Friday, April 29, 2011

the middle of kansas...

is where you would think we are. you would think we are on our way to oz.

i am so tired of the wind. seriously. like, it's just not fun anymore.

even for the most optimistic and cup-is-half-full people to ever live.

totally over it.

please go away wind...

Friday, April 22, 2011

lost it

totally lost it.

beth did not feel the need to have her extremely dirty diaper changed or want to get dressed for the day one morning this week and out of sheer frustration after trying to no avail to talk nice and make it fun and gentle reminders that we do this every dang day i just... lost it. and i yelled at her. yep, that's right yelled. at my one year old daughter who then looked at me with the most hurt, sad eyes ever and of course bawled her eyes out even more.

and right in that instant, i wanted to die. what in the H was i thinking??? she's one for crying out loud. yes, we do this everyday, and yes, we're in a rush and late (again), but she is my child. and she's one.

my heart wrenched inside me and my stomach tied itself in a billion knots. i picked up my naked little girl and held her and soothed her and apologized a hundred times over and wished i could wake up all over again and do the whole morning over.

she was clingy and sad the rest of the morning (all 15 minutes more that i spent with her before dropping her off) and it was the worst. i didn't want to drop her off that day. i wanted to hang out with her and make it up to her and love her all day. it was horrible.

now i'll be honest and say that i spent part of my work day that day looking for some inspiration and encouragement regarding motherhood and how important it is. i wanted/needed that reminder i think. well, i found some.

i came across several things, but some of the best words i found were by Elder Ballard. and in particular, this first paragraph:

There is no one perfect way to be a good mother. Each situation is unique. Each mother has different challenges, different skills and abilities, and certainly different children. The choice is different and unique for each mother and each family. Many are able to be “full-time moms,” at least during the most formative years of their children’s lives, and many others would like to be. Some may have to work part-or full-time; some may work at home; some may divide their lives into periods of home and family and work. What matters is that a mother loves her children deeply and, in keeping with the devotion she has for God and her husband, prioritizes them above all else.

I am impressed by countless mothers who have learned how important it is to focus on the things that can only be done in a particular season of life. If a child lives with parents for 18 or 19 years, that span is only one-fourth of a parent’s life. And the most formative time of all, the early years in a child’s life, represents less than one-tenth of a parent’s normal life. It is crucial to focus on our children for the short time we have them with us and to seek, with the help of the Lord, to teach them all we can before they leave our homes. This eternally important work falls to mothers and fathers as equal partners. I am grateful that today many fathers are more involved in the lives of their children. But I believe that the instincts and the intense nurturing involvement of mothers with their children will always be a major key to their well-being. In the words of the proclamation on the family, “Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).

We need to remember that the full commitment of motherhood and of putting children first can be difficult... There are moments of great joy and incredible fulfillment, but there are also moments of a sense of inadequacy, monotony, and frustration. Mothers may feel they receive little or no appreciation for the choice they have made. ...if the simple things are being tended to, a mother’s life can be most rewarding. The joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction.

Read the full talk here.

since then i've been much better. i learned that i need to slow down a little bit and enjoy my time with beth, all the time. not just when she's perfect (5% of the time). but i can tell that when i'm better, she's better. and that makes a big difference.

on a sort of unrelated, actually i guess it kind of is related in that it includes beth: yesterday as i was getting ready for the day she was playing the bathroom and of course got into everything. she managed to find my jewelry box and make up bag and just went to town. it so comical and so cute. she ended up eating a good portion of my lipstick (i never wear it anyway, so that was kind of a whatev...), hence the chunks of it near her mouth, but i just had to laugh. this girl is into everything. literally everything. every drawer, every cupboard, every bag, box, wrapper, container, hole that she can get her tiny little hand into, she will find and have at it. most of the time it's fine - we've done a pretty good job of baby proofing it up around here, and other times it's like, "are you kidding me? how did manage to find/get into/make a complete mess of that?"

but how can you not love it at the same time? things like this are what one year olds do! sigh...

good times. this weekend we are building our garden boxes getting them ready for planting in the next couple of weeks. hooray! i love that the man is so handy and can build all these wonderful things for me. pictures of this to come soon.

