Friday, November 15, 2013

Nin and June

This post has been a long time coming. It's one that as I write, I have to make sure to use just the right words so as to perfectly portray what I see and the story behind it. The real reason for this post is a love story. A love between a granddaughter and grandmother, a granddaughter and a great grandmother, and especially the love between a husband and his precious wife. The kind of love that was more prevalent 50 years ago than it is today

I discovered this love, or at least a sentiment of it, in August of this year. My family was moving down to Bakersfield, California from Eastern Idaho. Because it was about a thousand miles, we broke it into 3 days of travelling. The last leg of our journey began in Sacramento where my grandparents live part time. Over a year ago, my great grandmother June passed away. Her health had been failing for years and she was under almost constant supervision by my grandparents (her daughter and son-in-law) who had a house an hour away in Napa. They took care of her for years until she joined my grandfather in Spring of last year. My grandparents will continue to go back and forth between their home and my grandmother's until the house eventually goes up for sale. 

We stayed 2 days in Sacramento to visit and catch up. I see my grandparents about twice a year and they're some of my favorite people in the world. Before we left, my grandma brought something out of her bedroom. A large wooden box which she opened and proceeded to tell me about. It was a four-tiered wooden sewing box given to my great grandma June by her husband as a token of his love.



On the inside was something I could have only dreamed of. I spent the next half hour pulling items out of the box and turning them over in my hands, my heart feeling excited and nostalgic. The box was full of my grandmother's old sewing supplies. Everything from old wooden spools of thread in a rainbow of colors, to zippers cut from worn out clothes of the family. There were needle kits, buttons, Velcro, patches, anything the vintage modern-day woman could possibly want for her sewing collection. 







 I love the old fashioned integrity of this company. "Should it be faulty in anyway, we will reimburse you for the reasonable cost of your labor and all materials used in making the article on which it is applied." 



Apparently these were given away at businesses such as insurance companies?





 A collection of buttons from outgrown outfits, extras from projects, and those that 
caught my grandmother's eye in a 1920's drugstore. 

There were at least a hundred spools of thread. Brimming with sentimental value. As I handled everything, I thought of my grandmother and her family zipping, buttoning and sewing. What were they wearing for school pictures? How did their buttons break off? What was my grandmother's favorite thing to wear?

When I reached the end of the box, my eyes immediately filled with tears. Laying quietly at the bottom was the most precious piece of family history. A short sweet card attached to the sewing box when it was given as a gift. "To my honey. From Nin." Even though I knew what the answer probably was, I asked my grandma anyway. "Who's Nin?" "That's grandpa. He got that nickname from his baby sister and it stuck." My heart melted. A simple and sweet love note from my grandfather to his sweetheart. 



In remembrance of my grandfather, Einer (Nin) and his love, June, I've started an etsy shop. It isn't stocked yet, but keep your eyes open for the grand opening. Her sewing box, along with their love story is my inspiration. As I sew, I hope the incredible seamstress in Grandma June will somehow come out in me.

I am reminded of the poem by John Donne,

No man is an island,

Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.

Everything we do is connected to our ancestors and our posterity. We must live every day knowing that what we do affects people of our day and exponentially those of the future. By choosing to do good with all we have been given, our legacy becomes something to be admired for generations to come.


Monday, November 4, 2013

When I grow up...

When I was a little girl, my daddy was the best. I was a shameless daddy's girl. There are few things that can have as much influence on a little lady's confidence more than how her daddy treats her. He would comb my hair gently, make sure I brushed my teeth, and be my loving confidant as we walked to school every morning.

If I knew anything more than that he loved me, it was that he was so proud to be my daddy. I remember reading [his car magazines] in front of his friends so that they could see how smart I was. He believed I could do anything that I put my mind to and so did I.

I've often wondered what career I would choose if I had chosen to work full time. I have come to realize that I wouldn't be happy just doing one thing. If I had all the time in the world I would be...



A ballerina.

When I met my mother (that's a story for another time), I was about to start fourth grade. Once the school year began and I made some friends, my mom asked if I wanted to join a dance team or have some sort of extracurricular activity (because there are so many for 4th graders!) Almost every friend that I had met so far was on a dance team and had been since kindergarten. I thought I would be in a beginning class with a bunch of 6 year-olds so I told my mom I didn't want to. What I secretly wanted to do though was take a ballet class. I discovered my love of ballet movements one summer on the back porch, listening to a movie soundtrack. If I could go back, I jump at the opportunity to wear pink slippers and learn to be graceful. (Something I am currently lacking in.) Even now, I can't wait until I'm in one place long enough to join a ballet class- even if it's with brave little girls 20 years younger than me.

A dentist.

You know that weird kid in school who would go to the bathroom and come back with a tooth in hand? That was always me. Beyond that, I found myself trying to convince other kids to let me pull their teeth- always assuring them that it wouldn't hurt, but they would feel a slight, quick pinch. I was always disappointed when someone would agree to let me pull their tooth out and then once I had the damp, brown paper towel in hand, they would chicken out before I could touch their practically-falling-out tooth. May seem weird, but I still have a small desire to be a dentist.

A photographer.

Even before I took my first photography class in college, I felt like I had a good idea for taking pictures. I bought my first camera when I was 17 at the only store in town- Walmart. Even though I paid over $300 for it, it was only 5 megapixels. Cameras have come a long way since then and now I have my eye on a beautiful DSLR camera that will probably take years of savings to finally purchase. My college roommates and I would have frequent photo shoots where we would vainly takes hundreds of pictures of each other wherever we went. [No matter how I word that sentence, it sounds wrong.] I love taking pictures of my kids, but I get frustrated when they don't turn out just perfect.

