Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cuddle Bug

My little P2 is such a sweet boy. He makes us laugh all the time. He is starting to say new words and it is so much fun to try and have a conversation with him! He is our little cuddle bug too. He will walk right up to you, especially if you have something soft on, and snuggle right up, stick his left thumb (never his right-and this is a habit his dad HATES!) in his mouth and nuzzle his face right into your shoulder. He loves to dance and his favorite thing in the world is to get on the computer with Lance and google pictures and videos that he can groove to. His favorites are Nemo, horses (hoe-us), and the "Teach me how to Jimmer" video on YouTube. He has the cutest little gremlin smile that will light up the whole room. He is everything a happy boy should be and he certainly has my heart. Though there are days when I want to tie him up and lock him in a sound proof room, I couldn't imagine life without him. He is the sunlight of my day and I am under his little spell. I love you more than words can say my Little Handsome Bubs!

P1's Testimony

At church on Sunday, P1 was sitting coloring in her book during Fast and Testimony meeting. A young girl, about 8 years old, went up and bore her testimony and P1 looked at me and said "Mommy, I want to go up there!" I am not really a fan of parents going up and whispering in their child's ear what their testimony should be, so I was against it at first. A couple other people went up and she continued to ask if she could take a turn. I came up with a plan and asked her again if she was sure she wanted to go, informing her that she would have to do it all by herself. She told me yes, she wanted a turn. I walked up with her and say on the front row of the pews as she continued the rest of the way up the stairs. They 1st Counselor in the Bishopric pulled the step up for her and pulled the microphone down. My little peanut looked right at me and said "now mommy?" and I nodded. She proceeded to speak into the microphone "We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost." After that, she stepped down and went back to her seat. Nothing more needed to be said. Her 3 year old testimony was pure and simple, but exactly what SHE believes. I have never been so proud of her in my life! I am so grateful Heavenly Father has given me such a special little girl who is so smart and beautiful. I love you my little Pooks, with all my heart. Thank you for choosing to come to this family. You make us happy everyday!

It's beggining to look a lot like...

Christmas! My favorite time of year! I have always love Christmastime! The smell of the crisp clean air, cold against your face. The lights on people's houses. The smiles on their faces. The happiness you feel for a month straight! Nothing quite compares! As kid, living in Florida, it wasn't quite the same, with it not being cold, but not knowing any different made me none the wiser. It was still an awesome time. As a teenager, the season started a little earlier for me. The performing company I was in, Galena Street East, would do a Christmas Program and would begin practicing in Mid-September, early October. And then the first week of December we would have "show-week", practicing for hours everyday, into the wee hours of the morning. It was a time I looked forward to, despite the lack of sleep. This always seemed to start off my Christmas, and not having it to jumpstart my Christmas Spirit has been something that I have had to get used to.
Having my own kids has made Christmas just that much more special to me. I LOVE LOVE LOVE decorating my house and seeing them excited for all the lights and pretty things. P1 was able to help me decorate the tree this year and we had so much fun singing Christmas songs and putting the ornaments on while Lance supervised (he put the Star on top...at least his height comes in handy sometimes!). P2 has been busy trying to control his urges to pull every ball ornament off and chuck it accross the room. There have been a couple times when this temptation was too much to bear and he has given in. I am down 3 glass ball ornaments from what I had last year. But only 3! A triumph in my book!
I have been trying hard to come up with some of my own traditions that I want to pass down to my kids for them to remember at Christmas. Everything that I have come up with has been something I feel my kids are too young to appreciate just yet, but I guess I should stop making excuses and just do it with them. Afterall, it is these types of things that they are going to remember. I know I do!
This time of year always makes me think about my mom, Tammy. She always loved Christmas as well, and her birthday was the 28th, a couple days after. I miss her all year long, but especially at this time of year. I wish she was here to share in the joys that my little ones bring to everyone around them. I know that she would have loved them and kissed them all the time. And to be able to see their faces on Christmas day would have made her happy. I still remember the smile on her face as we opened our presents on Christmas day. I am glad to know that she is watching down on us, taking part in the memories we are making.
I also love that my thoughts freely and often turn to the Savior at this time of year. Petty, simple things don't seem to be at the forefront of my thoughts, and I have time to sit and ponder all that I have been given by Him. I love that I can feel closer to Him at this time and be reminded of His humble beginning and triumphant end. "He is the reason for the season" as they say, and I am eternally grateful for Him.





Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fun pictures





















Party Time!

Today P1 had her first party at school. It was a "Harvest Party". The kids sang some "spooky songs" and had a little show for us. I have to say that I think it turned out pretty cute! I loved watching my little sunshine up there singing her heart out. I had many parents come up to me afterwards and tell me she was the best little singer up there. She sings ALL THE TIME at home and knows so many songs! It makes me so happy to see her growing and blossoming in her class. I am so grateful for the little things in life, and watching me daughter grow up is definitely one of them!

Each parent was responsible to bring something. Here is my 'fruit platter'. Pretty cute idea eh?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Wedding Bells

This weekend we went to Amador County for Lance's Cousin Beth's Wedding to David. It was so much fun to see family and just relax for a couple days! The vineyard where the wedding was held was beautiful and the company was even more enjoyable! I made P1's dress and P2's vest for the wedding to attempt to match Beth's colors of Black, white pink and orange. It was my second undertaking of sewing, and I must say, they came out quite well! The entertainment for the wedding was a belly dancer for about 20 mintues. The kids LOVED her! P1 went up and danced with her, and P2 was quick to follow. He was GLUED to her moves! Like father like son, I guess!


One of the reasons I love being able to go to weddings is that I am reminded of why I chose the husband that I have and all the reasons I love him more everyday. Thank you for being you, honey! You make my life happy.
(Scroll down for a video of the kids dancing with the Belly Dancer)
PS I tried to upload some pictures but Blogger is uploading only half of them. Anyone know how to fix that?




















video

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Time for school! Time for school!!



Friday was Peyton's first day of Preschool. The class that Lance and I decided to put her in has a 2/3 year old class and also a 4 year old class. We went last year and put her on the waitlist (it was advised we did this earlier than later as many parents up here place their children on this particular waitlist when their child is BORN!! - needless to say, Parker is already on this list!). The school that we had her on the list for ended up losing their teacher and the rest of their staff, and to make a long story short, we moved to the new school with the teacher. We were told that we had officially made it on the list, but a week later we got another call informing us we had been taken off and made 1st alternate because they needed to make room for children who needed this as a daycare as well. Tick. Me. Off. Being the pesky mother that I am, I called back a week before school started to see how her 1st alternate postition was doing, and they let me know that she was actually bumped up on to the "active list" that morning (huh...wonder what would have happened had I not called!).
At the end of all the hoopla, Peyton is officially going 2 days a week (Wednesdays and Fridays) from 8:30-12. I took a couple of days to prepare her, telling her that it was just like going to Nursery. She would have a teacher and make new friends, and have lots of new toys to play with. She seemed excited. Friday morning came, and I have to admit, it was hard for me to wake up so early! I haven't had to set my alarm for...I can't even remember the last time I set my alarm! 7:30 came, and I think I made a routine that will work for us. I did have to wake both kids up though! We walked her to they school (it is .17 miles from my house from my door to the door of the school) and I signed her in. She kind of got a little pouty face as I said goodbye to her, but then she looked around and saw all the other kids and the TOYS! She bravely looked at me and said "Ok mommy! This is just like nursery! I will see you in a little bit! I love you!" and off she went. Part of me was glad she was so brave, and part of me wanted to hide and watch her play for a little bit! So back home Parker and I went, and got ready to go for our run. It was nice to just have time for me and him. He seemed a little lost without his "pooks" with him, but after awhile he was happy to have me all to himself and vice-versa! It is gonna be an interesting year but I am ready for it, and I think both kids are too!



Monday, August 22, 2011

Hooray!

