Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Breaking Cycles

I have had a couple experiences recently that have caused me to sit back and reflect. I think the incidents will stay personal (more for family member's privacy then anything) but I feel my thoughts need to find clarity, so I journal/blog. My family is one with happiness and joy, but it was not always that way, and even now at times it is work to keep joy and happiness in family relationships. My father was abusive and this has caused a lot of heart ache for my family. I've been so proud of my mom as I've watched her grow and find strength over the past 10 years since leaving him. She made a decision to break the cycle 10 years ago and has been working hard on doing so. I'm so glad she had the strength to do that. I had an Aunt who was not as lucky. I lost my Aunt Misty 12 years ago to domestic violence. I have an Aunt who is currently in a very unhealthy marriage. I've seen a brother and male cousins treat women in the same way they have seen women treated their whole lives. Some have realized the mistake this is and try to improve. As I look at the lives of my family members, both siblings, as well as extended family, I gain even more love and appreciation for Brent. Not only are we just so in love but we have a happy healthy marriage. There is nothing in our relationship that even closely resembles abuse. Croix is nurtured and loved, he is in no way abused. My heart overflows with gratitude for the events in my life that prompted me to go talk to a counselor, to seek council from priesthood leaders, to pour over the scriptures in search for answers, to pour my heart out in prayer, to allow the atonement to heal my heart and my spirit, to search my soul and find who I was, who I wanted to be, and make goals to better my life. To make the decision that, I wanted a better life for myself and my future family, a better life then where I was headed at that point. Make no mistake that the events that lead to these life changing, and bettering decisions were not pleasant, easy, joyful, or enjoyable in any way. They were painful, hard, heart and spirit breaking. There were dark moments of anguish where it felt I was fated to a life as miserable as all the examples I'd seen growing up. But as I drew upon the powers of the atonement and gained an understanding of myself worth and the love of my Heavenly parents for me I realized I was not fated to misery but joy! It became my very conscious goal to break the cycle of abuse that had been in my family for generations. I would not be another link in an oppressive chain of wrongs. I was determined that not only would I do whatever it took to "fix myself", but I would find and marry a man who would be tender, and loving. Who would treat me and our children with the love, and respect that is deserved. Well I'm so humbled to look at my life and see all the pain and hard work of "fixing myself" paying off. I'm happier then I even knew was possible. Really! After seeing so many bad examples of marriage and family I honestly did not even realize that it was truly possible to be this happy. I always cynically thought that people were just putting on a act when they appeared this happy. But above my own happiness I'm so grateful to know that even though I won't be the perfect parent I have dreams of being, Croix will have a childhood that is infinitely better than I had! That makes every moment of pain and struggle worth it. As I look back I believe it's true, whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I would say not only stronger, but more spiritually in tune, more compassionate and understanding, more appreciative, and a better person. Looking back I can say I'm truly grateful for abusive youth and childhood I was blessed to have, because of it I am the person I am today. A person who needs improvement just like everyone else but I'm happy with who I am. I just hope and pray the rest of my family is able to find the peace I've worked so hard to find.

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Work Clothes

I feel like I've become a classic episode of What Not To Wear. I spend most of my days in pajamas or work out clothes. The funny thing is I would watch that show and the scrubby Moms and think, that won't be me. Little did I know!! I've been spotted at the grocery store, walking in the neighborhood, even church meetings sporting pj's! You know what though, I think I'm ok with it! I've decided this is just my new work wardrobe. I figure what is the point of getting dressed and creating more laundry when I'm not even leaving the house. Also why put on nicer clothes when I know they are just going to end up with spit up, snot, tears, and slobber on them!

The Nutcracker

My sister in law, Heather and I went and saw The Nutcracker! It was amazing! I loved it! Although I've been to a dozen or so Broadways, plays, concerts, an opera, I had never been to a ballet! I fell in love! It was such a fun night! One of my favorite parts of the evening was the reading of The Nutcracker before it started. At the foot of a giant Christmas tree one of the ballerinas came and read the story. All the little kids gathered around to listen. They were all adorable dressed in there Christmas best. Little girls in beautiful dresses and little boys in adorable Christmas sweaters! I think I'll have to take Croix some day!

Sad Story

I'm going to tell you a sad story.

This story begins with a young couple, excited about life and their future. They purchased a home and after attending many real estate seminars had great goals for further investing. Their plan was to purchase this home, let it appreciate for 2 years. Then apply the equity acquired toward the purchase of a new home more suited for a family. Once they had another home they would rent out the small town home, with a little yard and no landscape maintenance required. Then along came an economise down fall. Rather then gaining equity the home they had purchased declined in value. The years passed, the family grew but they were still in the small home. Then one day they decided just for fun to look at some model homes. It was there they found the perfect home for the second step in their home ownership goals. Slightly larger, with 4 bedrooms 3 bathrooms, an island in the kitchen, a single story, a GIANT yard. They fell in love! Despite the devaluation of their current home they tried anything they could think of to be able to purchase the perfect home they found. They contacted their mortgage friend, their millionaire real estate investor friend, their appraiser Uncle, but after trying every reasonable avenue it became apparent they would not be able to afford their dream. They told their parents about the home they found that they loved. Their parents were interested. They went and looked at the home. They loved it as well. THEY PURCHASED IT! Now on Sundays when the young couple goes over for dinner they have to listen to the progress being made on their dream home, being built for their parents.

