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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Goddard Christmas Party 2009

Every year BJ's mom's family has a Christmas party. There is a dinner first, then a white elephant gift exchange (which I have been hearing about since before we got married, but hadn't experienced until this year), then a piano duet by Uncle Richard and Uncle Dave (which, unfortunately, we had to miss this year because Kessa was so tired, but I hear it's… umm.. quite the performance).

Dinner was great. Shawn had just gotten home from his mission earlier in the day, so we sat at his table and got to talk to him.

Next, the white elephant gift exchange. This is the stereotypical white elephant gift exchange. Please come expecting to get things that you don't want to take home. Though, there were some really nice things there, too.
BJ and I had fun with our gifts. First was another white elephant that Uncle Richard got:
Our second gift was a box of chocolates. With pictures of BJ and I eating a handful of the chocolates.
Here I am opening a gift which turned out to be a men's wedding band! With the promise that I could exchange it for any style or size. (His cousin sells men's wedding bands.) Unfortunately, it got stolen from me. Happily, it got stolen by someone who needed it much more than we did.
This was the highlight of the night. A U of U umbrella. The crowd was separated into die-hard BYU and Ute fans. Half of the group wanted it to take proudly to games. The other half wanted it so that it could never be taken to games.
It was stolen several times until Grandma Goddard stole it and hid it in her jacket. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
Well, it worked for most of the night, until the very last person to steal. BJ's cousin, Rochelle, had brought her boyfriend. He was a Ute fan. He wanted the umbrella. He got up to steal it. Rochelle, horrified, yelled, "You can't steal from her! THAT'S MY GRANDMA!" Uh-oh. Now the decision. The prize he really wanted or pleasing the girlfriend? He was wise. Grandma left with the umbrella.

Playing catchup

Ok. So we're really behind in blogs. Like, a lot. And they're chock full of pictures and videos. So, lest I overwhelm you with billions of visuals in a billion posts, I'm going to spread them out over the next several days. I'll also try to keep them short so that it's not overwhelming to read each post. You can click through them quickly. Just a heads up.

PS. Moms: There will be lots of videos, so I would suggest actually going to the blog so that you can watch them.
PPS. Ryan: I know how you hate me being such a mom and only blogging about Kessa. So I have made one of the days in the middle be about things that are not Kessa. Though, she is in two of the pictures. But not because they're about her, but simply because she happened to be in the pictures.

Monday, January 25, 2010


My friend, Taralyn, has often been an inspiration to me. Even now, when I haven't seen her for months, she continues to be… oddly enough, through Facebook. Her grandma has been quite ill lately with cancer. This grandma was another grandma to me for quite some time when Taralyn lived with me. It was good for me to have another grandma at that time, because I was really missing my grandma. So I've been really thinking a lot about her and have probably been more affected by this than I would be for most any other friends' grandmas. But Taralyn has been living with Grandma while going to school and has been taking very good care of her. Sadly, Grandma is on her last leg of this journey on earth. While dealing with that, she got news that her 7-year old niece got a tumor on her brain and was being rushed to Primary Children's.

I've randomly been popping onto Facebook to read the statuses of her various family members that I am friends with. Today I read Taralyn's. A few days ago she posted, "Taralyn is going to start doing grateful posts and hopes it spreads like wildfire! :) So today I'm grateful for…" The next several statuses were different things she was grateful for. (Mom, you would be able to sympathize with one: "Taralyn is grateful for waterproof mascara.")

Gratitude is something that I feel very strongly about. There have been many times in my life that I've had gratitude boards or books to keep track of everything I'm grateful for. I've given many talks on gratitude. I constantly try to focus on all the things I am grateful for. And yet, somehow, when I read that, I felt very humbled. I immediately went and changed my Facebook status to match the gratitude theme. It made me ponder about my life and the things I am grateful for. And now I am in the mood for a gratitude list. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it's a start. And the next few days I'm going to start thinking of a way to start listing the things I'm grateful for again.

