November 23, 2012

I Am Thankful

I've been especially teary the past few days as I count my blessings. God is good to me, and good to my family. Above all else, I have been overwhelmed with gratitude for the little family of mine, my parents and siblings, and my wonderful inlaws. I am surrounded by a loving, encouraging, supportive network of people that are continually living a beautiful example of the kind of person I want to be. I am grateful for my rich heritage- for the remarkable women of faith, love, and strength that came before me and carved the way of righteous motherhood that I strive to continue. I am grateful for the love of my husband, daughter, family, and Savior that sustains me every day.
I'm thankful for the hope that shines before me as new possibilities, new opportunities, new blessings, and new challenges unfold. I see such evidence in my life that the Lord not only answers the tearful prayers I utter each night and morning, but that he fully knows, and answers the silent prayers I hold in my heart. I am reminded that often times I am like the young girl in this story that thinks she knows what is best, but the Lord always knows better. I am grateful that he does, and I am so grateful that I get to see first hand in those times just a little glimpse of His understanding, mercy, and love for me.

November 20, 2012

Ummm... We Got a Home!!!

Last Wednesday we received a miracle. The offer we made on a home that seemed just perfect for us was accepted. After about 5 unaccepted offers, months of house hunting every available minute of the week, and a few tears shed, not only did we find a home that seemed like a dream come true for us, but we got it. I saw the home for the first time last Tuesday morning, and my realtor said on our way there, "I think this might be the one." Then lo and behold a picture of an LDS temple hanging on the wall when I walked in the front door! And another praise was sung when I found out that the sellers were not using an agent, but would be selling directly to the buyers themselves. The night they accepted our offer I received an email confirming the acceptance,
"We have reveiwed the offers received and even though your client's offer isn't the strongest one we would prefer to sell to them... We are excited about the opportunity to transfer our home to the Pugmires who we know will enjoy and cherish their time in our home as much as we did."
The home was built in 1987. (The year I was born.) It has three bedrooms and a loft that could easily be converted into a fourth bedroom to accomodate our (hopefully) growing family. The inside is neutral, clean, and filled with light. And the backyard has a large covered patio, a BIG grass area, and tons of garden space. There are 2 avocado trees, 1 lemon tree, 1 navel tree, 3 peach trees, and a pluot tree. It was dirt space for corn and potatoes, and 4 raised garden beds with a built-in irrigation system.
I am over the moon with excitement, enthusiasm, and gratitude. BJ is excited, stressed, and overwhelmed. All day and night daydreams, visions, and planning rule my mind as I create the perfect home for my little family.

November 15, 2012

A Beautiful Testament of What We Believe

I love being able to wear a yellow vest.

Sick Day

Ellie was sick today- sicker than I've ever seen her. She woke up teary and flem-y and snuggly. I knew right away she wasn't feeling well and I set her up in our bed with pillows and blankets and her favorite tv show, Doc McStuffins. She layed there for hours this morning not moving a muscle, her eyes droopy and watery. When I got her dressed she said, "Ow! Ow!" over and over again. Her skin was crawling and her poor little body was achey all over.
We spent the day inside. It was gray and cool outside, the kind of day you almost want to be sick on so you can stay home and cuddle up. I was able to practice my domesticity by roasting a chicken for chicken soup. I believe there is nothing you could cook that would make you feel like more of a domestic goddess than a roasted chicken- possibly making bread I guess, but for me, I always end up ticked off when any bread I make comes out of the oven. This recipe today even beat out Ina Garten's "Perfect Roasted Chicken." The seasonings and oil not only go in and on top of the bird, but in between the skin and the meat. It was an absolute beauty. I cooked by the fireside while Ellie napped. It was very idyllic.
Ellie had thrown up when she woke up from her nap and I gave her crackers and Sprite and thought there'd be no way she'd want any chicken. But when I came into bed next her with a chicken leg for lunch she was begging for it. She ended up eating my entire chicken leg and two more plates of chicken breasts. I was tickled to see my daughter enjoy the fruits of my labor as much as I hope my family does. I love to cook, but when someone loves my cooking especially my own family, it sends me over the moon.
I have realized over the last few years that I am so much more of a home body than I ever realized I was. I love to be at home. Today was such a treat. We literally didn't go anywhere, and I enjoyed the perfect balance of time spent cuddling, comforting, nurturing, and playing with Ellie and time accomplishing the things around here that needed to be done. Home is my favorite place to be. I can't believe BJ and I are going to have our very own home soon. What a miracle.