This past couple of weeks I was able to spend some time with my family. My little brother Clayton got married to his bride, Melanie, in the Sacramento Temple. It was awesome, and they are great together. It was so fun to be able to see and spend time with everyone. The wedding reception came together nicely and a good time was had by all. Congratulations Clayton and Melanie! I hope that many blessings and happiness come your way for the rest of your eternities together! Love you both!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Happenings

I love my life. It's that plain and simple. My kids make me laugh all the time and I love spending time with my husband. This summer he joined a hardball baseball league. The kids and I have been going to watch his games and they have been really good while we are there. They cheer him on and shout his name from the bleachers. "da-da! da-da!" you can hear P2 Cheer from the stands! He has done outstanding so far. It has been a great thing for us to do as a family. Can't wait until it is our kids out there we are watching!
P1 also took a couple weeks of swim lessons while we were down in Sacramento taking care of my dad. To say she did well would be a HUGE exaggeration! She was so obnoxious! The teacher finally asked me if I would just bring her 15 minutes earlier than her scheduled lesson and get in with her. From then on, it went better, but still not great. At some points, I just wanted to throw her in the middle of the pool and tell her to figure it out or else...but I didn't want CPS called on me! At the end of the 2nd week she pretty much knew that she had 20 minutes that she had to endure and get through and just went through the motions. Oh well, she will do it again next year much to her dismay!
P2 on the other hand is like a little sea otter! The kid is fearless! At my sister's pool he would DIVE into the deep end and swim (with are floaties on) all across the pool. I hardly had to watch him cause it was pretty much inately in him to just do it! He would put his face under, lay on his back and float and just jump in. Now THAT is my kid for sure! Loves the water. The other one...not so sure.
Since we have been home, we have been going to the lake once a week with friends. It has been a lot of fun for the kids. P1 has adjusted well and P2 I have to keep a serious eye on or else he will be 1/2 way out in the lake by the time I look up!
At the end of the month I am going down to Sacramento again to put on a Bridal Shower for my future Sister In Law, Melanie, with my sisters. Then a couple weeks after that we will be back to see them get married. Hopefully after that our summer will slow down and we will be able to start getting P1 ready for preschool in September! I can't believe it is already time for her to go. She is getting so big!
Lately she has really been in to watching the movies Tangled and Thumbelina. She dances around and sings ALL the songs. WORD FOR WORD. The kids has a memory for songs. I can put almost anything to a song and she will memorize it, which is how I taught her my phone number the other day. She knows all of her Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, Cousins, Parents...middle names and half of their birthdays. And if she meets you on the street, beware; her immediate questions to you will probably be "Hi! What's your name? What is your birthday? How are you?" So be careful! I better not teach her my SSN or she will be stealing my identity!
P2 is so funny these days as well. He is talking a lot and trying hard to make his prescence known with such an attention hog for a sister. The other day it finally happened. He finally outsmarted her. P2 has a toy zebra that he loves to ride around on. He gets so mad when P1 is on it, so the other day, while she was riding around on it, he got made and did his normal "ahhh" while he tried to pull her off and looks at me to try to fix his problem. I told him that she had it first and he needed to play with something else until she was done. He promptly loooked around the room, searching for something that he knew she would want, grabbed her purse that she carries around EVERYWHERE, put it on his arm and started to walk out of the room. She sees him, walks over and asks him for it nicely (amazing). He instantly drops it down and runs his chubby little legs over to the zebra, sits down and looks up at me triumphantly! I couldn't keep the laughter in! It was the first of many I am sure.
So that is a little of what has been happeneing around here. I will try and update a couple tore times before the end of the summer!

Finally doing it!

