Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Neighbor Gift

 Neighbor Gifting- The act of giving your neighbors or friends a small gift to let them know you are thinking about them during the Holidays.

I kid you not, I have been thinking about what to gift this year since about August. This is when my canning obsession began. Really, i was obsessed. I canned about 20 jars of this amazing, delicious, and crazy simply/ healthy freezer jam. I know freezer jam isn't really canning but i did can lots of syrup, peach curd, apple butter and apple sauce.

I love to get crafty or give homemade gifts but they usually turn out looking like a 5 year old created them or costing me more in time and money than seems worthwhile. This year i was genius though, hence the 5 months of planning.

Almost every neighbor gift, teacher gift, or friend gift will have started out from our garden. Our raspberry bush supplied us with a bowl a day until October and they were the best raspberries ever. Our  herbs grew great as well and we didn't have to start drying them till pretty late in the season too. 

So here is the easiest raspberry chia seed freezer jam recipe. 

2 cups raspberries
2 tablespoons orange blossom honey
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor. 
Put into air tight container and chill for 2 hours. 
It can keep for up to two weeks in the fridge or 1 year in the freezer.

This recipe can be tweaked with out much change to it. I never really measure anything. This drives my sister crazy. I typically just fill my little Ninja blender full of raspberries and as much of the other ingredients as i think look good. It's always turned out yummy.
I am obsessed with these quilted mason jars so everything i make goes straight into one of them. 

Now Add a bow and veala! Am i right?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Life Lately

We have been going non stop lately and I have loved it. Since Thanksgiving we have been to Logandale twice, shopping a lot and just spending time together at home. The girls have  been so fun lately it is like we can't get enough of doing things with them. 

 Leighton is quite the helper with all things Christmas and lights are her favorite.

She had her first dance recital. Talk about a mom's heart melting. There isn't anything quite as sweet as a two year old in a tutu.

 We went to visit Santa Clause. Leighton decided she was afraid of him and cried the entire time. But she keeps asking if we can go see him again to get more candy. Emersyn didn't know what the heck was going on but she didn't seem to mind him at least.

 My work Christmas party was at the bowling alley and the girls are pros. Grandpa helped them a lot and i discovered i bowl way better with a baby on my hip. 

 Emersyn is quite the little shopper now. 10 hours in vegas two weekends in a row and she rocked it. Seriously this girl soaks up all the attention she can get.

Leighton is obsessed with my camera and tries to take pictures everyday. This one actually turned out. I can't wait for Santa to bring her own though. My 7D is not quite kid proof.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Keeping Christ in Christmas

I love Christmas! Really though, who doesn't? I usually am the scrooge of the family and not the one to listen to christmas music or go crazy with decorating but there is something about traditions with my daughters that makes me want to enjoy every second of the season. It is so easy to become caught up with all the extras of the holiday though. Every year i strive to feel the true meaning of Christmas but tend to worry about wrapping and shopping more than coming closer to Christ. This year i really have put forth that extra effort though, especially to teach Leighton more than just Santa Clause.

What are we doing to keep Christ in Christmas? Celebrating the true reason for everything. Leighton has helped me shop quite a bit. I am not scared to venture out of the house with both girls in toe so as we shop i ask Leighton to help me find presents for grandma or a gift for May May. We talk about Jesus and his birthday and how he was give gifts and I have even gone as far to say he still gives them to us everyday. Leighton might only be two, but she is learning to give, not just receive. Thinking about gifts in a spiritual sense has made them that much more special to me. Honestly my love language is giving and receiving of gifts. It always has been but the real thought behind them is a huge reason why i love it so.

Leighton and Emersyn both have their own Nativities. Emersyn's is a stuffed one and Leightons is a wood one. Both girls play with theirs and Leighton tells Emerysn, this is Jesus, this is Mary, This is an
angel. Does she really understand? Maybe not, but maybe they understand more than we even do. Either way a foundation is being built and my heart grows 4 times larger every time i hear them play.


