Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Light the World

I am excited we are being encouraged to "Light the World" again this Christmas season. Learn more about this campaign here. Last Christmas I didn't do well with this, and I am glad I am getting a chance to do better this year.

I really want to do something that we can do together as a family and really include our 3 year old, especially giving us the opportunity to teach her more about Christ and what Christmas is really about.

We are using the countdown from the "Friend" here, and added a chain for each day. We will read the scripture and watch the video for that day, you can find them here. Then we will do what it says on our chain. I thought I would share what we have decided we will be doing to "Light the World" this year. Some of my ideas came from this really cute calendar for kids from A Year of FHE, others were just ideas we came up with on our own.

#1 Give Freely to Others- Donate to the food pantry at our Ward Christmas Party
#2 Give Others Drink- Give a case of bottled water to someone in need
#3 Keep the Sabbath- Read the Friend together after Church
#4 Love My Neighbor- Leave a surprise for our Neighbor
#5 Honor My Parents- Tell our Mom & Dad's how much we love them
#6 Don't Judge Others- Read this from Pres. Uchtdorf, and take his quiz, learn how we can "Stop it" and decide how we can do better
#7 Serve Little Children- Play with a new friend today, & Donate a Toy to "Toy for Tots" (drop off box in our area is at Papa Murphy's)
#8 Love My Enemies- Listen, Sing, and Learn the song "Jesus Said Love Everyone
#9 Visit the Sick- Make a Card for someone who is sick and Give it to them
#10 Search the Scriptures- Memorize a Scripture as a Family
#11 Help a Stranger- Pick an Angel from an "Angel Tree" and fulfill the request (if you are in our area Angel Tree's can be found at: City Hall, County Courthouse, Shopko, and the Hospital)
#12 Help the Sad- Give someone feeling down a hug today
#13 Be Kind to Others- Let someone play with your favorite toy, & give a sincere compliment
#14 Do What's Important- Have a "Screen Free" day, play a game as a family instead
#15 Show Mercy- Show Compassion to others by making and delivering Christmas Treats
#16 Clothe the Naked- Donate new or good condition warm winter clothing (Drop Box in our area is at Burt's Auto Body Shop)
#17 Attend Church- Set out our clothes & shoes for church the day before, share what we learned at church with each other
#18 Forgive Others- Have a lesson on forgiveness for Family Night, lesson idea can be found here.
#19 Be Happy & Thankful- Write and send a Thank you note to someone today
#20 Love People not Things- As a family make a list of 3 blessings that are not "things"
#21 Feed the Hungry- Prepare a meal as a family, and invite someone over for dinner
#22 Try to be like Jesus- Write down 3 ways we can be more like Jesus, & make a plan to do them
#23 Visit those in Need- Visit with someone in a nursing home, or lonely neighbor
#24 Pray Always- Say a prayer Morning, Noon, & Night today
#25 Be a Good Example- Share how Jesus is our Example on social media

I hope this gives you some ideas on ways you can Light the World with your family this Christmas Season! I am excited to see how this will change our hearts and perspective as we celebrate Christ's Birth this year.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Tangled Halloween

If you know my 3 year old, then you know she LOVES Rapunzel. Most days she goes by Rapunzel, and if you call her by her real name she will remind you she is Rapunzel... For awhile there we watched Disney's "Tangled" almost everyday. She can recite lines from the movie, and sing most of the songs, and when we play she loves to play Rapunzel, where we act out the movie... 

So when Halloween came around you can guess who she wanted to be. I thought it would be fun if we all dressed up this year, and I am so glad we did because she got such a kick out of it! All of us took on the role of a Tangled character. I was Mother Gothel, Jon was Flynn Rider or Eugene, and Baby Sis was Rapunzel's best friend, a chameleon named Pascal. 

We worked hard on our costumes so I had to preserve the memories with nice pictures. We participated in WP Portraits Halloween Mini Sessions, and I am SO glad we did. She captured us perfectly, but especially my Princess Rapunzel. Again holidays prove to be more fun with kiddos. Hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do.   

*Thank you to Whitney Putnam, her pictures are priceless as always... and also our "Aunt Char" who sent Zella her costume. We love you!

Monday, November 6, 2017

My Favorite 3 Year Old

"Sometimes all you need is to talk to a 3 year old to understand your life again."

Zella is still talking about her birthday. She wanted her favorite Princess, Rapunzel, on her cake. We had close family come over to help us sing to her. Most days revolve around her, but this particular day she felt very special, as she should on her birthday.

