Friday, May 21, 2010

Gage-A-Rooney

Jay's cousin, Gage, turned one last week!He's a doll. His mom (Katie) threw him just about the best birthday party ever. Mmmmm... it was so cute. Everything was orange and blue (Go Broncos!)... and green. There were cupcakes that matched Gage's cake and they were really good. Here's Gage previewing the fun to come: When he first got his cake, he didn't really know what to do. After a little bit of help, he started to get messy.
(Love this face!) Look how cool the inside of that cake is! And here's a birthday smile: A lot of people showed up to join the fun. And it wouldn't be a day in the park if Jay didn't drop his pants. Uncle Devin and Maya tried to teach Gage how to walk. And Uncle Brent gave Gage a few fashion tips.
Jay had so much fun playing with his cousins.
Especially because this park had a splash pad.
Joe didn't think Jay was wet enough so he put him right under the water.
Jay didn't think that was very funny, and neither did I a few minutes later when he did it to me!
Here's cute Gage in his swim gear: And here's poor Janelle getting wet:
Look at Brent's evil laugh.
After Janelle got wet she grabbed Jay and they had a great time.
He loves his Aunt Janelle... and I love his face in this picture.
What a fun day! Good job Katie.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Happiness is...


Bike trails.


Springtime in the desert.


Crisp new notebooks waiting to be filled.
I start school in TWO DAYS!!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Love You, Dummy

Jay is so funny. He is always saying, "Thank you, Mommy" or "Love you, Daddy" or "More marshmellows, Mommy". He has to say Mommy or Daddy after everything. Well, sometimes he forgets who he is talking to and calls me "Daddy" or Joe "Mommy". Today, I think he came up with a solution. He has now said, "Love you, Dummy" three times to me this morning. Joe and I are like the Trinity of parenthood I guess... except there's two of us... and we're separate... and we don't believe in that. Okay, so not really.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My View of the World

I have a very patient husband. Everything we do takes twice as long because I have to stop and take a picture. Needless to say I have about a billion pictures of Joe's back. Sometimes, though, those pictures turn out to be my very favorite.
I get to catch moments like these... Or if I'm really lucky I get this:
The view's not always so terrible back here.
(Pictures from Pioneer Park in St. George)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Weekly Musings: Choose Your Life

I've decided that once a week I'm going to try and write the things that are on my mind and the things that inspire me. I'll try not to bore you.

Today's thoughts are called "Choose Your Life".

Now this may sound like I'm going to talk about making your life whatever you want it to be--be a Rock Star, go skydiving--but actually that's not really what I mean. A few weeks ago, I realized that I was making choices for the wrong reasons. I think that it's so easy as wives and mothers (and women) to feel like there is a singular path that we must follow. Any straying from that one path results in harsh judgments from others. So I was trying to fit myself onto that path. I found myself justifying every choice I made to everyone. Then it hit me: It's my life! It serves me no purpose to live it for anyone else. How can I feel good about myself if I'm making choices to please others? So what I really mean is to choose the life that you are already living. Choose to live it for you. Choose to love every choice you make because you know it's what is right for you. (Obviously this all involves the Spirit and following Jesus Christ but I'm writing this on the assumption that we are all worthy and capable of listening to the Spirit.)

So in closing... we all have agency. Agency REQUIRES action. You can't not act and being passive about your life is still a choice. Picture yourself on this journey. Are you following a crowd of people with your head down, kicking rocks along the way? Or are you being led by the Spirit, looking forward with confidence, regardless of what anyone else thinks?

"Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves--to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life."
-2nd Nephi 10:23

I hope you are all loving and choosing YOUR life.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Scenic Sunday

It is becoming quite the tradition for us now to take a drive every Sunday. I am loving it. There is so much to see.

Today, we decided to stick with the Mother's Day theme and go somewhere where there are a ton of Mothers.



No not Provo....




That's right: Colorado City!
Home of the FLDS church... better known by some as Polygamists.
I didn't take a ton of photos of the people because I didn't want to offend them. And we kind of stuck out.
(A family playing soccer at a school.)
I actually have a deep respect for these people... especially the women. They believe that they are doing God's will just like I do.

Overall, Colorado City was nothing like what I expected. There were big houses...
but most of them were unfinished on the outside.
There were a few smaller houses and some run down places,
but almost everyone had really nice cars. I've never seen so many 12 passenger vans in all my life. And Joe was drooling over all the nice trucks.