We are reading the Christmas story. Even if it is only a scripture or two a night i read out loud from The Bible or Book of Mormon about the coming of Christ. I have learned so much from doing this and honestly this has brought the spirit of Christ into our home more than anything. Leighton also has her own book of the real Christmas story. The pictures have helped her to really learn who everyone is and to see the story of Christ's birth. Tonight while reading her book she smiled when we got to the birth of Christ and pointed at him and said "Oh Happy Day!" What a happy day indeed.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Emersyn's First Party

Emersyn turned 1 last month and I still haven't posted her party. It was basically a dream of a first birthday. Emersyn was surrounded and celebrated by friends and family and loved every second of being the center of attention. 

She had the funniest personality, just smiled and laughed at everyone staring at her and ate her cake for like 30 mins and didn't even make a dent in it. What 1 year old eats a cake so dainty?

The decorations were beautiful. Pink and Gold everywhere and i was obsessed.

A piƱata is always a good idea. Babes fighting for candy really is as entertaining as it sounds. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Hello December

Really it is December already? How did that happen? Didn't I just post my new years resolutions? It feels like it. I am welcoming December with open arms. The Cedar winter has been kind to us so far and I am crossing my fingers for minimal snow, just enough to keep this dry area hydrated. So far this month seems like it will be a blast. Leighton may or may not be in middle of her worst terrible twos yet, but she is also absolutely in love with Christmas. Seriously the girls sings Jingle Bells and Christmas Monkey all day long. Its kind of adorable. Also i have basically finished all of my Christmas shopping already. What?! For reals black friday and cyber monday were good to me, not my wallet. 

I can't wait to get crafty and have lots of fun with the girls. Here are a few of my favorite ideas from pinterest. 

Who wants to make me a chalk board? Isn't this beautiful?

Leighton is going to love these!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A Thankful Heart and Blessed Life

 I enjoy being reminded of how blessed i am and i feel happier when i recognize each blessing individually. This year has had so many ups and downs and i wish i could say i handled all of them with grace but i didn't. I have learned a lot though, about myself and my family. I have been tested and i think i passed. Surviving hard times only makes my heart fill with more gratitude for my beautiful life. 

I am so thankful for my little family. For my husband and the man that he is. Kaden sacrifices so much to provide for us and ensure that we are comfortable, he supports my crazy ideas and puts up with my on going mood swings. I can not imagine anyone else by my side and this year has just confirmed that for me. 

I am thankful for my beautiful daughters. Leighton and Emersyn truly are the light of my life. I wanted to be a mother ever since i could remember. I never knew how hard it could be to become one and then how hard it would be to be one. Motherhood is the most rewarding and most challenging calling i will ever hold. Our girls are an amazing gift from god. They are both filled with joy and show us love everyday. 

I am thankful for our jobs, cars, home, the beautiful city we live in, the family we are surrounded by and the friends we keep in touch with. I have become more dependent on the few people in my life that mean everything and have realized we will can be happy in any circumstance. I am thankful for the almosts and the dids. I am thankful for the businesses i helped create, the trips we took and the experiences we have gone through. 

I am so very thankful for the gospel. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I know my Heavenly Father knows who i am, what i am going through and what i need. He watches over my family and has blessed us immensely. All I have I owe to him. 

I am thankful for everything in my life. Honestly, good or bad i have learned so much from each experience and i am grateful for that. This life is amazing and so beautiful. I couldn't ask for it to be any other way. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Midweek Motivator for a Mom

I haven't posted for about two weeks now. I have a lot to catch up on, but i felt like i was drowning a little. I needed a break, not from my blog but to just refocus life. I started over my schedule, or budget and even how i am sleeping. The past week has kind of been a dream. This routine is going to work out nicely for us. I have had dinner on the table every single day for over a week now. I haven't worked out like i should but i have spent more time with just the girls. These two quotes have made me feel good with focusing on me. I tend to try and do too much and hopefully i will be to a point that too much is good again but right now it just isn't. Right now simple is perfect and there is a reason we are meant to live simple lives. 

Being a mom taking care of your self means taking care of your family. If you are not healthy, or happy how do you expect your family to be? I am  learning this lesson slowly but i am learning it.