A teacher.

I didn't always think it would be fun to teach school, but I've had a change of heart. Knowing how much my teachers influenced me and changed my life as a kid [probably more than the average child], I think teaching is one of the worst paid best jobs you could possibly have. I don't know if anybody besides moms and dads have such great influence over future generations as do teachers. I would want to teach elementary school. Perhaps 3rd grade. They're at an age where they still adore their teacher, but they're entering a new phase of thinking and reasoning. I am sure it would be fascinating to observe children in their creative spheres and at such a close level. This is actually something I'm working on for the future. I am planning on staying home with my children before they go to school, so I don't know exactly how it will work out, but someday I will be a teacher.

And last but not really the last...

An entrepreneur.

I have a burning desire to be an entrepreneur. Or as some call it, a "momtrepreneur." Creating something and seeing it grow is so fulfilling. Isn't progress what life is all about? It's just so exciting to have the prospect of success and failure, learning and growing, finding something you're good at and improving upon it until you're a pro. The process of becoming a successful business owner is fascinating to be. Be on the lookout for a blog post in the next month about the beginnings of my new Etsy shop. I'm so excited to finally get it up and running!

I guess the great thing about being a mom is that I can be creative with my time and pursue other interests besides adoring these cute kids. I don't have to be away from home and pursue a full time career. I can just have a million part-time pursuits. Except maybe the dentist thing. I won't be pulling teeth in my free time. Because that would just be strange.





Thursday, October 17, 2013

The lights are on...

but nobody's home. Recently [read: ever since having a baby] I catch myself staring blankly at the wall, the dresser, or a running faucet for longer than is acceptable in a normal human being. I feel like part of my brain has seeped slowly out of my ear. Perhaps it was used to create and feed 2 human beings. I hear that can really take it out of ya. Anyway, despite being 24, I feel like my body has aged double in the last 3 years. I'm not complaining- I'd do anything for those 2 beautiful babies; I'm just observing the gradual, yet sudden and drastic toll that being an adult can take on a woman.

Now that I've got that out of way, the real reason for my post is to reminisce on the beauty and bliss that is my life. I can't believe how lucky I am to have ended up with such sweet kids!


Not to mention a devoted husband who listens to me complain, encourages my dreaming, talks me through every thought, and loves to hold me at the end of the day. The picture above captures Bakersfield pretty well. Mostly dessert with spots of green and random oil pumps placed around the city.

The family recently made it out to Murray Family Farms for a little pumpkin patch fun. We jumped on a giant rubber pillow, picked 4 cute tiny pumpkins, and made our way through the apple orchard where Levi took a bite out of at least 10 different apples.





Wednesday, September 4, 2013

It's a morning kind of afternoon

Today is one of those days when you realize at about lunch time, that you haven't gotten out of bed yet. To be fair, we've had some pretty productive days around here lately. Besides the occasional breakdown, I'm actually pretty happy about life. Sometimes I feel redundant thanking God for the same things every day. Levi's kisses, Matt's "old man" hair, long talks with my husband... but this is the "stuff" of my days and I couldn't be happier.

In case most of you missed it (probably because I didn't mention anything), we live in California now. Bakersfield. We're 2 hours from just about everything. Disneyland, the beach, Yosemite. A couple of weeks ago we attempted to go to the beach and ended up staying long enough to get sand stuck in every place and for Levi to fall in the water. So about 10 minutes.

My favorite part about living here is just how close everything is. Trader Joe's is .09 miles down the street, along with every other grocery store imaginable. Which is basically all I need. I now understand how kids must feel when their parents leave them in the car when they go to the store. I did everything but throw a fit when we first moved here and Jason went into Trader Joe's without me while I nursed the baby in the car. Oh the sacrifices you love to make to be a mom... and I do love them.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Rants of a crazy mom

Dream: Sitting in Starbucks drinking a passion tea lemonade, hair done perfectly, recently dyed, cute boots, a nice leather bag, a deep sigh of peace... while I write about, oh I don't know, things people do who don't have any kids. Like climbing mountains or a day at the spa. Something like that.

Reality: Still in what I wore all day yesterday, covered in remnants of every meal my toddler has eaten in the last 48 hours (and every meal I haven't) and a baby on my lap. The other is in bed, which is how I found a minute to write this post. I'm drinking water to keep up with my nursing and eating a banana to try to make up for my lack of energy- which has been my companion since I got pregnant 2 months after we got married. Which was 2.5 years ago. This is my life. This is reality.

I know... you're welcome to forward this post to your friends who don't have kids so that they can leave nasty comments below. Here's a little disclaimer for the craziness of my post. I have a right to get stuff off my chest. My kids are the biggest blessing in the world and I would NOT trade them for absolutely anything. So stop with the guilt-inducing negative comments. Thanks. We now return to your regularly scheduled program.

In case you don't remember what that was... I was just thinking about how nice it would be to keep the house clean for more than an hour, to get out of the grocery store with my nerves still in tact, and to wake up like a normal person, shower, eat, get myself dressed...

Honestly, I'm just trying to find the balance. I need something besides pb&j and dirty diapers. Just a quick break to breathe and sleep. The kinda funny thing about it is that every time my husband tells me to go ahead and take a break, I can't be away from these beautiful babies for more than an hour without missing them. And even though I feel like a hermit who can't seem to finish unpacking moving boxes, my babies give me purpose. They make my life worth living. And I know someday I'll be grateful that I was allowed to not get dressed for days at a time because when they were finally asleep there was no point to getting dressed. I'll be sad that they're growing up and becoming independent. Sigh... we always want what we can't have, don't we?