oh, and happy easter friends. i still need to go easter shopping. sheesh.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


the other day when i got home from work beth and i were playing before bedtime and she, of course, being the curious little girl that she is wanted to open every drawer and cupboard in the house. finding the utinsel drawer was like hitting the jack pot. she would pick one of them up, shake it around and try to figure it out for a bit, then hand it to me to see in what manner i would tickle her with it, or see what noise i could get it to make. then she would want to back have her own go at it again. her favorite were undoubtedly the tongs. the perfect grabber/tickler/noisemaker/toy with moving parts, she went back to those about every other minute. we could have sat there for hours and played with every gadget in the drawer, but alas, bedtime came and the fun had to end.

i love nights like these. i love the nights when i can leave work at work and come home and just hang out with the girl. work has been ultra crazy lately, and it has seemed hard to let it go when i leave and focus on my short time with beth when i get home. it bothers me when it's like that. i leave work (usually late, sorry wendy), rush to pick her up, rush to get her fed and ready for bed, play for what feels like 15 minutes, then it's off to sleep she goes and the whole night has been rushed to get those essential needs taken care of, rather than spending the quality time together that we should. that i need. not that the good nights like this don't ever happen, i just wish they happened every day that i worked, rather than say, 50% of the time. another reason i cherish the weekends. even if they're a little full and we're running around a bit, at least i'm with her all day. and i love that.

also. here is the update on my resolutions. january: finish the blanket - check. february: drop those last 10 blasted pounds - check. march: make the chocolate flan cake - check. and i must say, it was de-lish. especially after sitting in the fridge over night - long enough to get nice and chilled all the way through.

my nieces and nephew were in town and i made them help me make it. they were excited when i called it a magic cake - the layers flip flop when it cooks - and they were so unimpressed by it. it was awesome. their faces were literally, THAT's the magic? whatever, that is not even that cool. well... at least we had fun making it. :)

for the recipe, go here. and definitely go with the real deal: cajeta. not the american stuff. i also followed one of the commenter's recipe for real flan (found at near the bottom of the page), rather than go with the cream cheese version shown in the original recipe. really glad i did that, too.


Monday, April 11, 2011

his 29th

and a good weekend indeed. hank wanted to go skiing for his birthday, so we dropped beth off to hang with grandma and grandpa for the day while we hit the slopes. it was a bit windy, and the snow wasn't great, but we still had a really, really good time. hank is totally starting to tear it up on his skiis - he even hit a couple jumps and boxes. wish i would have gotten pictures of it... you'll just have to take my word for it, i guess. he really has picked it back up so quickly that at times i even have a hard time keeping up. not bad for his third time, eh? i think we're hoping to maybe get up one last time before the season ends... if so, i'll get pictures of his jumps and tricks then. in the meantime, here are a few from our day trip up the mountain.

happy birthday my love. you are the greatest father and best husband a girl could ever want. this last year has been spectacular - we have done so many fun things together just us, and as a family. here's to another good year before you join me in the geriatric ward! love you so, so much.

-your two girls.

Friday, April 8, 2011

her first

well here we are about to celebrate another birthday and i haven't even posted the poor girl's first yet.. so here it is (finally).

i had planned for this post to be a bit sentimental and imagined it being one of those where i kind of tell you how much i love her and all the great new things she's doing and how our life is bliss because of this girl (and believe me, it is)... maybe the reason it's taken me so long to write it, just didn't have the words yet... but i am telling you right now, that i will not be delivering on that vision. with the pressure on to hurry up and post before someone else's birthday rolls along on sunday, this will probably just be a recap of the day instead. sorry, boring.

her birthday fell on a wednesday, a terrible day (if i'm honest) for hank and i to really be able to dig in and celebrate it. he has school at night and doesn't get home until close to 8, which is just about the time she goes to bed. so we waited until sunday for the real festivities.

we had a couple friends over and had some dinner. then put the girl in her highchair in the middle of all of us, put a candle in her cupcake and sang. she was so confused and just looked at us like we were crazy. it was comical. what do you expect from a first-timer anyway? they don't know what's going on... as far as they're concerned the jokes on them with all those eyes staring at them and smiling real big.

