Thursday, December 4, 2014

A little bit of November

Our November was super fun and super busy! I feel like I'm still trying to learn to balance the craziness of going back to school and the rest of my responsibilities. When it came time for our planned Thanksgiving trip, I was definitely on overdrive! I wanted to finish all of my school work for Thanksgiving week early. The strange thing about online school is that holidays like Thanksgiving aren't observed all over the world, so school doesn't stop. But, I got ahead and everything worked perfectly!

Here's a few highlights from our month:

This girl turned 11.

And that kind of freaks me out! I love her so much!! She is turning into an incredibly responsible, kind and intelligent young woman! I really can't believe the difference in just the last year. She is my right hand daughter and I definitely would be lost without her!

It snowed in Idaho

I thought it would just be a small dusting and melt in a day. But it wasn't. It snowed for several days and got really cold outside way too early. We even got in the negatives a few days! I really love living in Idaho, but I sure do question my sanity when winter gets here! And now that it's December? Today was 50 degrees.

We went to the Police Station

(excuse the horrible phone pictures! Ugh!!)

I'm the Cubmaster for our Cub Scout Pack. Apart from the Blue and Gold Banquet, it's really a pretty easy job. I just have to do one Pack Meeting a month. And I'm always on the lookout for ways to make my job easier. So, I called and scheduled a tour of our local police station. And it was probably the best pack meeting we've had all year! I learned a ton and I'm pretty sure that every single one of our cub scouts is planning to go to the Police Academy as soon as they possibly can! The Police Officer that gave us the tour was all kinds of awesome and he really made the whole night unforgettable.

Our Thanksgiving Trip

The highlight of our month was definitely our road trip! We live in Idaho but my family lives in New Mexico and we haven't ever gotten to go down for a holiday. Like ever. In our entire married life. So, we were definitely due to go down and spend Thanksgiving.

We don't normally travel during the school year because everyone has the summer off (those are the perks of having a husband who is an Elementary School Principal!). It's definitely a different way to travel! They all had a week off which really helped. But it was a lot harder to squeeze everything in and it took a lot more packing to fit all of the winter clothes.

But it was all worth it! We took an extra long road trip by visiting Texas first. We ended up clocking 2500 miles and driving through 6 different states! All in a week's time. And we only heard "Are we there yet?" one time! I think that's a record!

Here's a few pictures from that adventure:

We have some friends that live on a Cattle Ranch in the Texas Panhandle. And it is pretty much the most amazing boy paradise on earth! It almost makes this girl whose heart belongs in the city want to move out into the middle of nowhere. Almost. It was so nice of our friends to come let us stay and we had a great few days!

After Texas we headed to New Mexico.

We really love going to Albuquerque to visit Grandma and Grandpa. It was such a treat to go during Thanksgiving!

Some of the cousins were in town and they got to play as much as they wanted. And of course got all kinds of spoiled from Grandma and Grandpa!

It was a fun and much needed break. Definitely not long enough! We can't wait to go back!

So, that was our November in a nutshell. Now on to Christmas!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Unlimited Second Chances

As a mother, I'm so thankful for unlimited second chances.

I sometimes wonder why I still need them. But I'm so thankful for them.

 Halloween was a rough day for me. Really rough.

But let me back up a little bit.

When I decided to go back to school, I really overestimated my abilities. It is a lot harder than I remember it being. And I have a lot of experience going to school. I stopped going to school when my now 8 year old was just a baby because there was a lot going on.  I only meant to take one semester off. We were moving and just had our second child. It was a crazy time. But the one semester ended up being 8 years. When I stopped, I had 111 credit hours. That is equal to 51 college classes spread over 10 semesters. If I had continued at the time, I only needed 3 more classes to graduate. Because I waited, I have more than that now. But it's okay. Things are working the way they are supposed to. I'm thankful because I am so excited about my degree; It fits me so much more than what I was originally going into. But it is harder to go to school right now with three kids and a house to take care of.