I've tried listening to my own advice and philosophical blabbering to my husband. The ones about how I don't care what anybody thinks and "it's not an easy job, but someone's got to do it." Some days those just don't cut it though. Some days you have so much to do, that rather than trying to accomplish just a few tasks on your list and feel good about it, you shut down and watch The Vampire Diaries all day long. And then you feel lazy so you kick your butt into gear and make it look like you didn't lose it while your husband was gone at work. Tell me I'm not the only who feels like this. I'm just being honest here. Let's not pretend that we're the only ones who aren't perfect. You know Mrs. Sally Lipstick is faking it too. And sometimes we succeed at faking it because it makes us feel more normal.

Ok, you've heard enough from me. My toddler is screaming from his crib. Adios.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Baby Matt: Welcome to the Family

Who doesn't love a good birth story? And they're all good. It amazes me how different every pregnancy and birth experience is. My pregnancy was a beautiful and fortunately uneventful 9 months of a miracle. I put myself in the "easy pregnancy" category. As great and complaint-free as my pregnancy was, labor was no picnic. I don't think anybody likes labor until it's over.

This time we opted to give birth in a birth center in a small town just a few minutes from Rexburg. The ride over to the birth center was cliche down to my husband honking at people to move out of the way (on a one-lane construction zone highway) and yelling at them, "She's having a baby!!!" while placing his hands in front of him cradling an imaginary belly. I was sitting in the passenger seat huffing and puffing and praying for people to just let us pass.

I guess I'm getting a little ahead of myself... everything really started 2 weeks before Matt was due. It was a Wednesday night and I'd been having steady contractions for 6 hours. They weren't painful yet, but were getting closer together and more uncomfortable by the hour. I called my midwife and told her what was going on and she said that she's see me in a few hours. I was excited and hopeful so we packed our bags, picked up some things at the grocery store, and got ready to have a baby! By 9 pm the contractions had completely stopped and I was beyond frustrated. I went to bed, hoping that things would pick back up in the morning.

Two weeks passed and I kept waiting for something to happen, each day getting more and more frustrated with my lack of progression. Finally, on Matt's due date (June 3rd) I had the midwife sweep my membranes. They sent me home in early labor at 3 pm and we got ready (again) to have a baby! Once again, 9 o'clock came around and my labor completely stopped. I called my midwife and she tried to reassure me with stories of moms who pick up labor in the morning. I wasn't very hopeful.

The next morning, I woke up and got in the shower at 7 am only to get out 15 minutes later in full on active labor. The contractions were coming hard and fast and I knew that this time they weren't slowing down. After a call to midwife and an intense car ride, we got to the birth center at 8 o'clock. The next few hours are a bit of a blur for me, mostly because I've tried to forget. All I can say is that I hate labor. At one point I just stopped fighting and let the pain take over my body. I was a little disappointed in myself for losing control and not doing as well as I hoped. In fact, I think i was a bit of a pansy. Around noon, the midwife checked my and informed me that I was finally at a 10. She said that if I felt like pushing, I could push. I didn't feel like pushing, but I tried anyway. After I changed positions and stood at the edge of the bed, I asked her to break my water. From there, it was all downhill. The next contraction, I couldn't help but push. And as soon as I felt that urge, I knew the end was near and I put everything I had into getting that baby to come out. Just two pushes later, he was out! They set him on my back and moved me to the bed where I could hold him.

They laid baby Matt on my chest and a rush of relief swept over me. It was over. I didn't have to writhe in pain through one more contraction. I was finally holding my baby and I was not planning on putting myself through that again for a few more years. I just held him for a couple of hours and basked in the joy and relief of it all. Once again, I had done the hardest thing a woman can do. I had finished my 9-month masterpiece and had endured the final agonizing hours, only to be rewarded with the most precious little man I could imagine. I sighed in relief so many times, always exclaiming, "I'm so glad it's over!"

When they finally weighed my little guy, he was 7 pounds, 14 ounces and 21 inches long. He was the most perfect thing. I thought from the minute I saw him that he looked even more like his dad than Levi did. Now we've been home for almost 2 weeks and had an incredible recovery. We couldn't be more blessed. I am humbled that he is so healthy and perfect because I know that so many people a burdened with the worries of a premature or unhealthy child. We couldn't be happier with the new addition to our family. Welcome to the world, Matthew Kent Horlacher!

 He's getting cuter!


 Levi loves giving baby Matt kisses


 He held his hand the whole way home from the birth center. My heart melted...


 7 pounds, 14 ounces (his brother was 6.9)


 Pretty excited to be a big brother :)


This one is so sweet... I love how big Jason's hand is compared to tiny baby Matt's.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Do I really have time for this post?

I keep intending to blog, but I just haven't sat down. And now that I'm sitting down, my body is telling me that I should try to get a nap in while Levi is sleeping. My new baby could be here any day now so I'm really trying to keep calm as I tackle a mile-long list of things to do before he makes an appearance. The most important things being finishing his bassinet and buying diapers.

We had a wonderful Spring Break down in Las Vegas where we were able to:

Ride an exotic car: Jason's brother works at Exotics Racing in Vegas and got Jason a ride-along in a Z-06

  • Visit M&M world: Levi grabbed my hand and covered his eyes during the loud 3D tour video
  • See a show on the Strip: We highly recommend Penn and Teller! Incredibly entertaining, patriotic and clean! Plus it was our first real kid-free date in a while! 
  • Go to "our" temple: The Las Vegas temple is where we were sealed so it was nice being able to do a session. 
  • Get a foot massage from an Asian guy who didn't speak English, but was visibly ticked off when I didn't buy 20 more minutes of awkward leg rubbing in a makeshift booth where I had a nice view of a Filipino war movie and a Golden Buddha. 
  • Take Levi to the Zoo and see a chimp, a Lion, and lots of goats and pigeons. 
  • Spend uninterrupted time with our daddy because he had NO homework! 
We had so much fun together and we already can't wait for this semester to be over. 