Sad story right. It's true. It's our story. I even found 5 year goals we had written, this house, was described almost to a T. The difference between being able to afford it and not.........me having a job. It's taken me a while, a little prayer, a little humility, but I'm positive I'd rather be at home in my small home with Croix then in my dream while someone else is raising Croix.

**Just to make certain there is no misunderstanding I realize this is not really that sad of a story. I realize there are many people loosing their homes. There are many people who due to the economy can not afford one house. Those are truly sad stories. This is just sad for me.

Amanda Came To Visit

My dear friend Amanda came to visit. She was here for a Tony Robbins seminar so we only spent a little time together, but as always it was wonderful to catch up with her. One of my favorite things was Brent saying to Croix "you're Mommy's friend Amanda is going to come visit. When they lived together they were so poor they just laughed and laughed and laughed." That really made me laugh! Amanda and I lived together in LA and we were about as poor as you could be! We did our grocery shopping at the 99 cent store!! The reason we laughed so much is because there were so many moments where you either laugh or cry, so we laughed! I don't think I've ever laughed so much on a daily basis as I did living with Amanda! We were a pretty funny duo. At least we cracked ourselvs up!

I have no idea why I only got pics of her with Bosco and Rusty and not with Croix but that Is what I've got?!?!? Although the boys sure did love her! All of them!! Croix actually laughed his first belly laughs with Amanda!! Then held out for two weeks before he did it again for us!

Christmas Dinner

Both sides of Brent's family had Chrsitmas parties, and dinners. Both were Mexican food. Now you wont find me complaining about this since I love Mexican food but that does mean the past few years we haven't had a traditional Christmas dinner. So this year I decided to make Christmas Eve dinner, even if it was just for the two of us!

Is that not a beautiful ham?!?!

It tasted just as good as it looks.

Garlic Mashed Potatos

Hot flakey rolls

Corn (ok this did just come out of a can)

Our beautiful spread

Yes I cooked with the hat on. I think it's more fun to cook with a chef's hat on!

Croix sat in his bumbo and enjoied dinner with us!

It was a great Christmas Eve dinner and I think it will be a new tradition!

Rice Cereal and Other Happenings

Croix had his four month check up almost a month ago! I'm finally getting around to sharing all the details. He weighed 14.7 which I'm sure he weighs 16 lbs by now! He's just growing too fast! How can I be saying it goes too fast already?!?! He's only 4 mo. old! He is a rolling pro now. He can worm himself all around a blanket, from one end to the other and spin himself all around. He is propping himself up on his arms when he is on his tummy. He is pulling himself to sitting and starting to sit up. Not so little any more! The bouncer is his FAVORITE!!!!! He bounces all the time! Even when he's not in his bouncer! He loves all the babies in the bathroom (his reflection in the mirrors). He has FINALLY started belly laughing. It was on of the highlights of my life!! Just like with his smiles he is stingy with his laughs. When he first started smiling it was like pulling teeth to get him to smile. Now he wakes up smiling. So I'm sure in the not too distant future he'll be laughing all the time. In the mean time I try my hardest to get him to laugh every day. I still get squeely laughs, but belly laughs are hard to come by. He has started eating rice cereal. He has done very well with it! He is over coming the instinct to push everything out of his mouth and is learning to eat! He has started teething. So far, not too bad. There have only been a couple nights of him waking up fussy. Also a couple really fussy days, but for the most part he just chews and drools on everything! He also now sleeps consistently through the night. He'll go to bed at 8:30 or 9 and sleep till 7 or 8! He is amazing! He has also started talking quite a bit. Here are some of my fav. pics of his 4th month of life!

He is Daddy's little buddy!


Trying out a teething ring, it is almost too big for his mouth.

There has been lots of snot, tears, spit up, and slobber!

He looks so big!

He loves to stand, but only for a second, then he's back to bouncing.

He went on his first hike. It was a night hike, he loved it, almost as much as Bosco and Rusty.

He's too cool.

"Check out my sweet ride"

Rice cereal, not sure what to think of it.

Helping Mom with laundry. This is how we all go upstairs. He really enjoys riding in the basket.

He is growing so fast. He is developing perfectly! We are grateful for his continued good health. We say prayers of gratitude every day for the joy he brings into our home!.

2010 Goals 2009 Review


We had a baby!

My cousin lived with us.

Had a relatively easy pregnancy, but with a few scary moments along the way.

Fell more in love.

Learned a lot about painting.

Tried some fun crafts.