For her birthday day she got a big girl bed since baby sister would be here soon, and would be taking over the crib... As always she took this new transition like a champ.

I can't believe how much she changes each year, and I feel like she has grown leaps and bounds since she has become a big sister. 

So I have decided to ask her the same list of questions each year, to help us remember some things about her at that age.

Zella at 3 years old...

Loves to play dress up  
Likes to help Daddy outside
 Favorite Food is Strawberries
Favorite toy is Rapunzel & Sophia doll
 Always talking about her Auntie Taryn's
Favorite Animal is Bear from the Big Blue House
Favorite Song is You're Welcome by Maui
Wants to be Rapunzel when she grows up
Best Friend is Carter, Ali, & Whitty
Favorite book is My Little Pony
Favorite TV Show is PJ Masks
Dad's tickles make her laugh
 Favorite Movie is Tangled 
Afraid of Mother Gothel
Likes to go to the Park

there isn't a day you don't make me laugh and smile. You are my sweet, sassy, curly haired munchkin. Life would be dull without you, and is crazy with you which is just the way we like it.
Love, Mom

Friday, October 13, 2017

This time last year...

This time last year we found out we were expecting our second child, such a blessing. Of course not soon after I started feeling miserable with morning sickness and everything else that comes along with pregnancy... but I expected all this, I had done it once before. What made my second pregnancy so much harder? 

Well, you always hear about postpartum depression, but what about those who suffer with it during pregnancy? I did really well emotionally during my first pregnancy, and assumed I would be fine again, but this wasn't the case. 

At first it was just the everyday overall not feeling well physically, then I figured it was the added stress of the holidays, potty training my 2 year old, church callings, and then an abnormally long rough winter... but I soon found myself in a deep depression. 

It was so much harder experiencing this depression than any of the other times in my life, because this time I was suppose to be happy right? I was carrying a tiny miracle, something not everyone gets the opportunity to do. Our baby was growing, developing, and thriving, something not all babies do... I had a sweet little toddler, and a selfless husband that loved me unconditionally. So why was I having such a hard time? I felt like I had no reason to feel the way I was feeling, and it was hard. 

I withdrew from everyone and everything... I had such a hard time being "Mom" to Zella, and felt guilty for it. I worried and fretted over how I could possibly be a mother of two children when I felt like I was failing at the one I had, would I even love this new little one? Another thing I struggled with was seeing everyone's seemingly perfect happy lives on social media... so I withdrew from that too... I frankly just didn't care about anything anymore. 

When I realized what bad of shape I was in, I was in crisis... After a lot of convincing from my sweet patient Jon, I decided to help myself... 

What did I do?

-First I contacted my OBGYN, and started some medication. 
-Then I started to see a licensed therapist. 
-I let people help me, and tried not to feel guilty or bad about it. 
-I found an exercise routine that I could comfortably do while pregnant... Water aerobics, it seriously saved me. 
-I made a "Self Care" list, and was diligent about keeping my own tank full.
-I opened up and talked about my feelings with others close to me.
-And took a little trip to visit a sweet friend and enjoy some vitamin D.

I was surprised by how many people were understanding and loving towards my situation. In my mind I didn't think anyone would be sympathetic, I felt like I had no "real" reasons to feel the way I was feeling. I had no "excuse" so why would anyone cut me any slack? 

I've always known I am overly hard on myself, it is something I am continually working on. Trying to be patient and loving with myself... I am sure many can relate. As I sit and think back on that hard time for me, I wonder if this particular trial was another way my Heavenly Father was trying to help me learn to love me for who I am, imperfections and all. 

Of course this last General Conference, I felt like all the talks were directed at me... I knew these Apostles of Christ were telling me just what He wanted me to hear... 

When Sister Jones talked about our "Value Beyond Measure" here
and when Elder Holland said, "We should avoid that latter excessive expectation of ourselves and of others" here... and lastly when Elder Stevenson talked about harmful comparisons when he said this, "Comparing our own seemingly average existence with others’ well-edited, perfectly crafted lives as represented on social media may leave us with feelings of discouragement, envy, and even failure" here... 

So if you are like me, struggling, and feeling like no one else is... let me help you see, like I have, everyone has "something." Be kind to yourself... and I'll try and take my own advice too. 