In other news, Mother's Day was absolutely perfect. If you didn't see the video that Jason made for our mothers (and me, really) then you can check it out on my facebook page. I'm sure you don't want to watch 8 minutes straight of my kid, but it was the most beautiful Mother's Day gift. I am so blessed to be able to be a mother and feel so much love for this little guy who has completely stolen my heart. 

Now.... back to my to do list. 



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Easter Bunny and a "grandparent" video.


Isn't our family of (4) cute?! We can't wait to meet little baby Matt in a couple of months!



As tradition would have it, our family celebrated the fun part of Easter on Saturday. Our whole complex had an egg hunt with all the cute little kids. Levi was pretty funny to watch because he didn't quite get the idea of hunting for eggs.



Easter Sunday was the beginning of our sick days. It gave me a whole new appreciation for the Resurrection. We will all have perfect bodies someday! Thank goodness because I hate seeing Levi sick. I feel helpless. He has been such a good sport about the whole thing. It's nice to be able to give comfort just by holding him. At least we had a fun Saturday. We had an egg hunt, Jason won an eating contest (I was very opposed to it until I found out he won.) He ate a 5 patty hamburger, fries and a drink in 5 minutes and 43 seconds. Hey, if'you're going to make yourself sick eating, you might as well win something, right? I was actually pretty proud of him. As a little bonus for all of you (because I'm sure you're just as obsessed with my adorable kid as I am), here's a video we made for our families of all the Levi can say. He's 15 months old and so smart. Excuse the eating- this video turned out a lot better than the one where we tried to get him to hold still on the couch.





Norovirus? Ain't nobody got time fo dat!

It has been a hard week at our house. Our poor little guy got a bug and hasn't been able to keep much food down or in for a few days. I was feeling pretty overwhelmed last night after I put him to bed, so Jason cheered me up by playing this little gem over and over again. I could not stop laughing.


To try to cheer Levi up today, we had to get some fresh air. It's been so nice outside. Rexburg in the spring equals perfect weather.






Levi was so tired that he fell asleep during our family prayer. 




Friday, March 22, 2013

Finally... a post you can just enjoy.

I can't tell you how relieving it is to be able to write a post that is not going to offend anyone. I think I'm done with that for a while. It is way too stressful. So... welcome to happy bubble land full of smiles and sunshine.

This post will actually be kinda fun. Shelly Hadfield over at Shelly and Branson tagged me in a post where she was nominated for the Leibster award. It's no wonder because she has such a fun blog full of the cutest family you've ever seen. So thanks for tagging me. The rules are as follows:


1. each person must write 11 things about themselves that readers may not know.
2. answer the 11 questions the tagger asked, and then ask the people YOU nominate and tag to answer 11 questions.
3. choose 11 other blogs and link them in this post.
4. go to their page and tell them.
5. no tag backs!

So first, 11 things you may not know about me.

1. I have a unique personality- I'm a people-pleaser and yet I'm very opinionated. Sometimes the two don't mesh so well.
2. I love being pregnant! Thanks to my lack of morning sickness and the fact that I don't really get very big, I actually enjoy being pregnant! (Most days.)
3. I get restless. I am always excited to move to a new house or a new town!
4. I play the piano, flute and a little bit of guitar. Piano is by far my best instrument, but I'm working on guitar!
5. My favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo. Ah.... so good. I could read it again right now.
6. My favorite animals are bunnies, seals, and foxes. And my favorite color is teal. I hate purple and orange. Yuck.
7. My husband's input: I don't put caps on anything. Toothpaste, juice bottles, makeup etc. Thanks honey.
8. I have 2 empty picture frames on my wall. We like to pretend they are long lost relatives of ours.
9. I haven't lived in a home that has cable or satelite TV for 14 years. I love not having TV! It's one of the best decisions Jason and I made when we got married- thanks to the great example of my parents.
10. I'm pretty picky when it comes to what I'll buy for my home or to wear. I do NOT like to buy anything at popular places and don't like logos or brand names on the things I have. I just like everything to be unique and seem like it's one-of-a-kind.
11. I have a natural knack for taking pictures. (At least that's what I was told in the 1 class I took.) And that's great! Because I love taking pictures!

Alright- now to answer Shelly's questions:

1. What's your favorite article of clothing?

Right now my favorite article of clothing is a shirt that my husband got me for Christmas (that I picked out) from Target. It's a maternity shirt with 3/4 sleeves and grey and mint stripes. I totally adore it. And I also got this new cardigan in the mail that's white and blue stripes with hearts on the elbows! Can't wait to wear it!

2. What's your favorite childhood memory?

When I was 6 or so our family went ice skating together. All I remember is it was pretty funny to watch my dad slip all over the place when I also saw him as a big strong guy. We didn't go out much so that was a special memory I've saved.

3. Scariest moment of your life?

10 centimeters. Need I say more? Seriously- all you can say is, "I don't want to do this anymore!" And your body just keeps on pushin'. 

4. One word that would best describe you?

Over-thinker. Is that a word?

5. If your friends and acquaintances were willing to bluntly tell you what they really think of you, would you want them to? Why or why not.

I don't think so. I pick up on people's thoughts pretty quickly and because I over-think everything, they don't even have to say anything for me to start evaluating myself. I'll usually take what people say into consideration, but it's better if they don't say it and I just figure it out on my own.