but once we got past all that, and blew out the candle with a little help from me and hank, she dove right into her cupcake. knew exactly what to do with that. she ate all the frosting off the top, tore up the cupcake in the process, didn't eat any of the cake part, and totally loved it. she would laugh hysterically and eat - a little bit sugar high, no doubt - and all the kids there would crack up making her laugh even harder.

after the rest of us devoured our delicious cupcakes from this place we opened the two or three gifts us and the friends had brought over. and wrapped in bags of course, is there any other way to do it with a one year old? do they not all love pulling out that tissue paper?

she is super into beads right now, so that's what we got her. rephrase: she is super into draping things around her neck right now, so we got her beads because that seems to be her favorite thing to take off and on, 100 times over. it's pretty darling, actually.

she also got her one year shots yesterday and consequently the did all the other things they do at these check ups and gave me her stats. these, i would like to document for her first birthday:

31" tall - 80th%

23lbs, 2 oz - 75th%

and in a couple weeks when i have some stunning pictures of this little girl who is certainly no longer a baby anymore, i will post them and the accompanying sappy thoughts that were meant for this one. the weather is warm, we are spending good time outside, and i am excited to start snapping away again in good light. even though this is a late post, i want one more time to say to my little girl,

happy first birthday beth!!!

we love you so so much.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


hank affectionately calls this picture: me, my girl, and the terminator

whoa. march is over. it seems like it came and went in the blink of an eye. but it was a really good, full month. spring/summer finally came and, as you can see, we managed to get out quite a bit. woohoo! we were a little worried beth wouldn't be havin it in her backpack now that she's mobile, but she loves it! it's awesome.

now that daylight savings is here we go on walks after work which i love. i love that i am getting time with my girl outside. winter is hard that way. winter kept us inside, and low on the ever essential vitamin d. i am so happy that the days are just getting longer and longer, giving us more time to play together outside on warm evenings.

we celebrated a special birthday and are still in disbelief at how quickly the last year has gone by. craz-i-ness. i'm starting to believe people when they say it only gets faster. i don't like the notion, i am just starting to believe it. we had a few friends over, ate mini cupcakes and watched little beth get excited over a couple small gifts. separate post and pictures of this event to come.

hank and i got to go skiing, which was epic (why in the world did we wait 4 years - and until after we had a kid - for that...?! honestly.) didn't get any pictures of this - really, really wish i would have - but now that hanks gone once, he's hooked and dying to go again, so i'm sure there will be other opportunities for that in the near future. yesssssssss!

and i'm getting a sales coordinator at work!!!! most of you have no idea what that means, but just know this: my life will be made 100 times better with this addition to my team at work. let me rephrase that: my life will be 100 times better now that i will have a team at work. i will no longer be the only person in my department. it's like having a super-assistant. i am so super stoked about this. to have help is going to be so rad. like, so rad. and as a result, i am also moving offices. my office is going to the coordinator, and i am going to a much larger office kind of far away. i get to pick out all new furniture and really make it my own. sweeeeet!!!

there are also buds on all the trees which makes me really happy. pretty soon everything will be green again! i am also considering myself a green thumb genius - after going 4 years with nothing being able to grow in our little flower bed out front, i finally have 18 tulip plants coming up and one of them even has a flower already budding through. again, an epic acheivement for the van ordens.

we all (and by that i mean beth and i) have finally gotten over our seemingly eternal colds, and back to our healthy selves again. thank goodness. we are all happier when we are healthy.

everyday, and particularly the days i manage to get outside and play, i think to myself how much i love fort collins. and how much i never want to leave. it is honestly the perfect place for us. it has exactly everything we want, everything we need, and our lives here are fantastic just so rich. and now we are getting a temple!!!! i cannot express my excitement at this announcement! our perfect place literally could not get any better now. i dread the day we have to leave. maybe we'll never have to....

ps: my favorite thing about today was: it was a windy day and as we were getting out of the car once hank said to beth, can you feel all that wind beth? tell mommy that i'm the wind beneath your wings....

so cheesy i wanted to DIE. yet it also left me totally cracking up.