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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Reese's spreads from Influenster

Influenster hooked me up with a yummy product to try this month, and the whole family was able to dive in.

I gave the Reese's spread a taste but didn't love its texture; it comes across as a chocolate spread with little bits of peanut butter in it. Almost like the insides of a PB cup were crushed up and mixed into chocolate. While kind of tasty, I just didn't love it. Kev and Aspen though, they were totally on board. Kev said he didn't notice the texture, and then he dunked a spoon into the jar.

Kev likes the spread with pretzels, but Aspen prefers it with apples (she doesn't like "prentzels" in the first place, and even PB chocolate can't change that, I guess). It made for a nice snack for Aspen after doing some art projects this afternoon.

While this hit the spot for the rest of my family, there's another PB chocolate spread I prefer over this brand (but I can't find it in stores lately so this Reese's sample with do just fine!).

I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Monday, January 12, 2015

Family Overnight

On Saturday, I drove to Park City with the kids to meet Kev after work. All employees were given the opportunity to spend a night in one of the suites, so we snuck off for a family overnight in one of my favorite cities.

I was shocked at how fancy the resort is. And when I told Aspen it was fun to be in such a fancy place, she sighed and said, "It's not fancy, Mom. It's cool." So... I'm already a super unhip parent who's not down with the lingo. That happened quickly.

Thankfully Kev got us a two-bedroom, and the master bathroom was big enough for Linc's pack 'n play with room to spare. We set him up in there and although he had a rough start to the night, he ended up sleeping 1030-7. I heard him wake a couple of times, but he just fussed for a few minutes before putting himself back to sleep.

Cue jaw dropping in amazement.

Aspen enjoyed having a huge bed all to herself, but she did try pretty hard to convince me to sleep in the other bed in her room. Sorry, no thanks, kid. I had my eye on the HUGE king-sized bed in the master. Night-swimming wore her out enough that she fell asleep while we cuddled and then I escaped from her room.

The outdoor pool is heated to 88*, so we had no problem having a girls' night out there! Linc slept in the room with Kev while Aspen and I darted back and forth between the pool and hot tub. There were a few other kids there so she had a lot of fun playing with them and showing off. One of the boys even let her borrow his life jacket. She was so thrilled.

Right outside our windows we could see the gondolas cruising up the mountain. Aspen asked nonstop when we could ride them, but we had to wait until Sunday morning. And, of course, Linc took an amazing nap so poor Aspen had to wait forever. She and I had fun exploring the building, though, and she ran around the lobbies with my phone taking tons of random photos.

The views were so wonderful, even if it was foggy in PC. Aspen loved jumping onto the gondola and riding up to the ski lifts. She shyly said she'd like to learn how to ski someday! Kev has a season pass thanks to his job, so hopefully next year he can take her to the slopes. I loved skiing as a kid and have a lot of great memories of spending my winters on Sugarloaf.

Before we headed back down, we chatted with the gondola operator at the top and he told us he's from New Hampshire. I always love meeting someone from the East. He said he had two choices for winter work, and when choosing between Sugarloaf and Utah, he decided he needed a little break from all his friends. It's amazing how small the world is.

She's such a good sister for not letting Linc fall head-first off this bench. I had to act fast because he s such a curious little dude and he was not interested in sitting still while I tried to get a picture!

I'm really thankful for Kev's new job. He likes what he does, he keeps much better hours, and he feels like a valued employee. It was such a treat to be able to see where he works, and to be the first people to stay in our suite!

We were gone less than 24 hours, but it was still a great little getaway. The drive itself is one of my favorites. Kev went back up today to finally use his ski pass, and he said it was gorgeous with all the new snow. I can't wait to visit again, even if it's just for the free gondola ride.

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Sunday, January 11, 2015

Letters to Lincoln, month 7


This month I haven't been doing so well as a mom. I've been overwhelmed, and completely consumed with your sleep habits. It's exhausting. And I'm really sorry that I hate babies so much. I am. I'm so sorry.

But you won't be a baby forever, and that is what I remind myself of when I'm pretty sure I'm not going to survive another day. Much like when Aspen was young, this isn't about you. It's about me. It's just a terrible flaw I have. Your dad says you're such a happy and smiley baby when you're not screaming bloody murder as he tries to put you to bed. He says you're delightful when you're not fighting sleep with every fiber of your being. I want to believe him, and I'm getting back to the point I can, but for a while I was positive you had no redeeming qualities because you wouldn't sleep more than two hours at a time.

