Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Mommy Tree

Some, well I'd say most women are born with the "Mommy" gene.  Sweet, tender, caring, nurturing individuals with the sense to put their children before themselves.  Sadly, in Heaven, I missed getting this gene.  I was probably at the Heavenly Chevron Gas Station getting a Heavenly Diet Coke with pebbled ice.  But maybe some day I will have enough sense to learn this mommy gene, and force myself to do be a kind, caring, nurturing female, without the constant thought of going to the gas station for a diet coke.

Why am I telling you this?  Well I believe a start to my  long road to mommy-self discovery was found in a tree.  A christmas tree to be exact.  I have a fairy Christmas tree, which I have been collecting pieces for throughout my single adult life.  This year, I had anxiety attacks, thinking of my beloved 18 month old shredding my fairy tree to pieces.  Tears at the thought of vacuuming up shattered pieces of fairy face and purple and gold bulbs.  Oh the sadness.  And what's worse?  I think I would take every broken thing personally.  Like Claire had a vendetta against me and wanted to break all my pretty things.  (Yes, I am aware she doesn't but sometimes I'm mental!)

So what is my solution?  To make the season about family.  Take away the pretty, expensive tree that will make me an ornery, angry eyed mom.  Replace the fairy tree with another tree, not of my taste, but of the taste of my 18 month short person.  

I bought a tree last year (we'll call it a rustic sort of tree), with the intensions of making it my nativity tree.  Instead, we used it for "Claire's Tree".  Every ordament on the tree was made by Brandon, Claire and I!  Success!  I was so thrilled with the end results and I don't care if she breaks, throws, eats anything from the tree!  What a peaceful season it will be.  

I found wooden star shapes, drilled a hole in them, painted them red and modge podged red paper on them.  Then I took a brown stamp pad and "scuffed" the edges so they looked vintage. 

Claire and I cut oranges up and put them in the oven for 8 hours to dehydrate them.  Then she helped me lace twine through the tops.

Styrofoam balls covered with red yarn.  My Favorites.  Claire held the yarn.

Styrofoam ball covered with fabric strips.  

Apple slices dehydrated in the oven for 8 hours. 

Styrofoam ball covered in twine.  

Cinnimon Sticks from my neighbors cupboard, hot glued together and tied together with cloth.

Pinecones from outside and left over material to form the hanging loop.  And Raffetta from my wrapping paper stores, wrapped around the tree.

Claire picked out these bells and then helped me lace twine through them!

Bead garland from my mom last year and berry srpays from hobby lobby!  AND a big raffetta bow to top the tree!

And the tree skirt a lady at work help me make!  Thanks Carolyn.

I am grafteful for a little girl who takes me out of my comfort zone to learn how to make her happy and be a mommy.

(As she is telling me to stop "computering" and get her a snack!)

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today I will preform 11 acts of kindness!  Wanna join?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Cutest giveaway!

I would LOVE to win the Babycake by @Selectbrands from @WhipperBerry

Friday, November 4, 2011

Daily Affirmations

Last night as I walked the halls with Claire (we'll call her angry, sick elf) I thought of all the ways I suck at being a mom...  We won't go into those for your sake and mine.  

But today I saw this video on the YouTube and decided from now on I am going to wake up brush my teeth and tell myself how wonderful I am

Friday, September 16, 2011

What will it be like

I can't believe all the technological advance that have been made, just in a short 20 years.  Watching this video makes me wonder what I will be like when I am old and there is more "stuff" to figure out.  

I love how supportive he is of his wife.  Complimenting her hair, telling her she can figure it out, telling her to pull her shirt own and is he playing with her boobs at some point?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

It is Finished

Well I did it.  I set a goal, work hard for two and a half months and I RAN A TRIATHLON.  Well maybe not run.  

When I got prego with Claire, I felt like I had no control of the situation.  SO... I took control of something, and that something was running a triathlon before Miss Claire was two.  So I researched beginner tri's and found a sprint triathlon in Saratoga Springs, August 20, 2011.  Swim 1/4 mile, bike 13 miles, run 3.1 miles.  Didn't sound so hard at the time, but was I soon convinced by my body that it was difficult... for me at least.  

The swim was different.  I had never swam in open water, surrounded by people, so I was nervous.  I found two girls, equally as nervous and we swam together.  Open water is nothing like swimming in a pool.  There are people kicking you in the face, boobs, smacking you in the bum and head.  You turn your head to take a breath, only to be smacked in the face by a wave.  You just can't get a full breath of air.  But I LOVED it!!!  Nothing like a little Utah Lake grim to stay in your hair, even after three washings!