The most surprising thing to me was how many kids I saw on four wheelers. I was weirded out to see so much activity on a Sunday. I thought that there were strict rules about Sabbath Day observance but there were people in the parks playing. I also saw a coffee shop so I'm not sure about their beliefs on that.

Oh and there is no temple in Colorado City. That was a bit disappointing to me.

But my favorite discovery was when we accidentally left the boundaries of the "church". We found a place with much more expensive looking houses. I thought for sure that this must be a totally separate belief system but there was a strange feeling about it. We called one of our friends, who actually left the FLDS church and is from Colorado City. He said that we were in an area where people lived who had left the church. I laughed out loud. These people left the church, abandoning their beliefs, and moved across the street!

One thing was for sure... they picked a BEAUTIFUL place to build a city.
It was a pretty cool experience. I wished that we could have talked to some of the people but I was very conscious of the fact that we were the "outsiders" there. And their beliefs and way of life are sacred to them.

As usual, Jay was oblivious to everything going on. He kept himself entertained with a water bottle.
Look at the focus. I'm so proud.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

(I'm posting this today because I don't want to forget tomorrow and I'm pretty sure our Moms won't see it before then.)

So... that video last week of Jay saying "Hi Grandma" was really just prep for this video. It is to both our Moms because we know that everything means more when it comes from a grandchild. WE LOVE YOU! And thank you for putting up with both of us and raising us right so that we could find each other and live happily ever after.
video

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I Love to See the Temple

Sorry for posting every five minutes lately. Joe and I just went to the temple tonight to take some pictures. He thinks I should sell my work. I'm still on the fence about it.

But either way, the St. George temple is very special.
We were standing pretty far from the temple, but as soon as we put Jay on the ground, he ran right for the stairs.
Kids are amazing that way. Jay was so happy when he got to the top, but he was too scared to come down alone.
Joe's a good Daddy.

Inspiration

With school starting in less than two weeks, I've decided that I desperately need a daily routine. Last night, Joe and I stayed up talking about our goals and how we both want to be better people. So this morning, I woke up at 6:30 and went running. I also made it a point to read my scriptures early and get all the way ready... instead of my normal "wear whatever is comfortable because no one is coming over anyway" mentality. Well... it was hard. I was tired. I'm out of shape and I much prefer to wear sweats. BUT I felt better about myself and I accomplished a lot.

My point:
When I was in the MTC, there was a man (in my branch presidency) that became sort of a mentor to me. He told me once, "Sister Goostrey, you could live your whole life at eighty percent and no one would ever know. But you have so much more to give." That really stuck with me. I do have more to give, even if it's hard.

As I was recovering from my run this morning (literally), I wondered if it was worth almost killing myself to become better. Then this came to my mind:

"Disciples of Christ do great things not because that is what greatness requires, but because that is what He requires."

The spirit is pretty smart so I decided I better listen.


Anyhow, did I fool anyone into thinking that picture was a giant blue planet in space?... Cuz it was really a giant blue balloon from Home Depot in our backyard.
(I know what you're thinking... good thing you woke up at 6:30 to accomplish that today!)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Just Another Day in Paradise

One of my favorite things that Joe and I have in common is a love for long drives. We both love to sit and watch the world passing by. I'm always amazed at the detail and scale of everything... EVERYTHING! The Earth is truly beautiful.

Anyhow, yesterday I googled scenic drives near Saint George and found a route called "Joshua Tree Road". It was so interesting. It wrapped around mountains, and over hills out in the middle of nowhere.
Well, actually in the middle of a Paiute Indian Reservation. It was called the Shivwits Reservation. To be honest, I was totally creeped out most of the way. First off, every fence we saw was marked with "No Trespassing" signs. Which was sad because there were some sweet hiking trails. And secondly, all of the Joshua trees were dead from a fire or something...
It kind of felt like the elephant graveyard on Lion King. Oh and did I mention that every sign looked like this:
We literally expected a line of angry Indians to appear, blocking the road in front of us. Here we are laughing in the face of danger:
Alright, Joe's just kind of smirking in the face of danger, but I was pumped.
Jay was too. It was awesome. I'd totally go again. But next time we're gonna take Joe's truck because there were some off roads that my car couldn't go on.

On the way to the road we passed the Fitness Ridge Resort from the Biggest Loser!
There's so much cool stuff down here. A few weeks ago we drove down through Arizona (just on the freeway). It's gorgeous too.
It's like the road is carved right down the middle of a mountain.
I love, love, love Southern Utah!