I mean, you're seven months old! You've slept 12 hours before! You weighed 23 pounds last week when I checked! YOU COULD SLEEP LONGER. But it's just not how you are. You're not like your sister, who was sleep-trained by now and who was addicted to her binky and eventually got to the point she'd wave bye-bye when Daddy or I put her in her crib for naps and bedtime.

I recenely joined an online group for parents of colicky/fussy/high needs babies. It. has. changed. my. life.

Interacting with these women makes me feel so much better. I feel less ashamed of how I'm reacting to your personality. I feel so much support and understanding goes on between us, since we all can relate to what it feels like to have a constantly screaming baby who doesn't sleep no matter what is tried. I read an article detailing high needs babies and it opened my eyes. I know I was a similar baby, but instead of being dependent on constant cuddles and human interaction like you, I was extremely averse.

That article also helped explain why you love Daddy during the day, but hate his guts at night. You're used to me being the only one who soothed you at night, with or without nursing (which we no longer do during the night, hallelujah and amen). Regardless of the fact you can go through the night without needing to eat in order to go back to sleep, you give Dad such a hard time when he goes into your room. You stop fussing when he opens the door, but you scream bloody murder when you realize it's him and not me.

We've tried various approaches to crying-it-out but you're not having it. You have once successfully cried yourself back to sleep for a nap, but it hasn't happened in the days that followed. So we're doing what we can to survive on four hours of sleep each night. And lemme tell ya, it ain't looking pretty.

But despite the sleeping setbacks, you're doing a lot of other great things. You love baths and playing with your sister. You roll from your tummy to your back (but kind of hate tummy-time). You spend hours throughout the day standing and bouncing in your command center. You love to sit up and play with toys or the dog. Your laugh is amazing and your fat rolls leave little to be desired. You eat eat eat and we're down to about 3-4 nursings during the day (before "naps," which are really more like long blinks in your case). I wasn't sad when it came time for Aspen to self-wean at 14 months, and I sure don't feel sad about the possibility of you weaning even sooner.

Just keep growing, little man. We need to move past all this nonsense asap.


See Aspen's monthly letter HERE.

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Tuesday, January 06, 2015


I'm pretty sure I've been praying for all the wrong things. Or, maybe, praying for the right things in all the wrong ways.

It has been months of constant frustration and exhaustion over here. I have tried not to over-zealously implement sleep-training-methods because trying one thing after another is INSANITY. But I've been diligent with a few things like schedule and, recently, having Kev go in at night to soothe Linc instead of me (side note: when Kev opens Linc's door, he immediately stops yelling. But when Kev approaches the crib and Linc sees it's not Mommy, Linc starts bawling).

Through it all, I've offered up so many prayers. Prayers that I could handle this better. Prayers that Linc would just. freakin. sleep. Prayers that I could figure out what he needs. Prayers that I would stop resenting him so much. Prayers that something would be better or easier right now. And far too often, it seemed like nothing happened. No answers.

Then, this month, my prayers seemed so obviously answered. Nikki took Linc and Aspen for me overnight. She basically wouldn't take "no" for an answer. I know she answered my prayers for relief.

Additionally, on Sunday, Linda gave a lesson that spoke to my heart. I wasn't in the room for the very beginning, but she shared this video (which I have seen and bawled through previously). After it played, Linda said a scripture kept going through her mind: "...she hath done what she could" (Mark 14:8).

I had debated staying home on Sunday instead of attending church. I felt too overwhelmed to imagine getting myself and the kids ready and out the door on time. I didn't want to deal with tantrums, and trying to nap Linc on-the-go and maintaining my composure when so exhausted. But I went anyway (and Aspen had a meltdown as soon as we walked into the chapel). As I sat in Relief Society and Linda said we're all doing enough, despite our feelings of depression and/or anxiety, I knew she was inspired to share those words. I needed to hear them.

It felt like I was finally being recognized by Heavenly Father. After what felt like months of radio silence as I battle depression and endure long, dark nights, it seemed someone was finally saying something back to me.

I am doing what I can.

It may not be awesome, but at the end of the day both the kids are alive and most of their needs and wants have been met.

Hopefully I've managed to slip in some other accomplishments, like showering and feeding myself, but I guess I'll get there eventually. In case you need some other inspiration (that requires less tissues), check out the Colbie Caillat video below, too.