6. What is your favorite month of the year?

October! It's my birthday month and I have always LOVED the fall. I have to live somewhere with seasons when we settle down because the weather changing just makes me giddy. I love leaves and the smell in the air, wearing sweaters, going for walks... just everything about fall is exciting. 

7. Favorite restaurant?

Any mom and pop place with good burgers and fries. I'm a total "american food" lover. And the hole-in-the-wall little gems that you discover are the best kind. We just ate at a place called Big Judd's in Rexburg. Actually it was in an even smaller town just outside of Rexburg. We passed the place the first time and finally found it when we got cell service. It's a little burger place that had really great food. Thick, juicy burgers and hot, thick fries with lots of fry sauce. The only downside was that the place was totally filthy. Like disgusting filthy. So we probably won't go back unless it's to the sister joint in Boise.

8. What's your favorite number?

11. Again, my birthday. But the number 67 seems to show up everywhere for me. Receipts, my student number in high school (11167), my starbucks partner number (1717161), the opening credits to my favorite show in high school (Roswell) and just everywhere. It's kinda crazy...

9. What is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you?

The other night laying in bed, Jason said to me, "Honey, if it makes you happy, I'm behind you 100%." That just really got my heart fluttering. What support! He's the absolute best husband. 

10. What is your favorite Disney movie?

My 2 favorite classic Disneys are Peter Pan and Robin Hood (the one with foxes.) I could watch them over and over again. In fact, I wish I had them right now so I could fall asleep. Pregnancy insomnia is starting to kick in. I'm usually in bed at 9:30. 

I tag:
Sydney from Catching Pennies
Jessie from Team Allen
Leanne at Alldafferdom
Kristen at Home of the Millers
Jonique at The Beachs
Kate at The Best Recipe for Happiness
Deanna at The Richardsons
Sarah at Walk in Joy
Karma at Alis Volat Propriis
Elle at Elle Keeps Moving

Here are your 11 questions:

1. What time do you go to bed usually?
2. Did you love or hate school? Why?
3. What is a hidden talent that you'd like to develop?
4. What would be the ideal place for you to live?
5. What do you want to do when you retire?
6. Ever built a snowman? Sandcastle? Which is better?
7. What's your favorite game to play with friends?
8. Are you a good driver?
9. What do you hope to accomplish in the next year?
10. What is your favorite quote and why?
11. What is the thing that brings you to your happy place? (chocolate, baths, books, etc.?) 


Thanks for going along with it!





Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Did I mention I'm 23?

It's almost hard to type this because my fingers are shaking. I'm lost for words, but feel like there is so much I need to say. I've been told many times that I don't need to apologize, but I still feel sorry for anyone I offended with my last post. It was honestly written from a non-defensive mindset. But I realize that there are so many individuals with different circumstances and things can easily be misunderstood.

So, for the record... (I think bullet points will make this post easier to get through.)


  • I can't judge anyone. I put in an honest effort to eliminate judging thoughts of everyone I see or read about or know. I understand that only Jesus Christ can understand perfectly what you're going through and I have no place to say that you are or aren't doing something right. I don't want to be judged, so I just try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and trust that they're probably better people than I am. 
  • Anybody who knows me knows that I have all the sympathy in the world for those who struggle with infertility. While I haven't, my mother has. I was adopted by the most incredible and courageous woman I know. She couldn't have children for 21 years and was just barely blessed with a little miracle. She endured the judgement of so many people over the years. I have never thought less of her for not being able to have children. In fact, I've cried many times for my mother because of her sincere to desires to be a mother and trying to understand what the Lord's plan for her was. So trust me when I say, my heart sincerely goes out to those who struggle with infertility. Your strength and faith is incredibly inspiring. 
  • This bullet point is most important because it clarifies what I think of the feminist movement in the LDS church. Here is my official statement. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I believe that the family is central to the Lord's plan for all of His children. While I understand that so many people struggle with infertility, there are those who desire to put other worthy and good pursuits at a higher priority than raising a family. That is the trend that the world is following and it seems that it's becoming more popular in the LDS church to do the same. However, I understand that there is no cookie cutter for women in God's plan. We are all individuals with separate missions and desires. There are so many good things that women with no children do in this world. I thank God for their sacrifices and their valuable contributions to society. 
  • I believe that what the leader of the LDS church say is true. The decision of when to have children and how many to have is up to parents. We don't know how many children the Lord has prepared for those who are able to have children in this life and we don't have any room to judge or say that WE know what would be best for them. That's simply ridiculous. Those who have the opportunity in this life to marry and have children will prayerfully choose with the Lord how many children to have and when to have them because the Lord knows each family and each individual best. 
  • Last but certainly not the least of what I could write, please try to understand that I am one of the most imperfect people you could ever meet. Not to mention, I'm a 23 year old mother of one who clearly has a lot of living left to do. I'm still learning how to be more understanding, charitable, loving, nonjudgmental, and kind. I don't like to hurt anyone and certainly didn't do this intentionally. Please accept my sincere apologies if you were one who I offended. I hope I was able to clarify and help anybody who wanted to, understand where I was coming from a little better. 
Ah... I can breathe a little bit now. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

In All Seriousness

I've often wondered if there are little groups of men who get together, paint signs, protest, and refuse to go to work or buy power tools because they want to stand up for "mens rights". Is there such a thing? Is there a movement of guys who hate being expected to earn a living, be able to fix things, and be tough and manly?