This semester I'm taking 13 credits all online. And I'm so grateful that I can do them online from home so I'm not gone all the time. It's really a huge blessing!

Every Friday in my Intro to Graphic Design class, we have a project due. And the project takes me hours and hours every week. Last week, I had another big project due for another class so I was unable to start my Graphic Design project earlier in the week like I try to. I had to wait until Friday.

On Halloween I worked all day long trying to get my graphic design project done. I focused so hard and tried to work as fast as I could but I didn't get done before my kids got home from school. I definitely wanted it finished before all of our Halloween fun started that night. So, I worked hard after school.

Let me tell you, just in case you don't have as much vision as me (I'm  sure you do, though)....a stressed out mom glued to the computer trying to finish a huge project combined with three kids just home and all sugared up from their school Halloween parties is not a good combination.

I tried so hard to get my kids to "earn" trick or treating by straightening up the house. The idea was to keep them busy while I worked. It was a bad idea. They were honestly trying but certainly not succeeding and fought the whole time. And they were so excited that I had at least one child come in every few minutes to get me to check their cleaning progress. I was getting no where fast and my stress levels were skyrocketing. I was getting grumpy.

I finally sent my kids downstairs for some "quiet time" promising that I would hurry as fast as I could.

Ultimately, I did finish my project. And it was done in time to have our Halloween fun. And I was even able to change my attitude, but we all could have done without my grumpiness to begin with.

One of our family traditions is to go trick or treating at Grandma's and Grandpa's house on Halloween night. They live in the next city over so we let the kids hit up our neighborhood first. Then we headed up.

When we were finished with our visit, our plan was to go home, cook pizza, and have homemade donuts. We do it every year and we love it!

It was dark when we left my in-laws house and part of the drive includes crossing a busy divided highway. It was extra busy Halloween night. When we got to the intersection to cross the highway, there was a car turning right and it looked like we were completely clear, so we pulled out to cross. Except it wasn't clear. The car turning right completely blocked the view of another car that was right next to it going 65 miles an hour. It was only 10s of feet away from us. And 10s of feet away from hitting the side of our van where we were driving with our three children all dressed up in their Halloween costumes.

But we didn't get into an accident. My husband slammed on the gas and the other car slammed onto it's breaks. We barely missed each other. We stopped in the median to get our wits about us. The other car pulled over as well. We were too far away to talk with them. But they were obviously as rattled as were were. But we were all safe!

Every time I've played that over in my mind, I cannot believe that we didn't get into an accident. And if we had, it would have been a bad one - I'm sure!. All of the "what ifs"keep playing in my mind...What if the other driver had been even the least bit distracted - looking at their phone, changing the radio station, glancing at the rear view mirror - and not pressed the brakes so quickly. What if f my husband hadn't reacted as fast as he did and pressed the gas so hard. We barely missed each other. The ironic thing is that intersection is slated to close in a few months so an overpass can be built because of all the wrecks that happen there.

The Lord was definitely protecting us. I have no doubt.

After we got our wits about us, we started to drive home. I turned around and asked my 8 year old to say a prayer right then and there thanking Heavenly Father for keeping us safe. I knew we shouldn't have been.

On the way home, my daughter made a comment that she had "seen her life flash before her eyes." I knew that she was just trying to verbalize her feelings. But I kind of chuckled thinking...Wow! All 11 years. That must have been crazy!

It wasn't until the next morning that I really started to think about what she said. I thought about my afternoon of frustration and grumpiness. I thought about how guilty I would have felt if something did happen. I thought about how I should know better. I've been a mother for 11 years, why haven't I gotten this figured out just yet!?! Good grief, instead of having it figured out, I have a lot left to learn!

Being a mother is my favorite role and it's the one I want to be the best at. I love my kids so much and I don't ever want them to feel differently.

I'm always telling my kids that people are always more important than things and I forgot to practice what I preach.