November 11, 2012


The snow is so, so cold, but it is so magical too. I loved seeing the incredible snowfall this weekend at my parent's house through Ellie's eyes. She was fascinated. We loved playing in it and bundling up for it. We sledded down the back hill on Saturday in the 12 + inches of snow and I kept saying, "One more time." "One more run." I couldn't get enough. It was so fun and took me back to my childhood and the many, many times I sled down that hill. I couldn't get any pictures of the sledding because tromping through that much snow, with that many layers, in slippery boots is hard enough without carrying a marshmallow shaped toddler the entire time. Sledding was a great workout heaving Ellie up that hill after each run. I hope it snows a bunch at Christmas- for Ellie's enjoyment, my own, and so BJ can sled with us. It's especially nice when we can come back to California and enjoy wearing our opened toed shoes and mary janes again. We've got the best of both worlds.

Tate and Ellie

Ellie was so happy that her cousin Tate came to visit while we were in Utah. She'd call his name in a high pitched voice every morning first thing, and he'd come running. Because they're so close in age they have a sort of love/hate relationship. One minute they're giggling together having so much fun, and the next they're pushing, whining, and screaming that the other one just took the toy they wanted to play with. Most of the time Tate treated Ellie like his little sweetheart: putting his hand on the small of her back while he walked by her side, sharing his sippy cup and and blueberries with her, and waiting for her whenever she was a little slower doing things than him. My favorite thing they did together was dance. We'd turn on music for them and they'd dance and dance and dance, inevitably crashing into each other mulitple times. One time they danced right after a bath together, and watching their little naked bodies rocking around had us all rolling with laughter. Is anything better than a couple darling kids?

November 8, 2012

Becca's Wedding

November 8th, 2012
At 1 pm this afternoon by best friend from college was sealed to her love in the Salt Lake Temple. As I sat in the sealing room and watched her and Jason enter the room hand in hand, with tears brimming in his eyes and a smile stretching wide across Becca's face, I cried happy tears. I felt for a moment like a mother to Becca: my feelings were tender because of my immense love for her, and I was so proud. 
Becca and I were roommates all throughout college, and for both of us, that was a time of spiritual re-birth and growth, of distinguishing what it was we really wanted and knew was right in life, and it was a time of friendship that felt like sisterhood. After a week of living together Becca and I discovered that we were essentially the same person. We had the same interests and loves. We had the same taste in style and decor. We shared a (sick) passion for food, and for trying to be healthy. We shared a love of dance class and Anthropologie, and antiques, and a great way of procrastinating homework, studying, and paper writing. We came to know each other through long days of rehearsal and late nights lying on each other's beds talking. We made midnight runs to Safeway for cartons of icecream and jars of pickles. We painted nearly every wall in our condo together, and decorated using random objects from the yard, Target, and the craft store. We had picnics on the floor while we watched back to back episodes of Friends, and we celebrated every little holiday together by cooking meals for each other, giving gifts, and exchanging notes. We learned about each other's families and spent time together with our moms. In college Becca was all I needed, and I was all she needed. We hung out together, at home, nearly every weekend. We watched General Conference together and studied our scriptures side by side. We filled journal after journal each year and spent hours driving to and from Mesa to do baptisms at the temple. We both agree that we couldn't have asked for a better college experience, or a better time in our life to share with each other.
Her wedding today was perfect. The sealing started the day off on the perfect note. Our emotions were close to the surface and her feelings of joy permeated the air around her. We were all reminded of the importance of the covenants we make and how they, above all else, are the most important treasures we have in this life.
Becca is incredible. She is talented. She is creative. And she is powerfully unique. I saw Becca for the first time when I was 13 years old. She was dancing, and I remember thinking that she was EXACTLY the kind of dancer I wanted to become. Her ballet technique is exquisite and her passion for the artistry of dance is so visible in the way she moves. Now she channels that creative passion into everything she touches. She is a living example of one of my favorite quotes from Brigham Young:
"Progress, and improve upon and make beautiful everything around you... and render the earth so pleasant that when you look upon your labors you may do so with pleasure, and that angels may delight to come and visit your beautiful locations."
Becca made every single decoration that was displayed at her wedding except the flowers. She collected and painted every vase, she made every streamer, she sewed and glued every table runner, and filled the hall with her unique, creative brilliance. The talented florist that she hired admired Becca's talent so much that she asked her if she could come work for her. Becca is excited for a new creative outlet to venture into. She encompasses the unique and rare, feminine quality of adding beauty to every thing around her. Her wedding dinner could not have been more beautiful.
 Like I said the other day, finding and keeping great friends is one of the wisest investments you can ever make. Becca has touched my life literally since the first time I saw her dancing. She inspires me to be pure and focused, and dedicated to the simple, beautiful, uplifting, and important things in life. I love her with all my heart. Happy wedding and the rest of eternity, darling. xoxo
(Becca here with another brilliant, seriously inspiring friend. I'll have to tell you about her another time.)

