Friday, January 18


I still miss Ohio.
I try not to think about it much.  It makes me sad.
Not because life here is horrible, because it is great.  (and lets face it I could not have survived the last 7 months without my mom and dad's help)  We are blessed with family and friends and opportunities we may otherwise not have had, but I still sometimes miss Ohio.
We really grew there.  We really grew together as a family and learned to rely on one another and how to survive on our own.
We learned the true meaning of a ward family and grew to love the members of our congregation.
We learned how to be poor and still be happy, really happy.
We learned the true meaning of being lonely and sad.  But on the flip side we learned how to make friends, really good friends, and then what it meant to feel fulfilled and truly happy.
We learned how to sacrifice.
We learned how to be a cohesive unit, a strong family.
And Ruby learned to climb trees.

I remember the day she learned to climb a tree.  I coached her along a bit but ultimately made her do it herself- and get down herself.  And she did.  I could feel the excitement within her.  That feeling of empowerment.  That she could do anything and was on top of the world.  It is an experience I want her to have everyday.  I want her to feel empowered every day-  like she can conquer the world and do any righteous thing that she desires.  It was within the same week that I ran my first 5 miles.  I had been running 3 miles consistently and really wanted to push myself- so I did.  I felt that same sense of empowerment- I really could do anything.  I was in  charge of my physical body, not the other way around.  I could train and run and do whatever I wanted.  I could push myself and achieve my goals.
I guess that is why I am missing Ohio- I associate those feelings with our time there.  We all learned a great deal about ourselves.  Ruby comments on how she misses our trees.  I do too.
But I also know that we will find more trees to climb here, more things to conquer and overcome, other ways to feel empowered.
Life is pretty consistent that way.
But I will forever miss Ohio, the friends that we made there, the fun times that we had there, and the trees in our backyard.

Saturday, January 12

Good Deeds

Today brought me drama.  Car and snow drama.
One thing after another drama.
The kind of drama that has you asking two questions- 'Really?'  and 'What's Next?'
It began with a crazy snowfall.  Like 2 feet of snow.
Then Justin was taking Ruby to school and got stuck outside the house.  Mom and I didn't notice and luckily some guy came by and pushed Justin out and Ruby got to school and Justin got to work.
Then the time came for me to get the Rubes from school so I decided that I would take Noni since it was his birthday and I never take him and he really wanted to come.  
So I rushed and got him ready- which can be quite the feat especially when it is so cold outside.
We went outside and the first thing Noni does is walk into the huge snow bank.
He fell in all the way up to his chest.  It looked fun but he wasn't wearing snow pants and was covered in snow.
I grabbed him as quickly as I could and wiped him off then put him in his car seat.  He immediately started crying because the cold snow was touching his skin so I went to start the van to get it warmed up for him.
The van won't start.
Try again, nothing.
Just clicks.
Of course.
So I haul poor Noni back into the house, break the bad news to him- call Justin and go back outside.
By this time I am going to be late to get Ruby so luckily Justin's 230 appt didn't show up so he was able to run and get Ruby.
In the mean time I hopped in mom and dad's car so I could meet Justin at his work and get Ruby.
I was a little bit worried about getting stuck but thought I would go for it anyway.
Well- what do you know.
I get stuck.  Things were looking good.  I thought for sure I would be fine.  Sadly, I was not.
So I call Justin.  Of course.
He says he will keep Ruby at work until I can get there or until the end of day- whichever comes first.  At this point I'm thinking end of day.  The hard part is I am stuck in the middle of the road at an angle- leaving minimal space for anyone wanting to get around me.
So I kept trying to get out.  I shoveled, I rocked, I looked, I waited and tried again, I prayed.  
Still I did not get out.  
So I sat and waited a bit.  Tried again.
Still nothing.  In the mean time I thought my screen filter was on because my screen seemed dark so I pressed the screen filter button and it turns out that it wasn't on and I turned it on.  Now I cannot see my phone screen- which seems rather minimal but when I am trying to communicate via text with justin and I can't see my screen it is rather maximal.  I can't even see my screen to turn my screen filter off.  It was sad.
Finally a glimmer of hope.  A truck had driven by twice while I was trying to get out and I thought for sure that it would stop and someone would help me.  Turns out- no.  
But another good Samaritan did show up.  He couldn't get me out himself- he tried, I will give him that.  Luckily someone else saw our distress and came to the rescue.
I finally got unstuck and then the awkward moment came.  
You know the moment- these two guys have helped you get out- something you are grateful for and really should stop and thank them for but if you stop then you will most likely get stuck again and look like an idiot so you do the awkward wave out the window with a thank you yell to follow.  Sadly it doesn't truly show your gratitude to its full extent but what am I to do?  I just hope they felt my gratitude.
I went and got Ruby from Justin's work, we tried on a few glasses and headed home to finish Noni's cake and get the pizza dough ready.  
We had survived and Ruby got picked up in time and I learned a valuable lesson- Always stop and push people out of the snow, it will be appreciated even if they just wave and yell out the window to say thank you.
It was also this kids birthday- and this kid is awesome!  He fills my day with joy and mischief.  I really love him.  I see that sweet face and I just feel glad to have him around.  I can't believe that he is 3.  We had a little family party with him.  I will fill you in later.  But it included butt-staches.... of course.  You've never heard of a butt-stache?  Well stay tuned my friends, stay tuned...