But thankfully - THANKFULLY - we all get second chances. As many as we need to get it right. And we still won't get it perfectly right. But it's okay as long as we keep trying our best.  And I'm so, so grateful for that.

So, I'm off to another week. More projects and stress. But hopefully a better attitude and an added level of patience. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mythbusters, Super Why, and Bumble Bee Halloween Costumes

I've been trying to get on the computer all week to get this post up. And I wish I could say it's because I haven't been on the computer but it's exactly opposite of that. I've been online all. week. long. working on school. #onlinedegreeproblems. And it is a ton of work and so much fun all at the same time. I never thought I would enjoy things like coding JavaScript. It is so technical but so exciting when I write a simple program by hand and it actually works!

Back to the post...

So, Halloween is only a couple of days away but both of these costumes are super easy and completely do-able. Or, if you're like me and file away ideas for another year, that works, too! I won't do tutorials unless I hear a whole bunch of people begging.... Sometimes it's just better to get a post up!

Every single year, I try so hard to get my kids to dress up as something I want them to be. And every single year they have their own plans. I can usually get them on board temporarily until we go costume shopping and they see something else that they totally have to get instead. And I let them because to me, that is not even sort of worthy of a battle.

This year was different. Thank to Netflix, my eight year old fell in love with Mythbusters (and can I just say I'm so sad it's not on Netflix anymore!). I can't remember where, but a few years ago I saw some little kids dressed up as the Mythbusters and I vowed then to use all of my motherly influence to one day convince my boys to do the same. And my dream finally came to reality this year!

Who are the Mythbusters?

Adam Savage

and Jamie Hyneman.

Between them more than 30 years of special effects experience.


 My daughter obviously didn't jump on the Mythbuster's bandwagon. We found a super cute (and really inexpensive) bumble bee costume at Walmart for her. When we went to the Trunk or Treat at our church, one of the teenager's was dressed up as a bee keeper. We were all cracking up!

It would make a super cute couple's costume!

One more I have to share. Last year my youngest (who was barely 4) reeeeaaaallly wanted to be Super Why from the PBS Kids show. The only problem? It's not a costume that you can pick up from the costume store.

So, this is what we came up with:

I whipped up a cape, a mask and used some printable vinyl for the Super Why logo. It was super cute! And really cheap. The bonus was that he could reuse the t-shirt for every day clothing. That is definitely my kind of costume!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What I did with my year off

I was thinking the other day about graduating from high school and how I had so many friends that were going to "take a year off" before going on to college. I remember thinking...why? Why not just jump right into life! Me? I was so excited to get started!

Since I'm back in college now, that memory came flooding back. And it got me thinking. What does a blogger do in a "year off"? And since most bloggers don't really do that, I thought I would elaborate.

It's probably not what it sounds like. I decided to take a break blogging because we were so busy and I thought that if I wasn't so stretched thin, things would mellow out. And then after it was mellow, I had plans of catching up on all my favorite shows on Netflix. And reading all of those books that were just waiting to be cracked open. Heck, I even started downloading books onto my Kindle app! It was going to be glorious!

And, I'm not going to lie: It was!! But not because I was doing all of those things I thought I would be doing. I still stayed really busy.

Doing this.....

My husband and I went to Europe with my parents.  Going to Europe was everything that I thought it would be. It was completely life changing for me. I still think and talk about it almost every day.

I finished my laundry room. I thought that it would help me be more motivated to keep up on laundry. It didn't help. I'm still just as piled in dirty clothes as ever.

My husband and my friends threw me a surprise birthday party. And it was legendary! I've never had a "grown up" birthday party and I definitely won't forget this one!

We got new carpet in our living room. And for about a day I convinced my kids to stop eating near it. Our family rule is that they have to eat in the kitchen. So they literally eat one inch inside the kitchen. I guess I need to change that rule.

I tagged along on a business trip my husband had to Las Vegas. It was in the middle of Idaho's winter and I was looking forward to 80 degree weather. Except that when we got there, Vegas was getting a cold front and we froze our tails off. But is was so nice to get away for a while! 