While things may not be getting better or any easier, at least I can feel a little less alone.

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wrap it up, 2014

2014 has been a challenging year. I was pregnant and puking for the first six months, and in the months following Lincoln's birth I've been battling other deamons.

What makes it so particularly difficult is that initially I wasn't feeling so depressed. I felt nothing but love for my baby boy and my helpful girl. I was amazed at how the transition from one to two kids was so smooth. I had energy and was motivated to get out of the house for errands and play dates. I felt on top of it!

But then the colic hit. The constant screaming from 5-10p unless Linc was being nursed. The countless hours spent rocking and bouncing and practically catapulting him through space to soothe him. Trying to juggle bedtime for two kids by myself for months. It wore me down. I didn't want to leave the house for anything. I dreaded visitors and responsibilities and couldn't decide whether day or night was worse. 

As Linc is sleeping a little better and I'm making Kev go in more during the late-night hours, I feel I'm turning a corner. But I wish turning the page on my depression was as easy as turning the page on the calendar.

I'm looking forward to 2015 because my baby will turn one. He will learn to self-soothe to sleep (so help me, he will!), he will be weaned, he will interact more with his sister, he will become a little person. Aspen will graduate pre-school, have another dance recital, and will start Kindergarten. They'll both grow so much, and it will be such a relief to me.

Regardless what life throws at me in the upcoming year, I hope I can stick with the mantra that's been floating in my head since November: MIGHTY. I need to be stronger in the face of adversity, more sure of my place in the world, my role in my family and more committed to my goals.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Lincoln's first sleepover

It's been a rough month with Linc's sleeping. It seems we make some progress, but then take a couple steps back every few days. So I'm not sure I'm actually helping him learn better sleep, or if those nights of rest are just a fluke.0

I'm staying as consistent as I can with a schedule, and I do see it helping. While it still may take a while to get him asleep in his crib, it's starting to happen around the same time each day for his naps and bedtime. I know that's important! And I'm trying to appreciate that development. But it's so hard to be so chronically exhausted.

Before Christmas, my friend Nikki texted me to ask if she could take the kids for a couple of days. She wanted to teach Linc to take a bottle and give me some uninterrupted sleep in the kids' absence. I left it up in the air and thought about it for a couple of days before even approaching Kev with the subject.

Part of me really wanted to do it. I wanted to have some time to myself, free from anxiety and feeling so overwhelmed. But another part of me agonized over Linc's disinterest in bottles. I knew he wouldn't starve in the slightest, but I hated to think of him struggling with a bottle. Also, I felt so guilty wanting so badly to be away from the kids. I hated the reality that I was at a point I neededto be away from them.

But, y'know, sometimes a person needs a break. Sometimes being a parent is terrible. Sometimes being sleep-deprived gets to be too much. Sometimes a person has to do something in order to reset and function better. I was starting to hate the person I had become- always irritable, short-tempered, and unable to enjoy my kids.

So I talked with Kev (more like, sobbed and tried to spit out the details of Nikki's offer) and we decided to go for it. We planned to meet Nikki on Sunday evening and give her the kids. I knew Aspen would have a fantastic time playing with Nikki's daughter, and it was really just Linc I worried about (and Nikki's eardrums).

The drive up to meet Nik was so hard. I felt so nervous about my little motherboy. I know he won't remember any of this experience, whether good or bad, but I couldn't help but worry. But I did it. I drove away from my kids and went home and binge-watched Netflix with Kev.

It took Nikki about three hours to get Linc to sleep that night. He cried nearly the entire time. He woke up multiple times in the night, and spent two hours awake from about 4-6a. So... basically they were up all night. During all this, I managed to get about four hours of sleep before my body automatically woke me and wondered about feeding a baby. I managed to get a few more hours of sleep before getting up to pump before work, and that's when Nikki texted that perhaps Linc should come home (insert LOL emoji here).

We agreed Kev would pick up Linc (it was his day off Monday) while I was at work, and that Aspen could stay another night to play. Linc was so tired Kev said he slept on the ride home, which is the first time he's slept in the car for MONTHS. He was awake for about an hour when he got home and then I put him back down for another nap. He was so exhausted from torturing Nikki with his crying!

Overall, I'm still glad I let Nikki take the kids. It was nice not feeling anxiety about having small windows of time (while Linc napped) to get something done. Every day I rush around like a madwoman trying to finish items on my to-do list or play with Aspen or work during Linc's tiny naps. Although it was a short break, it's appreciated.