Friday, January 11

Rainbow ButtStache.

January brings to us a new year and a special little guys birthday.

Justin Myers Snell turned 3.
THREE!  Can anyone believe it?
This little guy is so incredibly adorable he can just about get away with anything, and he tries.
I can just see that mind of his working and I love it.
He brings so much joy and excitement into our family.
I cannot believe what a big boy he has become.
He is always reminding us that he is not a baby anymore.
He is strong and loves to wrestle.  If ever he falls or gets hurt it is a rare occurance to see him cry.
I am really having a hard time putting into words how much I love him and how awesome he is.
He is AWESOME and I LOVE him.
He is super chatty and has his own special way of pronouncing certain words-  which I think is awesome.  Luckily we have Ruby the interpreter in our family.
Noni loves planes and the outdoors and snow and running and wrestling and Ruby and now his baby brother  whose name he frequently forgets.
He has mastered the art of unders and prefers to wear only them the whole day.  Anytime I put clothes on him he asks 'where are we going?'
He is sweet and lovely and wonderful.
We are so glad to have him in our family.
This year for his birthday I decided to make him a mustache cake.  We were going to have some family over but everyone got sick so it was just us this year.  I found an awesome cake on pinterest that I wanted to make- it looked easy and all i required was a circular cake pan.
Well we don't have one.
So I thought I would just do a rectangular cake pan and cut my own mustache shape out of it.
That is how the 'Buttstache' was born.  (Lovingly named by Ruby)

It was a monstrosity of a cake, in fact I am ashamed to admit that I even made that...  Perhaps the ugliest thing I have ever seen and rightfully named I am sure.

Despite its outward appearance it was delicious- therefore teaching a valuable lesson- never judge a cake by its appearance....

Eldon wanted in on the action too.

Doesn't he have a sweet little face?

Thursday, January 3


Eldon James was born on December 28th at 848 am.  He weighed 10 pds 15 ozs and is incredibly cute.  Ruby and Myers love him too.  They aren't huge fans of the crying but they still really love him.  Ruby complains that she can't stop looking at him because he is so cute.  Noni has asked for him to go back in my belly a few times but he really shows great brotherly love to him.  Maybe a little rough but love none the less.  Myers will only call him baby and Ruby will only call him Eldy, in fact she corrects me every time I call him Eldon.  I find myself calling him noni more than anything.  He is changing every day,  he turns one week tomorrow.  I can't believe it.  We feel so blessed to have him in our family!


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