We have lived in our house for a little more than a year and a half. When we moved in, we loved the neutral color palate, but knew that it wasn't 100% us and decided that we were going to redo them soon. Well, here we are! We are changing the color palate in the living room from browns and tans to shades of gray and black and white. We are also doing a chair rail and moulding around all the doors and windows. And the best part?!? We are getting a new door for the back! Thank heavens! This one gets harder and harder everyday and the vertical blinds are a pain in my pattotie! I will post before and after pictures soon! Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Family

No, this is not going to be a post about my handsome husband, or my beautiful children. It is going to be about the family that I grew up with. The snotty, obnoxious i-know-you-better-than-anyone-else-because-I-have-known-you-the-longest-and-dealt-with-all-your-crap siblings that I love so much. The weekend of May 20th we were all able to get together (although under not so desired circumstances) and hang out in San Francisco. My brother Clayton courageously donated his kidney to our dad, so we all decided to make a trip to show them our support and love. And what a fun time it was! None of us had our kids with us (which was excellent) and though we missed them, we were able to stick to the 5 minute rule (just remember that after minutes with your kids again, you will wish that you were alone again). Nor did we have our spouses. This was a obstacle that we did have to overcome, but if they were all there with us, we would not have had the same experience as we would have been separated in cars, and would have desired to split up and go off alone.
So needless to say, we had an experience that I am sure none of us will forget. We all spent the night Friday night at our Sister Christina's house where we stayed up late, playing games and goofing off. We woke up early the next morning and headed into the city where we immediately went to the hospital to visit the sickies. They looked remarkable for having a transplant surgery only 24 hours prior! Both were up and walking and talking (boy, those meds made them interesting!). Then we all went to lunch in Chinatown. That was a whole other experience that deserves its own blog in itself! After that we walked down to Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 where we just walked around the shops and goofed off. Final stop, Ghirardelli Square where we fulfilled out Ice Cream cravings (the 5 sisters had a biggest loser challenge the 2 weeks before so we all deserved it!). That night we stayed up late in the hot tub and chatting until the wee hours in the morning with our mom. The next day some of us were a little testy from being together for such an extended amount of time. But to be honest, it wouldn't have been the same without it! (I guess everyone else thinks it was my fault, so we will just go with that. Better than continuing the argument). I guess it comes with the territory of being the oldest. You are always right. I wish the other 6 would just learn that, and all of our lives would be a lot easier. ;) Sunday we went walking down to Union Square and had lunch and shopped a little. Then back to the hospital to say our goodbyes. But not for long cause both my dad and brother were both released on Monday! The Dr's said they did remarkably well and were very impressed with their desire to get better.
All in all it was a great weekend and one I will not very quickly forget. For your enjoyment, here are some pictures documenting our trip.
My Brother Clayton and Me: post surgery.

All the Siblings post Surgery: (LtoR) Sydney, Ashley, Whitney, Clayton, Chris, Amber and Christina.

Las Hermanas

El Guapo

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Trouble is his middle name

Lately Parker has been getting in to EVERYTHING! It seems like he just wants to see how far he can push my buttons! And boy does it work. I was talking with a friend yesterday about the different personalities of our children. We came to the conclusion that is must be a boy/girl thing. With our girls, yes, they would push our buttons, but they would do it right in front of us, allowing us to be able to punish them for the deed right then and there. Our boys on the other hand do their mischivous things in secret, leaving them for me to find a little later, when it is too late to really punish them for it (he is one...he isn't going to know what I am smacking his hand for 20 mintues after he has moved on to something else). I have to keep every door in my house closed except for the one to his room. He gets into toilets, drawers, closets and his favorite of all...the kitchen trash! It literally makes me gag. For the last 4 years of our marriage Lance and I have always wanted 3 kids. Now, on a daily basis, Lance tells me that we are done! I am sure that it is just a phase and that one day (in a couple years) he will again want another child. The best part of our Damien child is that as soon as he does something to push our buttons a little too far, he makes his little gremiln face and melts our hearts. He is the sweetest little guy and always wants to cuddle and love you. So even though we are being tested to our limits by this little firecracker, he still owns our hearts! Can't wait to see what he is like as a teenager...NOT!