I'm grateful to have friends who offer to take my kids for me, even when it's not pleasant. I'm grateful Nikki and her husband are friends I can trust so thoroughly to be honest with me and supportive and Christ-like. I never in a million years thought my high-school friend Mike and my college roommate Nikki would one day take my kids for me so I wouldn't have a mental breakdown. It amazes me how God puts people in our lives to do His work.

And even after a terrible night with my baby, Nikki suggested we try it again in a few weeks. I think I'll give her a little more time than that to recover, though. It's not easy trying to rock my screaming, 22-pound infant to sleep for three hours.

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Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas 2014

This year has been quite an adventurous one. I feel enveloped by our neighborhood and community in a way I've never experienced before. Our needs are constantly met, as well as so many of our wants!

Kev lost his job in November right when the RS president and Bishop were organizing the Angel Tree for the ward. Janice called me and asked me to submit a couple of items for the tree so ward members could help us with Christmas. It was so thoughtful. It seemed like every time I answered my phone or door in November, someone was doing something amazing for us. Truly amazing.

I was so grateful for the charity shown to us, and before Christmas I explained to Aspen that some gifts are from people in our ward who love us, and who wanted us to have an amazing Christmas. I hope she understands it! Last year we were in a position to take a name from the tree and give to someone in need, and next year we plan to do it again.

This knucklehead has been sleeping SO POORLY. I had about three hours of sleep on Christmas Eve, and that was after trying to go to bed at 9pm. I just can't win. So I really slacked on photos during Christmas. I was so very, very tired. But we had lots of good food and a lovely time with Seth, Sophia and Jose on Christmas morning, even if I didn't document much of it.

I was done with my shopping pretty early this year, but when this My Little Pony castle popped on a Facebook yard sale site for TWO DOLLARS I had Kev pick it up while he was running errands. I love it, probably as much as Aspen. It even still had some of the cute, teeny tiny accessories with it.

I bought new stockings from the Dollar Tree this year, but since I'm a sleep-deprived zombie I didn't count correctly and didn't have enough for our family plus guests. So Seth got one of my socks. He's such a good sport. Also, please notice the gorgeous railing in the background! No more 2X4 railing for us at our fancy Lucky House!

Originally, Aspen asked for some books and some cars for Christmas. She also picked out some new tights, and I got her some more art supplies and a box of hand-me-down clothes from her cousins. But, just like her mother did the year she asked for a red-headed Barbie ON CHRISTMAS EVE OR SHE WOULD NO LONGER BELIEVE IN SANTA, Aspen added something vital to her list after all my shopping was done. Thankfully my mom hadn't done her shopping yet, so I let her give the most-favorite gift of the year: Rainbow Dash Equestria Girl. It was what Aspen was searching for all morning. After I let her open the doll (and the doll a member of our ward gave her) it was the perfect time to take a break from presents and put Linc down for a nap. I didn't want to miss any of the fun, but the dolls gave Aspen something to focus on instead of the presents still awaiting us. She loves the dolls so much I've decided to bribe her with more and if she starts taking quiet time in her room every day, she can earn the rest of them. I have to decide how many days it'll take to earn one because there are only four more characters... She's just kind of a monster without any serious down-time during the day and we need to figure out a way to fix that.

On Christmas Eve, Jose and Sophia treated us to an El Salvadorean dinner tradition- chicken sandwiches. They were so tasty, and Aspen even tried a bunch of the elements without putting them in sandwich form. They're chicken drumsticks with lettuce, tomato, beets, radish, hard-boiled eggs, and a homemade salsa sauce. They were so good I ate one and a half and then felt sickly full the rest of the night. WORTH IT. We couldn't stay up all night partying like true El Salvadoreans, but we could at least have a feast!

It was a wonderful Christmas and I'm so glad Kev had the day off to spend with family. It was also so amazing to have a white Christmas. I told Aspen that was Santa's gift to her since I'm really lazy about pretending Santa exists. I figure it's fair that Santa brought snow because everyone gets to enjoy it ;).

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Friday, December 19, 2014

I've got the magic in the me

Because I know you're all on the edge of your seats, how about an update on the sleeping situation at my house?