I am grateful for...
  • BJ. For so many reasons. "[He's my] match in every way." (Name that movie? Anyone?)
  • Kessa. Who knew that a simple smile could bring so much happiness?
  • Dishwashers, garbage disposals, and washers and dryers in my house.
  • Mugs
  • Cuddling
  • Knowing that my Heavenly Father knows me and cares about me.
  • Service
  • Being self-reliant enough to be capable of service (see this month's Visiting Teaching message.)
  • BJ's willingness to do dishes.
  • Harry Potter. (Yes, I am that nerdy.)
  • Apple computers
  • The ability to severely penny pinch in order to get out of debt.
  • Sleeping all night long. Without waking up at all.
  • Having a clean, organized house. (You know, on the rare occasions that it happens.)
  • Motivation to be better.
  • Generosity
  • BJ holding me when I cry and still loving me despite it, and even because of it.
  • Good decisions
  • Water
  • Wii Fit
  • A wonderful family that raised me and continues to love and support me
  • Breastfeeding
  • The Atonement (if this were in order of importance, this would be way up at number one. The more I learn about it, the more humble I am, and the deeper my gratitude for it runs. And I know I've only made a crack in the dirt. Someday, I hope to open up a canyon.)
  • Plants. I love, love, love plants.
  • In-laws that not only have accepted me into their family, but also love me and make me feel like I'm truly a part of their family.
  • My primary class. Who knew you could learn so much from 11-year olds?
  • Lists.
  • Examples. Thank you so much to all of you that have set good examples for me to follow.
  • Best friends over the years. You know who you are.
  • BJ being so much like me.
  • Technology.
  • The 100 Hour Board.
  • Olive wood rings
  • Traveling
  • Cow ducks, nose bulbs, and dolls
  • People who care enough to still be reading this
  • BJ supporting me in all of my crazy ideas. (Cloth diapers? Natural birth? Crocheting stuffed animals?)
  • Gospel discussions
  • When a new tooth finally cuts through. And the immense happiness (lack of grumpiness) that follows.
  • Days that I feel cute.
  • Having a completely legal music library. (Which is still 4.3 days long.)
  • Really good books.
  • Being (almost) debt free. (Ok, we have a mortgage. But we're doing our best to get rid of that.)
  • Have I mentioned BJ? Because I don't think I can mention him enough.
  • Studying the Old Testament this year. Especially since I'm in Primary and can focus this year on telling the stories rather than the doctrine surrounding them. (Not that I don't appreciate the doctrine, but sometimes, stories are just so much fun!)
  • Games
  • Kessa's smile when she first wakes up.
  • Watching Kessa learn new things.
  • Cheerios in Sacrament meeting
  • Talents
  • Reviving old and forgotten talents
  • Pictures and videos
  • Having the perfect marriage
Ok, like I said, this is far from comprehensive. But I have a baby to feed. I'll be thinking of ways to continue to document my gratitude. Any ideas? Blog posts? Something on the sidebar? A list on my wall? A book? A paper chain? Facebook/Gmail statuses? Twitter posts?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Just being helpful

Last night BJ reached over and tickled my sides. I laughed and pushed him away.
"I was trying to be helpful!" he explained.
"How is that helpful??!!??"
"I was... making sure you could still feel your sides."
"Why wouldn't I be able to feel my sides?"
"Well, Jessica can't."*
"Yes, well Jessica had major surgery and they cut her nerves. My nerves have never been cut."
"Maybe Voldemort got to you and cut your nerves?"
"I think I would have felt it."
"Maybe he hexed you so that you don't remember it?"
"I still think I would feel the pain. And why would Voldemort attack my side?"
"The Death Eaters, then. And for fun. And maybe they just numbed your side."
"… The Death Eaters numbed my side. For fun. So that I couldn't be tickled."
"And that's why you're tickling me?"
"I'm just trying to be helpful."

I was laughing far too hard to carry on this conversation any further.

*Jessica is a good friend who went through major surgery last year, including them cutting the nerves in her side. She still has a numb spot.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Ellie is getting to the point that she can talk really well. She also has picked up on the cutest words and phrases that just send me into fits of giggles. (It's quite possible that you have to hear her say them to be funny. But think of a 3-year old little girl saying these.)

- "Mother" Not Mom, Mommy, or Momma. Nope. It has to be Mother. "Can I have more cheesy bread, Mother?" I'm reminded of 101 Dalmations every time I hear it. "I'm hungry, Mother. We're all hungry, Mother."
- Me: "Do you want some cheesy bread?" Ellie: "Yes, indeed."
- Bonnie was trying to get Ellie to ask for more candy in sign language. She got the more down, but couldn't remember the sign for candy. Bonnie: "What is candy?" Ellie: "It's not very much like a meal, but more like a snack."

I know there are more… but I can't really remember them right now. But these are at least the ones that sent me into fits of giggles tonight.

FHE - Prayer

See these cute faces? This is Sarah and Ellie back for another FHE. (And Bryan in the background.) (And yes, they're wearing my old shirts that I was giving away in an attempt to declutter.)

Our actual lesson was about the Liahona (I found my olive wood Liahona while going through a box while they were here) and they did great with the lesson. But we ended up having another lesson that I think was far more powerful.

We put Kessa down to bed a little after 8 tonight. She started crying, which isn't abnormal. Often she'll cry for a minute or two, then find her fingers and go right to sleep. Not tonight. Nope, nope, nope. She cried. And cried. BJ went in and helped her find her pacifier which calmed her down for about 20 seconds. She cried and cried. I went in and tried to comfort her. She was fine if I was holding her, but the second I started lowering her into her crib, she cried and cried. We gave her medicine (she's teething) and she cried and cried. There was simply nothing we could do. So we went back out into the living room to finish off FHE and to distract ourselves. (Though, I still spent most of the time cuddled up with BJ so he could comfort me.)