I am happy to say I am doing much better, our new addition, of course has brought more joy into our lives, if that were possible. We love our girls and cherish them, even on the hard days. Transitioning to two kids hasn't been easy, I still struggle, but don't we all... I am just glad to be in a better place, doing and enjoying the things I love again... like blogging;)

I wanted to share all of this because I really appreciate people being "real" and vulnerable... and it is happening more and more all the time. It helps me truly connect to people when I can relate to the hard things we all are experiencing. 

Also those that went through this with me, thank you. I wouldn't have made it here without you... 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Yaya Dane Turtis

It's time for another of those... 

"What I don't ever want to forget about you" posts...

Oh Zella, you me crack up... 

You are now almost two and a half years old.. You are full of life, and I am amazed how much you learn everyday!

You are very friendly and talk to anyone who will listen. You introduce yourself to everyone, "Hi I Yaya (Zella) then you introduce me saying, "Dis Yaya's Mommy" Most people can't figure out your name when you say it because you say a "Y" sound for the "Z" and "L's" in your name. You also tell everyone, "Nice to meet you." -Even if you have met them before... 

You are very polite and use your, "Tank you" "Pleeze" "You're Weltum" and "Cues me" all the time. You will also tell me, "Sorry Yaya's fault" even if it wasn't your fault at all. 

You're favorite shows to watch right now are: Justin Time, Dragon Tales, Bubble Guppies, and Daniel Tiger. But you also enjoy Curious George and Chuggington. 

You have gotten to be a stinker about eating, because you refuse to sit in a booster seat, and it is impossible to keep you up to the table. You are just too busy to eat... 

You still LOVE Kitties!!! and you want to be a Kitty Cat for Halloween, but you also love: Puppies, Horsey's, and Fish. Bamma recently gave you a small barbie sized cat that you take with us everywhere. You show everyone and tell them, "My Bamma dave it to me." This kitty also helps us get you to do things you won't do for us, if the kitty wants you to do it, you will!

You also still love books. You have most of your favorite books memorized and can help Mom read them. Two of your very favorites are your Zoo book and Princess book.

When you get frustrated you say, "Ahh, Tom on." You will also say, "So Close" when you are close to doing something. 

You love to dress up, and this usually includes a tutu. Whenever you hear music you will tell us, "It's time to dance." and pull us up to hop around with you. 

You continue to love music and you are a very good little singer. You like to hum, and sing everything you do. You will be painting, and while you paint you will be singing about what you are doing... You are very good at making up songs as you go. 

Your favorite songs are "Twinkle Twinkle" and "Rock a Bye"

Right now everything is Yaya's... Yaya's house, Yaya's Bamma, Yaya's Kitty Cat, Yaya's car... and so forth. Also when we ask you what your babies name is your response is "Yaya's Baby" or What is your Kitties name? "Yaya's Kitty" 

You also talk about yourself in the 3rd person all the time... and you are learning to say your full name... "Yaya Dane Turtis" 

Your favorite number is 7 for some reason... You count, 1-2-7... no matter how hard we work on the number 3! You also love the letter B, and go around saying B7 a lot. We joke that it sounds like you are playing battleship:)

You are still learning to share... and you have picked up spitting, so we started putting "hot stuff" on your tongue... this was not fun for you, and you have learned to stop spitting pretty quick.

You did so well transitioning without a binky. Sometimes you struggle with naps, but have gone right to bed since the first night without it. 

You might not be able to tell by this picture, but you do not like to cooperative for pictures at all...  

Gosh we love you Zella. Thanks for being YOU!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Curtis Family Takes Coeur d'Alene!

A Curtis Coeur d'Alene

I am always so grateful for the time and effort Dianne and David put into making our family vacations so enjoyable. With all the Curtis Family spread out as far as Japan, our summer vacation is sometimes the only time we get to spend time all together. So in early August we headed up to Coeur d'Alene and had the best time! Zella was in heaven with all of her Cousins. She really misses them now they have all gone home.

Here are some pictures of our fun trip, Enjoy!

View of the Lake from our Condo

First Night Sunset

Paddle Boarding with Dad

Kayaking with Mom

All of us hiking along the Lake

Relaxing at Lunch

Fun at Silverwood Amusement Park

Ice Cream Cones, Sandy Beaches, & Sailing

Curtis Kids Olympics

Gold & Silver Mine Tour

Celebrating David & Dianne's 40th Anniversary

All the Cousins

The Original Curtis Kids

I love these people! We had the best time:)