Well, I have been watching Linc's drowsy cues for about a month now. I've been putting him down for "naps" (which are really just 30-40 minute snoozes) after no longer than two hours of wakefulness for the morning and afternoon. In the evenings, though, I recently noticed he's tired again in more random intervals. I'm trying to honor that and create a schedule that syncs with his natural sleep cycles (CAN YOU SEE WHY I'M BECOMING A CRAZY PERSON?!).

With that in mind, I started putting him to bed "for the night" in the 6 o'clock hour. After a few days this week, it's clear this is the key. He goes to bed before 7pm, and ends up sleeping until about 11 or midnight, which is the longest stretch of sleep he's taken since he was a new baby. After a feed, he'll sleep again for another 4-5 hours. And while I can't go to bed a 7p, I can at least aim for 9 after Aspen is definitely asleep and I can get about two hours in before attending to Linc for his first waking. Then I can try to slip in a long stretch of sleep until Linc wakes again in the early morning.

Last night I didn't hear Linc around midnight, but Kev was awake so he tended to him. I heard Linc wailing a bit as Kev rocked him back to sleep but I didn't go in to help because TIRED. Kev was able to get Linc back to sleep and he didn't wake for a feeding until about 445a. That means he went almost 10 hours without needing to nurse. I AM WINNING!!

This is such a relief. I hope I've found the solution to his interrupted sleep, even if it means he's going to bed at 630p and I'm still a prisoner in my house with sleeping kids.

Early bedtime is a suggestion in Weissbluth's book, but I hadn't gotten to that being an option with Linc yet because his cat naps have been all over the place. Now that everything is moved to an earlier point in the day, starting Linc's bedtime routine at 6 seems to be working. It also helps that Kev is home from work around that time, so I don't feel I'm completely abandoning Aspen.

And a side note- as I've continued to study Healthy Sleep Habits... I find myself crying so much. He constantly reassures parents they're not bad awful humans for resenting and disliking their babies. I need that reminder so much because I am so sick of this baby stuff and the struggle to find a rhythm and have some semblance of a daily schedule again. It feels like a never-ending battle that I am always losing and, man, do I need the encouragement. Even if it is from some Dr. I've never met. It just feels like he gets it. He seems to know how terrible it is to survive a colicky baby, and to try overcoming the problems that develop as a result.

I'm obviously not going to throw a premature party to celebrate Linc's better sleep, but I am going to be grateful for the obvious improvements I've seen in just the last couple of nights. I'm willing to be hopeful the earlier bedtime is doing the trick.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Guess who still isn't sleeping!

I've pretty much reached the end of my rope when it comes to sleeping.

Linc is still up all through the night, sometimes FOUR TIMES. For a baby his age, this is completely unnecessary. Which is proven by the fact he sometimes won't even nurse when I respond to his cries. He just wants some company.

The problem with colic (besides going crazy from constant screaming) is that it took away my baby's ability to learn any self-soothing techniques. Because I did whatever I could to stop his screaming all those weeks, Linc never had to develop any way of soothing that didn't involve me. He was constantly held, rocked, nursed and catered to. He stopped using a binky because he knew he could just nurse. He didn't suck on his fingers or thumb because he knew he could just nurse. He didn't need a blankie to cuddle his face because he was held instead. And the number one offender- rocking him to sleep.

I've had a lot of helpful discussions with other moms, but nothing is yet working on my little bambino. I've tried all sorts of combinations of the following:

no swaddling
loose swaddling (I ordered a sleep sack at 3am the other morning, so hopefully that helps)
binky (now rejected)
nursing to sleep
not nursing to sleep
blackout curtains
sound machine
no sound machine
favorite song
gas drops
crying it out
sleeping him in his swing
giving him something to cuddle (soft blanket, favorite stuffed rattle etc)
delayed-response to crying
keeping him awake no longer than two hours at a time during the day
keeping him awake slightly longer then two hours at a time during the day

Next up is to work on my diet. I sat down to write out my thoughts on this possibility when a friend called to suggest something I'm eating is bothering Linc so much that he can't sleep well. I literally was contemplating what the culprit may be when my phone rang. So I'm hopeful that's a sign I'm on the right path. I'm going to eliminate my daily dose of yogurt and see how that helps Linc's sleep because I have an inkling he has slept better in the past when I've run out of my beloved greek yogurt. If there's no improvement in the next week, then I'll see what else I'm eating that could potentially be bothering him (like acidic foods).