We cut a huge hole in our bedroom wall to add in a sliding door. Why? So we could get out to our wonderful hot tub in 3 steps during the winter instead of 30. And to make all of that possible, we also had to build a deck around our hot tub. Have I mentioned before how much I love my husband? He worked dang hard on this project!

I dressed up as a Pioneer and went handcart trekking with a bunch of teenagers from my church in the middle of nowhere Wyoming. And it was unforgettable!

I went on a little bit of a stay-cation with my kids, my mom and my cousin (who both took their vacation to visit us this year).

And the most important thing that I did? I was a better mom. I was busy, but I was less stressed out and anxious. I took my kids to the summer movies every single week during the summer because I didn't feel pressured with my huge to-do list. I took them hiking and for walks around the nature trail because I had time to get out and smell the fresh air. We went on spur-of-the-moment day trips with friends just because. I even (a few times) let them help me cook dinner since I wasn't buried under deadlines. We had a lot of fun! And the mom that my kids had was much better. That's the kind of mom I want them to have.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Meet This Mormon

I haven't been able to blog for quite a while. Life has been keeping this little family of mine on overdrive and something had to give! I've missed blogging quite a bit. It is sort of therapeutic for me to sit down and type something out.

One of the things that has kept me so busy is that I finally went back to school to finish the degree I started forever ago! It's been so fun and incredibly hard all at the same time.  Definitely harder than I thought. I'm glad I didn't know how hard or I may not have decided to go back! Haha! My degree will be in Web Development and Design with an emphasis in design.  I'm really excited and I'm learning so, so much that would have been useful to know back when I started blogging! It'll be fun to share some of that with all of you!

Anyway, enough rambling, back to the point of the has a funny way of pointing me in the right direction. And when I say life, I really mean God. His hand is so apparent to me in every direction my life takes. Even for small things. Here's an example. My husband and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary last weekend. We always plan a little weekend getaway for just the two of us. We love our marriage and our anniversary is a way for us to celebrate it in a big way. We save up for months for our little getaway. And we both look forward to it all year. Well, while we were driving in the car last weekend I was telling my husband that one of my old Halloween posts on this blog was getting a lot of traffic since Halloween is getting close. One thing led to another in the conversation and I thought....why don't I blog anymore? How did that fall off my list of things I love to do? I decided right then and there to pick it back up in my life - even if it is just a small thing. I know some of the reason that I backed off is the overwhelming pressure I felt to always post. If I take that pressure away, then I shouldn't feel overwhelmed. When I got home, there was an email from one of my favorite bloggy friends, Andie, about a project that she wanted to do. The more I read, the more I knew that the Halloween post picking up traffic and the feelings and conversation I had on the way home from our getaway were not a coincidence and that I needed to participate in this project.God's hand was in all of that - just like with all of the other aspects of my life. He was opening up my heart so that I knew what I was supposed to do next.

So, without further's what Andie wanted everyone to participate in and what we're all so excited to share with all of you!


We belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints otherwise known as "The Mormons". We are proud of this part of who we are! We are excited to team up with over 65+ of us strong... to extend an invitation to see a film. A film entitled "Meet The Mormons". This film is not meant to be an "in your face" - you must join our church film. It is simply designed and produced to uplift and inspire you through six stories of those of our faith who have followed promptings to follow Christ more fully in their lives. We hope you take the opportunity to enjoy this film. We hope your hearts are made light as you feel the goodness that comes from following our Christ and Savior. All proceeds from the film will be donated to The American Red Cross. So not only will you be uplifted and inspired, your money will be going to an amazing charity!!

 We also would like to take a moment and share our personal testimonies, stories of our own personal conversions, and our own stories of how following our Savior, Jesus Christ has changed our lives. The light of the gospel of Jesus Christ offers a joy and hope that only following him can provide. We hope as you click through and read our stories and testimonies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, you will feel uplifted and encouraged. We are by you! We love connecting with our readers, that is why many of us do what we do! Please be kind and considerate in your comments. It takes great bravery for us to open our hearts and our mouths to share with you such a tender and personal part of who we are. We share because we feel strongly the need to share the peace and the hope that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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Isn't it amazing to look at all of those strong women?!?

