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Friday, August 31, 2012

Tender Mercies

Dallas and I do our budget using mostly cash envelopes.  We're pretty strict and do our very best not to go over our budget.  At the beginning of the month I refill the envelopes, and I always hope that I can fill them entirely with the money I made at the restaurant.  When I did the envelopes this morning, I realized that we were going to have to withdraw $140 from our checking account to make the money balance.


But then I realized that today is the 31st!  And I worked tonight!

It was busy at the restaraunt tonight because of Swiss Days and the Sheep Dog competition at Soldier Hollow.  I was slammed from 5:00 until 8:30- at one point I wondered if I would even be able to catch my breath.  Before I knew it I didn't have any tables and my manager was sending me home.  I tipped out the busers, and when I got home I counted my tips.


Amazing.  This has happened to us so many times over the last few years.  We always have enough.  I know this is because Dallas and I pay or tithing faithfully- without even giving it a second thought.  I'm so thankful for how our Heavenly Father watches over us.  It was such a wonderful tender mercy tonight.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

In an attempt to get an accurate representation of the munchkins, today I'm not going to gush about how good my kids are.  I will first post some pictures in which they are cute and we do fun things:

Will makes his own PB&J these days.

And he jumps of diving boards!

Gracie is still our best friend in the whole wide universe.

Annie made pink butterfly cupcakes from the stuff she got from Grandma Kristie for her birthday.

And she got to eat the leftover frosting all by herself!
Fun and cute, right?


And now for the bad (which makes me ugly)...

Today Will and Annie went to play at our friend's the Carter's house.  Will and Beckham get along smashingly.  Well, they had to watch another little boy named Jack.  Will doesn't really know Jack.  Sometimes Will gets uncomfortable around people he doesn't know (and by sometimes I mean all the time).  He's shy- I GET THIS.  Instead of just being shy, he tells Jack that he needs to go home.  When Jack wouldn't go home, he gets all sulky and goes to my friend Breona and tells her to send Jack home.  Poor Jack!  The kid didn't do a dang thing but show up to join the party, and here's this stranger telling him to get lost.

After a little while (and some bedroom time at Breona's), Will snapped out of it and played like a good kid.

When we got home I went to talk about what happened with Jack.  I asked him how he'd feel if someone told him to go home when he was playing this a friend.  His response-

A stiff lipped "I DON'T CARE."

Oh, yeah!  I'll make you care!  Bedroom time, nap, no legos- and me as the UGLY MOM.  Nothing sets me off quicker than when my kids are treating other people badly.

And Annie.  She's three.  Three, I tell you!  I'm trying to think of a good word to describe her lately and belligerent comes to mind.  Is it too strong?  Probably not.  It might not be strong enough, actually.  She loves to ignore us, make giant messes with lotion and soap, raid the fridge, and do anything else that she knows she isn't supposed to be doing.

You see, this is why three is so hard- THEY KNOW BETTER.  It's like they're teenagers in baby form.

So right now, both kids that have pushed me to my wits end are in their rooms (asleep or not), and they will stay there until I feel good enough to get them out.  Could be in an hour.  Could be three.  Because you know what?

Sometimes Mom needs bedroom time, too.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Ebb and Flow

I just got home from the best run.  It was cool out and there was a little breeze blowing the entire time- just strong enough to cool you off without taking your breath away.  I wanted to run forever, but figured Dallas would start to worry since it was getting close to bedtime, so I turned around and came home.

It has been a long time since I've had a really good run like this.  A long, long time.

Isn't it interesting how even with something you love so much, there tends to be an ebb and flow with it?  I will go from complete highs to wondering why in the world I torture myself so much.

It's the same with life.

Sometimes we can't help but wonder why we're still trudging along when things don't seem to be getting any better, but then the sun starts shining, or you hear the kids giggle and you remember that pain and frustration doesn't last forever.

I read the best quote the other day from C.S. Lewis.  It said:  "We're not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be."

Life is hard, but we're promised that it won't be hard forever.  I'm so grateful for that.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Come and Go

Summer is over.


Dallas went back to school today- he'll be leaving each day at 6:15AM, and will be home for dinner and then head down to the dungeon to finish homework until bedtime.  Nothing quite like reality hitting you in the face!  I'm going to miss his help with the children, but most of all I'm going to miss hanging out with him in the evenings.  Seinfeld just isn't nearly as funny without my best friend by my side.

The nice part about him starting school this semester is that we can see light at the end of the tunnel and we know it isn't a train.  Only 3 more semesters and we'll have a college grad in the house!  I'm so proud of him.  He's such a hard worker and he does it all without a complaint.

Will has kindergarten testing on Friday and then he will start class the Tuesday after Labor Day.  He is so ready.  We've talked about school and he's shared a bit of his worries with us.  He's worried that his teacher won't like him, and he's nervous that he won't know anyone and won't have any friends.  We talked about how all of the kids feel the same way, and he seemed to do a bit better.  Will puts on a tough exterior sometimes, but really he's such a shy boy.  I think I'm just as nervous for him to start as he is!

My Annie.  Well, she's definitely three.  Lately she's all about telling us "No."

Me:  Annie, will you go put your toys in your toybox?
Annie:  No.
Me:  Will you come give Mommy a hug?
Annie: No.
Me:  You need to go use the bathroom!
Annie:  No!

You get the picture.  She has been pretty defiant lately.  She has been having an especially hard time with transitions (ie- leaving a friend's house to come home).  She usually starts screaming and telling me she doesn't like me and she doesn't want to come home with me, so that's fun.

At the same time, she is still a sweetie.  She loves to snuggle and sing songs.  She has the funniest little growl voice that she will use sometimes that gets everyone laughing.  She is excited about learning and I'm excited to have Mommy and Annie "School Time" when Will is in kindergarten.  Lots of fun things are in her future!

As for me- I've been really enjoying my porch swing and Pace bars.  Nothing beats watching my kids play in the afternoon while I swing away.  My current favorites include chips and salsa, cucumbers, the band Mumford & Sons, and preparing for the upcoming Red Rock Relay at the beginning of September.

You know what I'm looking forward to?

Cool nights.
Norah Jones on my iPod.
Sunday morning family bike rides.
Night running.

I love to see summer come, but I also don't mind to see it go, either.

Monday, August 13, 2012

The GREAT Nicoll Family

There's nothing like camping to bring everyone together!  We spent this last weekend at a campground just below Causey Reservoir with the extended Nicoll family.  We bonded over food, fishing, mud, rain, cards, photo scavenger hunts, and slideshows.

It's nice to be reminded that our family is awesome.  Eternity is going to be a blast.

Trennen Little and Annie

Mark Nicoll Grandkids: Will, Annie, and Thomas