Filled our home with more stuff then I thought it would hold (thanks to Croix).

Laughed a lot.

I was Girls Camp director, at 6 mo. pregnant.

I was released as the first councilor in the Young Womens Presidency only to be called as the secretary as soon as girls camp was done.

Brent continued to teach the youth in Sunday school.

We developed treasured friendships.

Caught a glimpse of the love our Heavenly Father has for each of us.

Had more first then I can list.

Gave and received many many, kisses, hugs, caresses, snuggels.

Brent did over 100 pages of homework for school.

We've learned how to work together to take care of Croix.

I learned how to breastfeed.

Brent Continued his employment at SRP.

We spent lots of time with family.

We learned as much as you try, you can never be prepared for everything that is involved in bringing a child into your family and the world.

Due to my not being able to work during my pregnancy we went back to our poor status.

Celebrated our 4th Anniversary.

Brent turned the big 30!

Over all I'd say it's been the best year of our lives yet!

My goals for 2010

My theme for 2010 is


I feel like this year I've been such a slob. Well not just me, Brent too. Our home has constantly been messy. Part of that due to my having to "take it easy" for the majority of the year, thus not being able to do any deep cleaning. Part of it just being our personalities. Sad to say but we can both be content in a bit of a mess. Also in having a baby we've become slobs in spiritual matters. My dedication to reading scriptures daily and having heartfelt frequent prayer was taken over by pure exhaustion! Now that Croix is sleeping through the night and I'm getting plenty of sleep it's time to get back in the grove! Also we have become physical slobs! Exercise, physical activity, healthy diet what is that? We seem to have forgotten. So here are my goals for this year in an attempt to not be a slob.

Keep my home clean, neat and organized.
Under this I have simple goals like: unload dishwasher when clean and keep sink empty. Put clothes away when washed and folded. Make a cleaning schedule. Vacuum every day.

Start and build a year supply.

I have a monthly guide I'm going to use to help me on this goal. There will be further posts about this.

Read my scriptures daily and pray twice a day by myself, and daily with my family.

Walk 3 time a week and do yoga 3 times a week.

Journal/blog at least once a week.

Be on time to church.
This has only happened twice since Croix was born. I'm very much looking forward to church moving to 12. I'm sure it will be easier to be on time when church is at 12 rather then 8!

Go on more dates.

Have Family Home Evening.

Make a weekly menu and try a new recipe once a week-cook/eat healthier.

Contribute money to a savings account for Croix monthly.

Provide a safe loving home for Croix.

Make Croix laugh and smile everyday!

Grow my business (not much).

I'm excited for a new year and a fresh start.

Christmas Celebrations

We had a wonderful Christmas. Presents were simple. Our stockings were pretty empty. But our home was full of love, joy, and the Christmas spirit! We got to enjoy quite a few Christmas parties and celebrations with family. We had a Christmas party with Brent's Mom's side of the family (Smith). Santa even came to that one! Croix did great sitting on Santa's lap!

We also celebrated with Brent's Dad's side of the family (Maldonado). Due to feeding and taking care of Croix, no pics from that one!

Christmas morning we went to Brent's Parents and had a wonderful breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, cinnamon rolls, muffins, and delicious hot coco. Then we opened some gifts. Croix had fun opening his presents.

Dad (oblivious of the overflow) and Croix

Croix enjoying his hand puppets with cousin Conner.

Our little family

Enjoying Christmas!

Me lovin' on my little joy!

All the Maldonado Grand kids:
Max, Conner, Kierstie, Cate and Croix

Oh don't you just fall in love!!

Later on Christmas day we ended up at Brent's sister Carrie's house. Croix had fun with all of his cousins. Especially Cate who is two just months older then him.

Aren't they cute! The first time the met Max said "Croix are you ready to meet your best friend Cate" LOVE IT!

Cate checking out Croix

Playing on the floor with Papa

He loves his Papa!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Croix Three Month Session

My friend Liz of Red Bucket Photography continues to do an amazing job of docummenting Croix's first year of life!

To see the rest go HERE


We headed to Prescott for Thanksgiving with my family. It's always nice to take a quick trip to the cold and my family! We had dinner and played games at my Aunt Beth & Uncle Doug's house! lil C (his new nickname like lil Wayne, lil bow-wow, lil Kim) did great! He is such a great road tripper! He also loved seeing his cousin Seth, Aunts and Uncles and Grandma!!

Croix with Aunt Crystal

I think this pic is so funny! It's like he's saying ok guys enough with the camera!! LOL

Trenton & I

Croix & Grandma

Crystal & Seth

Chelsea & I

Tired Daddy!

My family plays dominoes on Thanksgiving after dinner. Such a fun tradition I look forward to carrying on someday.

Croix had to get in on the action.

But then realized he had a horrible hand!

It was a great trip. We have SO much to be grateful for at the top of the list is our family. Both our little family that has grown to 3 and our family on both sides! We love them all!