I want to introduce you to myself. I want you to meet THIS mormon!

My name is Shatzi. I am a wife, a mom, a (sometimes) blogger, a student, dabbler in creativity, and a lover of life. I am a Mormon.  I was born and raised as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And I'm so happy that I was! I come from lots of generations of strong Mormons who have left me a wonderful legacy to follow.

I know that a lot of you are probably already familiar with what it means to be a Mormon, but in case you aren't, here's what it means to me. It's really, really simple. It means love. One of my favorite quotes comes from one of my favorite people - Thomas S. Monson (here's the link if you want to read the whole thing). He said "love is the very essence of the gospel, and Jesus Christ is our Exemplar. His life was a legacy of love."  To me being a Mormon is about that same kind of  love that Jesus had and that I hope to emulate. Pure love.

It means that first and most important, I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I love my husband and my family. They are my everything. Part of the reason that my husband and I celebrate or marriage so much is because we were married in one of our Temples and that means our marriage will last throughout eternity. We make sure to build our marriage and love for each other now because of that. Being Mormon to me also means love of everyone else. And I mean everyone. All people all over the world. Because we are all brothers and sisters. It means being kind and serving others unconditionally. And I don't just say I believe that. I actually live it.  A big part of my time is spent serving other people. A lot of that is at church. Right now, I publish and print our weekly service folder for our ward. I also work with the Cub Scouts - and I have for a few years. Even before I had any boys as Cub Scouts. I also help with lots of odd and end things that my husband needs. He is currently serving as the Bishop of our ward - which is sort of like being a Pastor. He is the caretaker of over 400 people that live in our area. He spends at least 20 hours a week - completely voluntary - serving the members of our area. And the only reason we do it is because we truly love Jesus Christ. And we hope that by serving others we can help them feel His love for them.

I love being a Mormon and I absolutely know that I wouldn't be the person I am without it. It has helped me be a better person. Be more patient with my kids. Love others easier. Serve more. And find rich joy in my life. I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world!

If you want to hear more about why I'm Mormon or get a copy of the Book of Mormon, email me at shatziweb (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll send you more information.

If you want to hear what others think of being Mormon, there are a whole bunch of us excited to talk about it! Just click on any of the blog links below and you can learn more!

I'm A Mormon #1

Anita | Live Like You Are Rich, Landee | Landee Lu , Tara & Devin | Salt & Pepper Moms , Mallory & Savannah | Classy Clutter Kelli & Kristi| Lolly Jane
McKenzie | Girl Loves Glam , Pam & Lisa | Over The Big Moon , Melanie | Forty Eighteen , Sky | Capital B Adell | Baked in Arizona 

I'm a Mormon #2

Andie | Maybe I Will , Shatzi | Love and Laundry , Robyn | Create it Go , Rachel | R & R Workshop
Tiffany | Feel Great In 8 , Katelyn | What Up Fagens? , Brittany | BrittanyBullen , Ginger | Ginger Snap Crafts , Stephanie | Crafting In The Rain
Chelsey | Cee Me Be , Amber | Crazy Little Projects , Kallie | Smitten By, Elyse, Kristen, Lauren, Steph, Kendra & Camille | Six Sisters Stuff Annette | Tips From A Typical Mom
Kierste | Simply Kierste , Tayler | The Morrell Tale, Jennifer | My Daylights , Cambria | Live To Be Inspired, Danielle | Today's The Best Day 

I'm a Mormon #3

Nat & Holly | My Sister's Suitcase, Britni| Play.Party.Pin , Montserrat | Cranial Hiccups , Heidi | A Lively Hope , Ashley & Meegan | Flats to Flip Flops


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