The bike was a little bit of a "spiritual" experience for me.  My legs were jello after swimming and my bum hurt from the previous training (ok, trying to get used to a road bike) earlier that week.  I was tired and the worst part of the biking was the first six miles.  Hills really aren't my thing.  Anywhoo, I started to say to myself, "You can do this Martineau" to find myself saying (Yes I was talking out loud to myself) "You're a Strickland now, make him proud."  So I really felt like Brandon helped me though even though he wasn't there physically.  I felt like I finally realized that God never wants us, nor intended us to make a hard journey alone.  (Life speaking wise) and so he helps us find a companion and also surrounds you with people who love you and can boyou us up when we feel down or feel like we can't quite make it.  

Running... not my thing.  I knew it would be the hardest sport for me and it was.  I cheered others as they passed me, loved getting sprayed by the resident's water hoses, loved the kids in the street cheering me on.  Did not love the run.  But I'll tell you when I turned that corner and saw that I was almost done and it was down hill, I started to sprint as fast as this slightly chubby body could get me there.  And then it was over, and I ate watermelon.  (Slightly anti climatic huh?)

I remember thinking... 'Oh my hell, I'm almost there!"

Doing a little jig as I ran over the finish line.  Nothing like hearing, "Number 266!  Esther Strickland!  Great Job!" over a really loud speaker

Having my timing chip removed!

This boy urged me to go to the gym, urged me to give up soda (no it hasn't happened yet), drove a car behind me when I was too nervous to take the road bike out on an actual road ( no one wants to die by getting hit by a car).  Thank you for the hug.

Today I made him proud!

A little cheese and rejoycing that the running was over!

Chris got me to pose with my bike like I was getting ready to start the biking portion of the race.

My numbers.  26 years old, participant number 266.  

I may not look like a runner, or swim like someone who knows what they are doing.  I may not have the mental fitness to keep running even though I think I might pass out.  I didn't win, or even come close to winning, but I FINISHED.  And today I can call myself a triathlete.  

Everyone has told me these Triathlons are addicting.  We'll just see about that.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Seven Peaks with My Girl

My sweet friend Angie drove in from Las Vegas (to visit her family) and took a detour my way!!! 
Angie and I worked together at the Fort Collins Marriott and lost touch when she moved to VEgas with her boyfriend and got married.  But we were reunited by Facebook and then discovered we were prego at the same time and due around the same time.  We planned our nurseries together, discussed painting and decorating ideas, emailed each other essential lists of things to have for a baby, parenting advice, what we were going to take to the hospital.  It was a blast being pregnant with Angie.  The best part is Angie was being induced on May 5 and I was bummed because I had to be way overdue for them to induce me.  BUT, I went into labor on the 5th and we had our babies a few hours apart from each other.  We cried when we found out our babies were born on the same day.    

Anyway, we met at Seven Peaks (yes to find they closed two hours later... hosers!)  But I had a GREAT time.  Thanks Angie!  I love going on one ride with you, riding the lazy river while our blondies slept and just being with you!!!  Love ya!

Our blonde beauties

Angie, Her huney Bill and Graycn

and Trev!

Eating lunch!

So tired

Me and Angie!

The zoo

We did it again, took Claire to the Zoo.  ON A SATURDAY!!!!  NEVER AGAIN!!!!  I enjoyed the animals, Claire calling everything a puppy or "patchy" her Kitty best friend from next door.  But I didn't enjoy the heat and the rude people everywhere.  When has it ever been ok to push people out of the way to see better?  When has it ever been ok to stand in front of a group of sitting people during a feeding show.  Rude.  Ok off the soapbox!  I had a good time!

Skip nap to go to the zoo, not my most intelligent idea, but no whining from Claire

Out oldest elephant in North America, and quite possibly the butt I have to look forward to when I am old and grey


Looking at the tigers

So helpful

Last year's zoo picture

This year's

No I will NOT sit still!!!!!


Brandon procured some ticket to the Journey/Foreigner?NightRanger concert thanks to the mayor of Sandy's son (and Brandon's co worker).

We had a blast feeling like we were the Utah elite.  The private City of Sandy box (Well we shared it with the Mayor of Sandy and some of his councilmen, boring old guys really) dinner and all the drinks and dessert we could stuff into ourselves.  FREE!  

I brought Sarah from work and Brandon brought his brother.  I was a dancer, Sarah joined in the fun... Brandon and Chris... not so much.  I hope Brandon get to keep his job after my crazy dancing.  The best part, I only knew four songs throughout the concert, but danced to them all!!!!

My Date Sarah.  And yes I explained to her on the first date I never put out.

When Brandon was "younger" all the pictures I have seen show him doing this.  "what is that?"  I asked.  "The Rocker!" Says he.  I joined................We're at a concert afterall

The smaller of the three suites.

Sarah dancing in the heat... I enjoyed the A/C.  I'm glad I brought her.  She loved it!!!

The only picture I took of Journey!