Here is his cute Gremlin face (not in full force)


And to prove that he isn't always a demon-child, here he is singing OUT LOUD in church

Monday, April 4, 2011

Peyton Lorie


Happy Birthday my Princess. I can not believe that you are now 3 years old. I remember the day that I found out I was pregnant with you. It was on my 24th birthday. I couldn't remember anything in my whole life that made me more happy than that moment. But since that time there have been many more things that have made me happier. The day you were born. They day you learned how to walk. The day you learned how to talk. You are one of my most treasured blessings in this life and I am greatful for you everyday. You are so beautiful on the inside as well as the outside. I love catching your profile and seeing your soft blond curls cascade down your face, or the sun reflect off your radient sky blue eyes. You have such a persistant personality and will never give up on something once you put your mind to it. I love to watch you practice your numbers and letters and color with such determination. You are such a great big sister to your little brother, and though you often have your little setbacks with him, I relish in the moments when I catch you holding his hand, giving him a kiss or just playing with him in his room when you think no one is watching. I laugh constantly at the little things you say and do. You bring happiness to our lives that we never knew would be blessed with. I love you more and more each day and can't believe I am so blessed to call YOU my daughter. Thank you for being you with all your faults and traits. I love you forever and ever my little Pookie. Love, Mommy

Tigger and Pooh and a Birthday for 2!!

We had the kids' birthday party on Saturday the 2nd. It was at the bowling alley here in town and a good time was had by all! We had a pinata and a photo op where we got some great photos! A ton of our extended family made the trip up to celebrate with us and just generally have a good time. Thank you all for making our kids birthday so memorable! We love you! Now here are some pictures for you to enjoy.







Friday, March 18, 2011

Parker Lane Lively


I can't believe that it has been 1 year since you came to us! You are the happiest baby I have ever seen! I am not the only person who thinks this either. You smile lights up the room and makes everyone happy who is around you. Your sweet spirit shines through your beautiful blue eyes. I can't get enough of your 6 toothed gremlin smile! And your chunky thighs! I just want to nibble on them all day! I could watch you waddle all day long! I love how mellow and laid back you are, always going with the flow and never complaining (unless you are getting your clothes changed!). You have brought such happiness to our family this past year and we would not be the same without you in our lives. I feel so blessed and loved by my Heavenly Father everytime I hold you and know that he has sent such a special spirit to live with us and have us teach and grow in righteousness. I love you my little Lucky Charm and can't wait to see what tomorrow has in store with you! Love, Mommy

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Family Trip

We just got back from our Family Trip to Southern California for our visit for Baby Zoey's blessing. Although there has been NO snow for the last 6 weeks here, it decided to reer its ugly head the day before we were scheduled to leave. Lance had to work a double on Wednesday for a swap, but we decided to leave when he got home and stay the night in Reno. We figured taking our time the night before was safer than trying to rush in the morning when our flight was leaving at 9:20. It was an adventure to say the least. We got to LAX around 11 and were on our way to visit some of Lance's family in Redlands. We had a great time with some cousins and were very greatful for our wonderful hosts! The next day we ventured to DisneyLand with just our little family of 4. We had a BLAST! It was better this time than 2 months ago when we went, mostly because P1 now knew what was going on and was a little more open to the rides and characters. That night we went to see my family in Long Beach and pretty much just hung our with eachother for the next couple days. It was great fun to see everyone and catchup. We left to come back home EARLY Monday morning and got home at around 1:30. We all took naps and woke up at 5:30...we were exhausted. Glad to be home and back to our normal schedule. Here are some pictures!