Bonnie suggested they do their family prayer with us and pray for Kessa to fall asleep. I helped Ellie say the prayer and we asked for Kessa to be able to fall asleep. After the prayer they started cleaning up and getting ready to leave. They did so in whispers to help Kessa fall asleep. Before they got out the door, Kessa was completely silent. So I pulled Ellie over to me and reminded her that in her prayer she asked Heavenly Father to help Kessa fall asleep, and look! Kessa was asleep! I then gave her a hug and thanked her for praying for Kessa. I hope Ellie learned something from this lesson. I know I did.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

FHE - Forgiveness

Every Monday night we hold Family Home Evening with Bonnie (a Homer family friend) and her family. We combine it with dinner and switch off who makes dinner and who hosts it at their home. We've been doing this since approximately halfway through my pregnancy with Kessa. It's been really fun.

There is one lesson in particular that BJ did that just made me laugh and I'd like to share with you. It was our turn for the lesson and we had… umm… not really prepared. But BJ, being very smart, realized the trick with small children (Ellie was 3 and Sarah was 18 months). Use pictures. You can make any point so long as there are pictures involved. Luckily, he happened to have all of our wedding pictures on his iPod Touch. So he pulled it out and the girls came over. (Ok, Ellie came over. Sarah was hanging out on the floor.)

Then began the lesson. "Look! This little girl is pulling off his glasses. Do you think that would make him mad?" "Yes!" "Do you think he should be mad? Or do you think he should forgive her?" "Fohgive hew."

"Look at this boy. It looks like his eye is hurt. Do you think maybe someone poked his eye?" [nods] "Do you think he should forgive whoever did it to him?" "Yeah"

And now, because BJ and I got married, and I have an awesome photographer brother, and a wonderful sister with awesome kids, we all know that we should forgive instead of getting mad.

Parental Christmas

This year was Kessa's first Christmas. But I don't have the pictures. I need to wait for Aunt Jessa to give them to me before I can blog them. (hint, hint) So instead, I will tell you about what BJ and I got each other for Christmas!

So, some of you probably don't know, but I am 1/8th Norwegian. I took 2 years of Norwegian in high school (don't remember most anything, though) and have dreamt of going to Norway my entire life. Or, at least since Grandma Hall promised to take me on a cruise of Norway if I became fluent enough to translate for her. (Hence taking two years in high school.) I also happen to love the game Ticket to Ride. In fact, I love it so much that every Tuesday night, several of my family members get online and play a game or two together. So when I saw Ticket to Ride—Nordic Countries, I knew I had to have it. Unfortunately, BJ and I were quite poor and scrimping every penny to save up a down payment for a house. So I sacrificed for the time being, figuring that we could always buy it later. But I was wrong! Turns out, it was a limited edition. A few months ago we got a coupon for any Ticket to Ride game and BJ had a full-time job, so we decided to buy it, only to find out that it had been discontinued months and months before. I almost cried.

Fast forward several months. I have blocked this horrible moment from my memory. BJ is trying desperately to think of what to give me for Christmas (picking out gifts is one of his weaknesses) when it hit him. He was giddy for the next month. Every day or two he'd break into a huge grin and remind me that I was going to love my Christmas. Seeing him that excited made me really excited to open it. I was completely clueless. So you can imagine my joy and surprise when I opened…

I then proceeded to win my next 2-3 games. It was awesome. I was well pleased.

Meanwhile, I was spending my days secretly working on BJ's Christmas while he was at work, careful to have it all put away by the time he got home. Sure, we slowly stopped eating yummy meals, and our house was slowly giving way to tornado season, but I hoped he wouldn't notice. I hoped that when he opened his Christmas present, he would forgive me. Here is a picture of when I first started putting it together:

Anyone know who that is? It's Mega Man, of course!* The afghan is made up of over 900 squares** stitched together. My bragging rights? I designed the entire thing.

By the time Christmas break came around, I only had 25 rows done (out of a planned 40). But it was the most important rows, and I had been working on it as much as Kessa would allow (hooray for naps!), so I figured it was good enough. So I wrapped it up with a skein of yarn, promising to finish it. This is what BJ opened (doll not included):

I'll be honest. The closer Christmas came and the more work I put into it, the less sure I was that he'd like it. I mean, we already have about 12 billion blankets. BJ has assured me many times that it is actually quite the opposite. I think he was as pleased with my gift as I was with his. It was a good Christmas.

And just for fun, Bonnie and her girls, Ellie and Sarah, came to visit once while I was working on it. They did a great job of keeping my secret for me. And Ellie did a great job of "helping" me crochet. Here she is tying the tails of the squares together for me. Apparently she has been tying everything she can find into knots now. Sorry Bonnie!

*For those who don't know, Mega Man is a video game character that BJ loves. He's been trying to get me to play for well over a year now, but I have to be able to beat my first board. This doesn't encourage me to keep trying.
**Well, it will be when it's all finished, anyway.