November 7, 2012

A Brief Update

I made it successfully to Utah and have a few observations from the day to share:
1. Traveling on election day was the best decision I ever made. Ellie had a seat all to her self and the crowds in the airport and around town were almost non-existant.
2. I made some toys and brought some fun new activities (stickers, crayon holder, and treasure hunt plastic bottle thingy) for Ellie to try on the flight, and discovered that after a while, Ellie is a lot more interested in the "real" stuff around her than any toy or forced activity.
3. Having and keeping good friends is one of the best investments you can ever make. My good friends continue to bless and inspire me year after year after year. 
4. Mitt Romney losing the election just about broke my heart, and BJ was down and out- especially without Ellie and me at his side. I'm still sad about this.
5. Waiting to find out if we got the house actually gets easier with time, although I'm still anxious to know. We should get word today.
6. As much as I wish I could be, it just doesn't seem possible for me to eat in a healthy, disciplined way every single day. Yesterday I ate a lot, but it just gives me more motivation to be healthy today.
7. Exercise feels good, and makes me feel better every. single. time.
Happy Wednesday

November 1, 2012

Halloween Regrets and a Ferris Wheel

By the end of Halloween night I was in a bad mood. I felt like a bad parent, I was tired, bored, and cranky. Ellie wouldn't go to sleep, and BJ's mom and dad killed us in every round of Rook we played. I ate apple slices for dinner since the soup I had made to put inside pumpkins had been left out for too long and posed potential food posioning. I didn't even take my darling 17 month old trick-or-treating cause I was been practical and lame. I can promise you this: next year Halloween better watch out, cause we are gonna rock the socks off of that darn holiday. I went to bed last night setting parenting goals in my journal, trying to make up in any way I could for my mothering failures of the day.
When I realized this morning that I was running out of days to run to the Irvine Spectrum to shop for a wedding gift for my old roomate's wedding next week (long, confusing sentence), I decided to wait until the evening when BJ could go with me so that we could finally do something a little more fun than sitting in bed at 7:30 watching Fox news. Ellie came with us (like always) and we rode the ferris wheel together. You know, the ferris wheel that BJ proposed to me on in July 2008. The ferris wheel that changed our lives for eternity. The ferris wheel where it all began. The ferris wheel where Ellie Layne became a real possibility. The ferris wheel that I really, really love. That ferris wheel. 
And even after that lovely date to the Irvine Spectrum, and our nostalgic ferris wheel ride, I'm still in a bad mood. We still haven't found out if our offer on the home was accepted, and it has now been FOUR days of waiting, and I ate brownies for lunch today, and brownies and ice cream after dinner tonight. Ugh. No matter how good that dessert tastes in the moment, it never leaves you feeling too great does it? Also (if you hadn't guessed already) it's that time... if you know what I mean. Double ugh.
But look how cute she is.
 I'll say goodnight now, because I believe that's enough venting for one night.