yes, application fees are enough to have caused us to have a conversation about organ harvesting, but it’s a good time.

Mara is getting to be such a big girl. She’s been potty trained for about 8 months now, and she is so fabulous at going potty. The girl LOVES to swim, and she does a great job. She loves to jump in All.By.Her.Self! She floats and kicks and blows bubbles, and you know I beam every time I see her do it. She’s also developed a little sassy streak. The other day, she was in the car with my mom when she had to go potty. Mara told her, and my mom said, “Oh, man!” because they had just left the house. Mara quickly responded with, “Don’t you ‘Oh, Man’ me!” I thought it was so funny!

And finally, my sister (in-law) has moved in with us for a while. We love having her, and Mara has loved having Aunt Rachie at home… the fact that we have a puppy now!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ants in my pants

Man, can I just say how excited and nervous I am at the same time? I have looked forward to and dreaded this moment for a long time, and now it's here! I feel like I did right before a piano recital, or dance recital, or huge showchoir competition, or big test. You'd think that we were approaching a really big event in our lives or something.......

8:00 AM.

It feels like some hugely anticipated ESPN fight, and I'm the girl outside the ring in the skirt who goes running up whenever something bad happens to my man. Okay, so actually I think that's a scene from one of the Karate Kid movies. Still....It's huge. And my guy's totally going to kick it's butt.

Friday, May 2, 2008

May 6th is right around the corner...

As some of you may know, I'm pretty passionate about politics...especially this year. WOW! So fun! I love this exciting time we're in, with everything still being so close. It's pretty exciting that our state can actually be an important part of the process this year!

Without divulging too much, I'd like to stress the importance of voting. While I have been very involved with volunteering for my candidate of choice this year and have discussed this in-depth with my family, I haven't really shared my passion about my candidate with many others....especially at church. Although my moral and religious beliefs make up a large part of who I am, my political beliefs tend to differ from a lot of my peers at church. So when someone from church asked me the other day about why I supported my candidate, I was a bit surprised. I figured Josh must have discussed my involvement with the campaign and volunteering. He hadn't.

So I'm brought to my thought for the day. While it's important to vote, it's more important to make an informed decision. When I was asked about my candidate, I felt so grateful that I had been able to research the beliefs, the plans, and the background of that person...and volunteer to spread the word about that person. While, sure, there are plenty of people I would have rather selected for president, of the choices we have been given, I'm glad I have been able to do my research and pick who I like.

I work with a lady who has picked a different candidate, and from the conversations I have overheard (I haven't participated in discussing this at work either), she's chosen this person because of commercials and because her friends chose this person. (insert cyber eye roll here)

So for today, let's make informed decisions. I don't care who you vote for, but please, be informed. For all you Hoosiers, May 6th is the day. And if you need any help with researching any of the candidates, I can send you some links of websites for any of them...because I care about politics, but I care about my friends more. :)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Blog about whatever you want week

I've decided that I'm going to start a mini-blog-revolution over here in our little piece of blogland. A friend recently put into words something I've been feeling for quite a while. The bottom line of her comments was that Blogland really isn't real. It's really just what we choose to share with others, and generally it's only the positive, happy, good things of our lives that we choose to share......leading us to her point that it's not really real. Our lives are filled with ups and downs. The great moments when our kids sing songs and pick flowers, and the terrible times when we're sick with sick kids and husbands are going through finals and the roof is leaking and writers' strike has kept your favorite shows from appear for Months!

So, in honor of my friend, who shall remain nameless--unless she decides to out herself in the comments section--I'm starting a 'blog about whatever you want week'. It's a moment to share what's on your mind...from stinky diapers to potty training woes. From leaky rooves to dirty laundry; from broken dishwashers to distructive pets. I want to hear it all this week. Because, let's face it, in the spirit of 'keepin it real', a month is just pretty unrealistic!

Feel free to post about it on your blogs, or just share something in the comments. I want to hear what your thoughts are.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Making a comeback

Sorry for those who check frequently, or checked frequently; I have been down for a while. But I talked to a good friend today who suggested I make a comeback. I've been thinking about it, but honestly, I'm at the point where I'm just trying to get up the courage to tackle the last Two.Whole.Months of no blogging. Where in the world has the time gone? And where in the world to I start? Do I actually try to cover everything that took place like I normally try to do and just keeping shoving and shoving and shoving it all into a neverending post that no one with a life will ever finish in one sitting? Or, do I just pick up where I left off and just cover the basics? Or do I just not cover anything and start now? Decisions, decisions. So while I'm still deciding, enjoy a picture or two of the lovely girl who actually just fell asleep on her own. Maybe I should just make this a 'blog every day for a month' month.