This makes me raise the question that I'm sure many of you have raised yourselves. What is the LDS feminist movement? I would sincerely like to hear the true beliefs or feelings of those who consider themselves Mormon feminists so that I may better understand where this stemmed from and what needs to be addressed. This movement has caused me to do some extra reading and find out what the LDS church really says about women. I discovered that my favorite theme (perhaps because it applied to me personally) was motherhood. Here are some of my favorite quotes on motherhood found in LDS talks. I should have been more broad in my selection of authorities, but these ones just resonated with me. They are my favorite because they explain God's doctrine of the family so clearly and beautifully that they're indisputable. So please, before you get offended, just take it from those who are spokespersons for the Lord. If you're already offended, just keep reading. You're going to like these.

My thoughts tonight are specifically centered on women and their unique and beautiful role in the plan of happiness. 

Julie B Beck: 

"Knowing and defending the divine roles of women is so important in a world where women are bombarded with false messages about their identity. These voices offer a counterfeit happiness, and as a result, many women are miserable, lonely, and confused. The only place Latter-day Saint women will learn the whole and complete truth about their indispensable role in the plan of happiness is in this Church and its doctrine.
The things women can and should do very best are championed and taught without apology here. We believe in the formation of eternal families. That means we believe in getting married. We know that the commandment to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force. That means we believe in having children."

I highly recommend this talk. It's called What Latter-day Saint Women do Best: Stand Strong and Immovable. The entire thing is empowering and enlightening. I love how bold Sister Beck is! 

Sister Beck also has a very well known talk called Mothers Who Know. Yes, it was very controversial. But the Lord doesn't change His doctrine. I believe that because the world is shifting so far away from the truths we have always held dear to us, the difference between women of the world and women of the Lord is becoming far more prominent. This makes it more difficult to be a woman of faith and to stand immovable. Here are a few quotes from her excellent address.

"Mothers who know desire to bear children. Whereas in many cultures in the world children are “becoming less valued,”2 in the culture of the gospel we still believe in having children.President Ezra Taft Benson taught that young couples should not postpone having children and that “in the eternal perspective, children—not possessions, not position, not prestige—are our greatest jewels.”4 Faithful daughters of God desire children. Some women are not given the responsibility of bearing children in mortality, but just as Hannah of the Old Testament prayed fervently for her child (see 1 Samuel 1:11), the value women place on motherhood in this life and the attributes of motherhood they attain here will rise with them in the Resurrection (see D&C 130:18). Women who desire and work toward that blessing in this life are promised they will receive it for all eternity, and eternity is much, much longer than mortality. There is eternal influence and power in motherhood."

I just can't get enough of this talk. Read the whole thing! All I can do is add my testimony that I believe there is so much power in motherhood. The blessing of creating a human body and influencing that spirit's life more than anyone else possibly could is a huge responsibility. Do you realize that the Lord has placed the responsibility of shaping the views, beliefs and destiny of the entire human race in the hands of mothers? There is no greater role! I am grateful for the women in my life who don't need the praise of the world, but simply the approval of the Lord as they live their humble lives of service and discipleship. Motherhood brings true joy. Joy which can not be found anywhere else. 

My sincere apologies to those I may have offended. I know it is easy to offend when writing about such a sensitive subject. I feel it is my job as member of the Lord's church to stand steadfast and immovable in defense of the most important part of God's plan- the family.

*An important side note: I am very close to many incredible women who have struggled with infertility. I feel deeply for them and know that they deserve no judgment or criticism. So many women desire so deeply to have something that seems to come so easily to others. If you are facing this challenge, please know that I love you and am praying for your peace and happiness. I do not desire to hurt anyone and especially those going through this hardship. I know the Lord has incredibly important missions for ALL of His children, whether that is through the opportunity of motherhood or some other avenue.  




Thursday, March 14, 2013

My life... in all it's glory.

Sometimes I wonder when this "happy bubble" of mine is going to pop. Is it going to pop? Or is it possible to have a ridiculously happy life? I've been thinking about this for some time and haven't come to a conclusion yet on whether my life is actually perfect or if I'm just delusional. I could think of things that need to be changed or that could make it better, but every day I find myself thanking God for giving me this incredible life.

Occasionally I come down from the clouds and do some serious life planning as my best friend, Whitney, would call it. I just feel more organized when I sit down and plan out my life over and over again until I have perfect plans. Things never go exactly as I planned, but having a plan gives me a kind of outline to follow when I feel a little lost. Just to write things down and make a chart and a to-do list gives me a little peace of mind.

Recently I ran into a self help motivational book that was like a gold mine for a planning freak like me. It's Jack Canfield's Key to Living the Law of Attraction. Now, at first I thought, "Oh please. Not another 'law-of-attraction-get-rich-and-famous-powers-of-the-universe' kind of book." I'm really not into the secret or it's copycats. But I'm always on the lookout for a great motivational book on applying practical keys to success. When I started reading it, I realized that it's actually all about the power we each have to shape our lives into what we want them to be. It's empowering when you realize that you can create the life that you want to live. Rather than letting life happen to you, use your time to plan out what you want and go get it! My other favorite books on this topic are As a Man Thinketh and The Power of Positive Thinking. I suggest both of those as a quick read if you're looking for some help changing your life.

Anyway...

I found a great outline for goal setting. You can't achieve your goals if you don't know what they are! So, if you're up for it, or just looking for a good way to organize your thoughts (like me), here it is.

The categories of goals are:
Personal goals (things you want to do, be and have)
Relationship goals
Health & Body Goals,
Career and Education Goals
Recreation Goals
Financial Goals and
Contribution Goals

First, make a "T-chart". On the left side, for each category, write what you don't want. This will help you figure out what you really do want. On the right side, write the opposite of what you don't want in a sentence or short phrase. After you've finished, cross off all of the don'ts and combine your list of things you do want into a dream list. If you really want more on this, email me. I just wanted to give you a quick glimpse of what heaven looks like for an organizational, have-to-write-everything-down kind of person. Completely this chart makes me more motivated and gives me some vision.