Honestly, if I don't sleep more soon I'm going to flip out. I'm always irritable, I'm so forgetful, I've lost a lot of weight, and I feel anxious all. the. time about sleep, or lack thereof. It's like I'm a prisoner in my house, with a teeny little warden dictating how my days will go (hint: usually crappy). It's extremely difficult to get Aspen to school and dance with this non-schedule Linc is on. It's positively dreadful to take the kids to work with me. And at night, when I finally lie down and hope for sleep, it's difficult to drift off because I just wonder when he's going to wake up screaming again.

All I want for Christmas is to sleep longer than 4 hours at a time.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

2014 Christmas Cards

Last year I was able to review the Minted website, and I received a credit to use before the end of 2014. I didn't get my Christmas cards out last year, so I hung on to that credit and was able to make darling snowflake ornament cards for this year.

I love how the Minted cards turned out, and I wish my scanner could capture the quality. It's a heavy card stock and, naturally, my order came with simple ribbon to hang the ornament cards.

And, as per usual, I redeemed one of the many offers floating around to order 10 free prints. This gold card came via tinyprints (a division of Shutterfly) and I love them, too. I was able to stick three different photos on this one, and have color options front and back.

I just love sending out cards; snail-mail is such a wonderful thing and we don't get enough good stuff throughout the year!

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Friday, December 12, 2014

2014 Relief Society Christmas Party

Before Lincoln was born, I asked to be released from my calling as a teacher in Primary at church. I could not picture myself continuing with that weekly task while trying to juggle an infant. I was so relieved to be released and not to have the pressure of teaching every week!

But not having a calling didn't last long. I was soon asked to be the RS activity organizer person. RS activity committee head? RS activity planner? I don't even remember what it's called... I was probably too sleep-deprived when they asked me and set me apart. But it's my new job at church, and I get to work with one of the wonderful members of the RS presidency to plan and carryout these quarterly activities.

For the first time in a long while, it was decided that the dinner would be hosted at the church instead of in someone's home. I pulled ideas from my old ward in Ogden, and I had ladies sign up to decorate tables for the evening (to cut down on how much my team and I would have to do!). It was awesome to see what the volunteers came up with. Pictured above is Laurel's table, which was voted "Most Festive." She's a wonderful neighbor I've enjoyed so much in my time here in Murray. And, as it turns out, her daughter attended my mom's seminary class in Maine, and then stayed in my grandpa's house in Connecticut during one of her med school rotations. SMALL WORLD.

For our evening, we had such a delicious dinner, served to us by the YW who volunteered to help (SUCH A GOOD IDEA). I had a few more YW/YM doing a nursery for any children who tagged along with their moms, and it was nice they could take Linc for me for a little while.

Linda, my guide through all this, really pulled everything together. She ran errands and purchased so many of our supplies and created the gifts for the ladies to take home at the end of the night. The RS theme this year has been to shine our lights, and Linda put the scripture reference on votive candles for everyone. Having only recently discovered the wonder of the Dollar Tree myself, I am still amazed she found glass votive holders at the dollar store two-for-a-dollar. Seriously, that is my new favorite place.

As a RS committee, we provided the main course for the night, but sisters in the ward signed up to bring salads, rolls and desserts. How cute are the reindeer cupcakes?! Aspen and I made a huge batch of cookies to bring, and I probably have to make more again this week because she claims she didn't get to eat nearly enough before I gave them all away.

I used my LLBean lighthouse advent calendar for my centerpiece, and was voted "Most Unique!" I loved representing my home state, and I was only allowed to bring it on the condition that no one opened the drawers and stole Aspen's treats. HA!

Linda asked a choir from Murray HS to perform for us, and it was so beautiful. Both the A Cappella and Madrigal choirs came, and I was so happy to listen to live Christmas music. They did a wonderful job, and I'm so thankful Linda thought to invite them. We were also treated to live flute music during dinner since one of our YW agreed to play for us. It was so fancy.

And since so many ladies helped with all the prep work and clean up, I really felt I didn't do much. I had been stressing for weeks about having to bring Linc, and having to take Aspen to and from dance during the activity, and making sure everyone had a good time... I honestly got to the point I wasn't looking forward to the evening. It didn't help that I was up most of the night with Linc, and then had to work the day of the activity so I was extremely worn out by kids kids kids. But everyone was so hands-on and Kev was able to get Aspen from dance, and Linc slept in my arms the second half of the activity, and it turned out wonderfully. So many people said they had a great time and that makes all the stress worth it.

But I'm glad I only have to do these activities every few months!

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