She loved her new swimming suit and rain boots and rain coat (on the floor) from her Abuelita. She danced around all night in these when they came in the mail just for her.

This big girl went down the hill all by herself. Daddy was at the bottom to catch her. She LOVES sledding and asked me the other day if Daddy would pull her on her sled behind his bike. But she loves her bike trailer too...and it's safer, which is a good thing.

She call this her "favorite Book of War-men". I think it's so cute! You can tell her excitement.

And finally...Josh took this picture, and I didn't really want to take one at the time because I was doing dishes....but I chopped my hair. 10 Inches for Locks of Love.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Kuroiwa Look-alike Meter

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celebrity - Collage - Morph

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A new favorite

So let me officially introduce you to "the works" product line:

My new personal favorite? "Limeosol"!!!!!! Wow, oh Wow!!! It made my shower seem like a whole new room in the house. This puppy has received it's own permanent spot in our cleaning cabinet.

Do any of you have any favorites you can't live without?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Recent Events

Sunday night, we were all recuperating from being sick (or in my case, a migraine) and getting ready for the week, when we found out that the President of our church had passed away. Gordon B. Hinckley was the prophet for the church when I was baptized, at 18. So he's been the only prophet I've ever known in my life. My testimony of the gospel was really able to grow, in part, because of the wonderful example he set for us all. I remember once, when I was going to school in Utah, I went to a conference with Amanda, and when he came into the Conference Center (which seats tens of thousands), it went completely silent. Everyone had so much reverence. We all knew what an amazing example he was to all of us. He was the mouthpiece of the Lord on the Earth.

Just as prophets of old, he was a prophet, seer, and revelator. He gave us direction from our Father in Heaven, and he always encouraged us to be a little be the best "us" we could be. As my testimony of the church grew, my testimony that he was a true prophet of God continued to swell. I know that we will continue on, and the next president of the church will continue giving us guidance and direction.

Today, a coworker came up to me to tell me she was sorry to have heard about our church leader who had passed away. How nice that those around me can know that side of me also, and what a sweet thing for her to do!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Catching up

I'm back blogger world! Sorry for my absence. I have been so busy lately. Christmas was a blur. We travelled so much. We had 6 Christmas celebrations, which is always, but stressful. We went to Aunt Sussy's a few days before. We had Wayne and my mom over to our house for our traditional clam chowder Christmas....Home made...YUMMY! We spent Christmas Eve dinner with Josh's mom's family. Then Christmas day, we had our own morning celebration and also sang Happy Birthday to Mara. We then drove to Bloomington for Christmas at my mom's parents' house. In the afternoon, we headed back to Indy for dinner at Josh's dad's parents' house. Did you catch all that? A few days later, we headed to Northern Illinois for my grandma's burial. Did I mention we were busy?

Lately I have been so busy at work, too. We had customers in all week long, so I spent a lot of time preparing for them and trying to catch up on urgent email when I wasn't doing something with them. I'm so glad it's the weekend!

Anyway, I thought I'd post a couple of pictures since we finally got a new camera!!!

The day of my grandma's funeral (right before), I got to go with our friends Amanda (my best friend from high school) and Jamison to their ultrasound. They're having a girl!!!! It was such a great thing for me to witness. It was a beautiful thing for me to see that little life on the screen!

Mara loves a good piggy back ride. This was Christmas Day. It's ridiculous to see the disaster that was my house!

Mara enjoying Daddy's back!

Christmas was a good time to get together with family. This is Mara with Josh's brother, Danny, and sister, Rachel.

This was Mara's birthday cake that we had at our friends' house on New Years Eve. She was excited to see more Dora, as she had received a Dora kitchen set for Christmas from Grandma and Grandpa Brunk.

This was the whole layout. Each setting had its own maracas, too. Too cute!

She especially loved singing Happy Birthday to herself. In fact, on Christmas night, she fell asleep in my arms singing, "Happy Birthday dear Mara."

Amanda and Jamison have a little Beagle named Porthos. For Mara's birthday, they gave her a stuffed beagle-like puppy. When she opened it, she yelled, "Porthos!" and put him on the ground, pushed his behind and said, "Run! Run!" It was cute that she thought he was real! Here is Mara with both fake and real Porthos.

The Kuroiwas either right before or right after midnight. Happy New Year!

This is Mara the other day. She was so tired, she fell asleep standing up against the ottoman.

My sweet little girl.

One last one of Mara snuggling her Porthos.