So even though my life is blissfully happy, it's only because I want it to be that way and of course because the Lord has been SO incredibly present in my life and gives me joy every day.

I just realized this post is not very well written. Hopefully this doesn't scare any of you off. I just needed to get something down.

The End

Goodnight.

Um.... ok. You can stop reading now.

Monday, March 4, 2013

A baby brother

This weekend was one of the best. On the way to Boise I said, "make sure I take lots of pictures this weekend" to my husband. How many pictures did I come home with? Not one. Well, a couple from the trip down and the trip back, but not a single picture of my adorable baby brother or wonderful (huge) family! I can officially be fired from my job as our family photographer.

Regardless of my lack of evidence, we had a wonderful time holding my precious 6-week old brother and witnessing his blessing at our church. To be fair, we were there for less than 24 hours and tried to spend as much time as possible with everyone. One thing we did accomplish on the car ride home... (drumroll please)
We have picked a name for our June baby boy! His name will be Matthew Kent Horlacher. We're already calling him Matt and can't wait to see what the little man looks like!




Thursday, February 21, 2013

Ok, ok... I'll blog.

If you get offended by a video making fun of "hipsters", does it mean you're a hipster? I hardly know what that means. Maybe it was the blogging part of it. Just because I blog does not make me a hipster. Would it be so bad if I was labeled as one? That was just a side note. Not really what I was going to write about tonight. But while I'm on that note, I'm definitely a fan of being a unique individual. Why WOULD you want to be like everyone else? If you end up being normal just being yourself, that's cool. But if you're kinda nerdy  or you're a little strange when it comes to normal, who cares? You're you! What's really not cool is pretending you're something you're not and trying to be like someone else because you think they're happier or better or cooler than you. Be the best version of yourself. In the words of Oscar Wilde,


“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”


 If you're interested, here's the video.

I'm not highly offended by it. It's actually kinda funny. But I'm not trendy enough to really know the definition of hipster so it got me wondering.

Alright, so now the real reason behind my post: the last week. Perhaps a bit less entertaining than the aforementioned video. We had a lovely Valentines day on our nonexistent limited college family budget. We bought a pack of "cuties" for Levi. The cutest guy in my heart... ah... I love him. I did a last minute corny gift for Jason using some cheesy version of "I'm hooked on you" or something like that, attached to a bag of gummy worms. The fact that they were sour worms redeemed it a little bit. Jason thoughtfully gifted me 3 (yes three- one for me, one for the little guy inside and one for good luck.) apple fritters from our new favorite doughnut shop. Breakfast was an adorable waffle with heart shaped strawberries. What a sweetheart my husband is.

We had a midwife appointment on Tuesday with the only midwives in town who will deliver at home. (Welcome to Rexburg, Land of limited choices in absolutely every area you can possible imagine.) They certainly aren't my favorite midwife- April Kermani, but I'm sure they'll "deliver" when the time comes. (Did anybody actually laugh at that? Or should I just delete it...) Our baby is as healthy as can be and has the most glorious sounding heartbeat. He is just beautiful. I can't wait to meet him! Poor kid doesn't have a name yet, but we are working on it!

Honestly, the reason I haven't updated the blog in a week is because I have been SO tired. I don't know why. Besides the usual "I'm pregnant" excuse, I really don't have any reason. Maybe I don't need one. So on that note, goodnight! Oh- and keep your eyes open for a fun post soon. I've got a project to share with you! An exciting one!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Library Card

"I have found the most valuable thing in my wallet is my library card."- Laura Bush

I'm a total nerd. Or just more of a book worm. I love to read. Anything and everything. I got an entire series (4 books) for Christmas and finished them the first week of February. You could say I'm a bit of a fanatic when it comes to new books. It started when I was a little girl and the desire to enter another world through reading has never left me. It just feels so GOOD to read. Weird? Anyway, you can imagine my absolute glee when my little boy walks up to me with a pile of books and wants to sit on my lap and read them. I am overjoyed that my 13-month-old loves to read!

We headed to the library today to get a library card and check out a few books. (And see the fish, of course.) Levi was afraid to go close to the fish tank because he saw the huge plecostomus (sucker fish) they have. He does look a little creepy if I may say so. We played with the toys there and then snuggled up with a few board books. Sweet little man. I am so in love with him.


Since I have been craving donuts Levi was so good at the library, we headed over to Paradise Donuts to check it out. While the inside was less than impressive (not even a good spot for a photo-op), the donuts were spectacular. We now know where the best and only place is the get good donuts in Rexburg. Not that we need them...


To complete our adventure, we went to check out Porter's- the town's craft store. It was far beyond a strong temptation for me, so we didn't spend much time in there. Levi tried to help me pick out some fabric, but we were unsuccessful. I guess I'll be ordering some samples online. 



 Is he the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? I tell ya- that profile gets me every time. What a lovely day with my favorite little boy.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Nesting

I can't explain the many phenomena that occur when a woman is pregnant. There are some things you just have to accept. Cravings for strange food combinations, mood swings and the strange similarity we have to birds when they are expecting a few babies. One day it just hits you and you think,"this house must be perfectly clean before my little bundle arrives and I don't care if I have to stay up all night to clean it."

The nesting started a few days ago and since then, my house has been perfectly clean without fail. I haven't gone completely overboard with it (like scrubbing the grout with a toothbrush), but for some reason I have just had the absolute need to keep the house spotless lately. It's actually really nice. I feel a lot more peace at night trying to sleep and when I wake up and realize that I don't have to spend the day just trying to get the house clean.