Thursday, January 27, 2011

Randomness

I wanted my new background to be different than most people's 'normal' valentines background. I was feeling kind of vintage-ey and soft and I thought this one was just the ticket. Hopefully you all enjoy it as much as I do. And I am SO HAPPY that they now have new fonts for your blog. STOKED!
Well, in all honesty, I am typing this pointless blog to avoid writing my talk on Sunday. We have lived here for 2 1/2 years and this will be my 4th time speaking in Sacrament meeting! I blame my father for teaching me to never say no when a member of the Bishopric asks you to do something.
On a side note, I have lost 3 lbs since the 1st of the year. Not much, but at least it is headed in the right direction. I have also lost 3/4 of an inch in both my waist and hips (1 1/2 all together). So my Physical resolution has been going great. I have worked out everyday for 3 weeks straight (excpet the 2 days we went to Reno for our anniversary ~ Happy 4 years to us! and what a great 2 days it was!). I feel great and have a lot more energy, which was the main goal.
I have also read my scriptures an average of 5 times a week. My goal has been 4, so I have been an overacheiver there. Lets face it, if you are going to overacheive somewhere, reading the scriptures is the place to do it!
FHE... we haven't had 'structured Family Home Evenings' but we have made sure to sit down together as a family to do something on Monday nights, wether it be to learn a new verse of I am a Child of God, or just play together in the kids room for 45 minutes, uninterrupted. So, I consider this a success. Hey, the family that plays together stays together...or something like that!
All in all, I feel like I have been doing really well with my resolutions. Almost one month down, 11 more to go. I hope your knees dont blister from all the praying you are doing for me!

And just because blog posts are much more fun when pictures are involved, here are a few of my cute kids!



Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Resolutions

I figured if I'm gonna actually be accountable for these this year, I had better write them down. Every year previous to this one I just say, in my mind, what I want to better myself at for that year. Never works. At least this way I won't be able to say, "I never had that resolution" or tweek the resolution halfway through the year to better fit my current situation. I have decided since this is only the first year that I am actually making REAL resolutions, I will start with one in each of the following categories (better to start small and work your way up I say!):
1. Spiritual
2. Family
3. Physical Health (who DOESN'T have one in this category EVERY year?)
So, in the spirit of not being a failure in any of the aforementioned categories, I decided to make it somewhat of an easy year this year. (laughing and mocking sounds are allowed here). I figure that if I fail at my first attempt at trying to make resolutions I would no longer want to try again, which would make it that much harder to ever be a better person, or maybe it is that I am just lazy. Take your pick. I personally choose option 1. :0)
Anyway...For me personal goals I have decided to (drum roll please!!)
1. Read my scriptures at least 4 times a week. Trust me, this is progress. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to read, but for some reason, whenever I am reading the scriptures, it turns into a snoozefest. So maybe before I read everytime, I will make sure to pray that I will be involved and interested in the message. Don't get me wrong, I feel the spirit when I read them, most of the time. I guess I just have to find time to dedicate my focus just on reading, and not try and do it while feeding a baby, or sitting and hearing "hot diggity dog" in the background. I digress.
2. I am hoping to have FHE everyweek. This one, though easy for so many of you, is not for our family. Lance is usually working and OT on Monday nights and is not home. For me, having a "family home evening" with just me and the kids is no different than what we do all day, everyday. Peyton and I learn primary songs, color pictures, learn Articles of Faith and stuff during the day (and Parker is still just a dud when it comes to these things). So taking time out during the evening to just do it again doesn't seem promising. I hope to overcome this feeling this year and like Nike says: Just Do It. Lance is getting Sunday/Mondays off in a couple weeks for good, so hopefully that helps in that category. (I should mention that I have already failed for the year since I forgot last night and did not hold a FHE, but I promise, from this week forward, FHE will be!!)
3. I tell myself every year, "I will lose X pounds this year." Ah ah ah. Not this year folks. Nope, I am not hoping to lose pounds (well lets face it, I really am), but am merely hoping to stick to my p90x program and allow myself to feel better and look better in the clothes that I now own. I don't hope (yes I do) to get into a smaller size or look like a waif, but it would be nice. So instead of setting myself up for failure, I decided to lower my ambitions. I want to stick to the program. I want to do something active everyday and feel good about myself when I am done. If I do this, the pounds are sure to come off all on their own, right?!? RIGHT?!? One can only hope.
So, here is to the hopes that I, Ashley Lively, will stick to and accomplish my goals set this year. This is of course, the first step. Now they are in print and I have something to be accountable for. Wish me luck!! (And a prayer or 2 won't hurt much either!)