Weekends have been so nice up here in Rexburg because Jason usually has a little more time to have some fun with us. We try to get out and explore a little bit; and by explore I mean drive down main street and finally decide to go to Walmart. We attempt to fool ourselves every weekend into thinking there are a bunch of cool, undiscovered places here, but really I just miss Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and being so close to absolutely any store I could possible imagine. It's a little depressing at times. This weekend we took Levi to get some ice cream, which surprisingly we've never done. As soon as he figured out that the ice cream was sweet and that I wasn't taking it away from him, he was pretty into it.  

  



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A nameless post

Coming up with names is not my strong point. Names have to be perfectly fitting. But how do you know what a post should be called until you've written it? More importantly, how do you know what you should name your baby before you know who he is and what he's going to be like?

Jason and I have been stuck in a name rut ever since we found out we were having another boy. A 1/2 hour in our baby name book and a subsequent internet search have become the nightly routine around our house. And yet, we are still undecided; however, we do have a list of names we both mutually don't hate.

Jace
Emmett
Spencer

While you're swishing those around in your mouth, take a look at this beautiful alien baby!




Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Let's be Adventurers

Over the years, I've lived in a total of 21 houses or apartments. Some for just a few weeks and the longest ones for a few years. This may have instilled in me a certain excitement that comes with moving in to a new place or driving into a town you've never seen before, knowing that you'll be making a life there from scratch. Both Jason and I love going new places and discovering the little treasures every town has.

Lately, Levi and I have been getting a little restless in the house. We've made numerous trips to the grocery store, a nice trip to the Teton Dam Museum, and a couple short ventures to the local library. But most of the time we pretend our house is a huge mansion with many undiscovered rooms that are full of mysteries. This is what Levi looks like when he's found something exciting.


This time it was Goldfish. Of course, he's still in pajamas, no pants, and his hair is getting so long that he has bed head all day long. (Jason cuts it, but has been so busy with homework lately.) I love everything about our days together. Levi is the sweetest little man. He kisses my belly constantly while making a clicking sound with his tongue. He's going to be the best big brother. 

What would I do without my amazing family to go on adventures with? 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The most blog-worthy post of all time...

I'm not really a bragger by nature. I like to be a little more modest and humble and in the background. But what I just did tonight deserves center stage. Seriously. If you get sick of my gloating, I apologize. Drumroll please..... 

I just made the perfect cinnamon rolls!!! They are the most incredible thing I've ever had!

Usually they are too dry on the top, they don't rise the way they should, the centers are still gooey, or something else just botches them completely. But tonight, after probably about 6 years of trying to make good cinnamon rolls, I made INCREDIBLE cinnamon rolls! Even being modest, I would say these are the best cinnamon rolls I have EVER eaten. The bottoms are crunchy with a brown sugar buttery crunch, the centers are perfectly gooey but not doughy in the slightest. And the tops are golden-brown perfection. To top it off, they are covered in delicious maple cream cheese frosting.

Are you dying for the recipe? You will never ever ever need another recipe again. Ever. No joke. Here it is! 

*A few adjustment I made are: First, I used almond milk instead of regular milk and it certainly didn't ruin them. Second, I actually ran out of brown sugar so I used a cup of white sugar and mix a tablespoon of molasses into it with a fork. I also didn't use a stand mixer because I don't have one. So feel free to knead the dough with a spoon and then your hands! It was easy! The original recipes are from here: 

http://sweetannas.com/2012/03/overnight-cinnamon-rolls-with-perfect-cream-cheese-frosting.html
http://sweetannas.com/2013/01/cinnamon-rolls-with-maple-cream-cheese-frosting.html




    for the frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla (or maple!) extract

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the powdered sugar and then the maple syrup and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Add a bit more maple syrup if the frosting is too thick for your liking.
Spread generously on the warm cinnamon rolls as soon as they come out of the oven!



Cinnamon Rolls:



1 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups (or so*) all-purpose or bread flour
for the filling:
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg





Directions:
In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter together until the butter is melted.  Set aside and let cool to warm (110ºF).
Pour this mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the warm milk/butter mixture with 1 teaspoon of the sugar and let sit and get bubbly and foamy for a few minutes.
Mix in the rest of the 1/2 cup of sugar, the eggs & salt until combined. Mix in most of the flour until combined and then switch to your dough hook attachment.
Knead the dough on med-low speed (2 on a KitchenAid!) until smooth, adding the remaining flour bit by bit if needed.
Lightly grease a large bowl.  Place the kneaded, now smooth, but still soft dough into the bowl and turn once to coat the top of the dough.  Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft free place to rise until doubled in size, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
Once the dough has doubled in size (eyeball this, but you should also be able to press down two fingers into the dough and it should leave an indent that doesn’t pop back out!), punch down the dough gently to deflate it.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, cover with a damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes or so.
Sprinkle a bit more flour on top of the dough and roll it out into a large rectangle (about 16×20″ or so!).
In a large bowl (or your clean mixer bowl!) beat together the filling ingredients until smooth and fluffy. Spread the filling evenly over the rolled out dough.
Roll the dough up into a long log and press the seam together (you can use a bit of water on your fingertips to do this if needed!).  Gently cut into 12 rolls with a serrated knife and place the rolls cut side up in a greased 9×13″ baking dish.
Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.  (If you don’t want to make these overnight, then just cover loosely and let rest on the counter for 30 minutes before proceeding).
Remove the rolls from the fridge to take the chill off and preheat the oven to 375ºF for about 30 minutes.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cinnamon rolls are golden on top and no longer doughy in the middle if you peek with a fork.
When the rolls come out of the oven, frost and serve! And yes! This is an actual picture of the actual amazing cinnamon rolls! Go make them! Now!