Tuesday, June 19, 2018

10 years

Holy crap! It has been 10 years since Shark and I said YES across the altar. Oh my goodness, I am even MORE in love with him now than I was walking out of the Salt Lake Temple doors.
I never imagined that I would still get butterflies when he smiles at me. I never imagined that I would still get giddy when he holds my hand. I never imagined that I would still melt when he kisses me. I never imagined that I would still feel this way after 10 years. And still getting butterflies, still getting giddy, and still melting, after 10 years, makes me soooooooo excited for the next 10 years, 20 years, 50 years!
So much has happened in the 10 years of our Collard Family. We've had open heart surgery, baby #1, a pacemaker, baby #2, c-section, debt, no debt, more debt, moved to CO, moved to UT, bought a house, PPD, anxiety attacks, a kindergartner, vacations, trips to WI, funerals, weddings, births, deaths, stitches, broken bones, TV show appearances, MMA fights, paragliding flights, deer hunting, blades made, blades broken, new hobbies discovered, soccer games, tball games, karate performances, tumbling performances, preschool graduations, mohawks, birthdays, and so much more!
Honestly, these 10 years have been absolutely amazing. I have fallen more in love with Shark, and adding Danger and the Colonel to our little family has just grown that love to beyond whatever imagined possible. I love my eternal family and am so very grateful for my Heavenly Father, for all He has blessed me with. I am grateful that He knows me, and loves me.
10 years down, eternity to go!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Letting Go

Hey there. I know, it has been forever. More on all the happenings in the next post. I had some thoughts about the lesson in Relief Society today.

Today was our March Circle Discussion. (I love the circle, I think it's kinda difficult to do during the last hour, and I'm bothered when people sit outside the circle. Like, seriously? Just get into the circle.) Today we walked about Prioritizing Our Lives. The lesson drew insights and quotes from Elder Dallin H. Oaks' talk from April 2001 "Focus And Priorities" which is absolutely amazing!

One thing that has modern mothers (Mormon or not!) scrambling is pinterest. Seriously. With all those perfect houses and perfect meals, who isn't scrambling to add a little more perfection to their lives? Who didn't jump up and order an InstaPot on amazon as soon as those pins started filling up the news feed? And you know what? THAT'S OK! Honestly, if that's you, then own it, cuz you're awesome and trying new things to feed your family and learning/bettering a skill.

If you bought the InstaPot and realized it's not for you, THAT'S OK! Honestly. Just cuz something works for tons of other moms, doesn't mean it's going to work for you. There are tons of moms who don't "get" the InstaPot either.

 If you didn't even try the InstaPot cuz you really don't need ANOTHER unused kitchen appliance filling up your counter, THAT'S OK! Honestly! There are tons of moms who don't cook and whose children live off of cereal, hot dogs and string cheese and those kids are growing! (Trust me! I have pictures to prove it!)

The point is, what works for someone else, might not work for you. And that's ok. I can give you a list of skills I do NOT have, and for a while, being deficient in those skill sets bothered me, because what Mormon mom doesn't sing?! Well, actually, a lot of us don't sing. I realized that I was comparing my weakness to someone else's strength. And that's not fair, to me or her!

In our amazing discussion, on mother said, "I sew, that's my happy place. Sewing lets me just slow down and breathe. I helps me bring me back down so I can focus. If I don't sew, I go crazy!"

The mom sitting next to her spoke up too, "I think it's great that sewing is your skill, because sewing makes me swear. (we all laughed!) I tried to do all kinds of things, but I have had to slow down and figure out what things I could let go of to keep myself happy. I'm ok with not being a sewer or a cook. I don't cook, it's not something I'm good at. You'd be surprised how much cereal my kids eat."

And that hit me. "I had to figure our what things I could let go of to keep myself happy."


Like wow - wow - WOW!

That got me thinking of what things can I let of (for the sake of my happiness/sanity)? What things have I already let go of?

Another insight that was brought up was that we, as mothers, as women, as the wearers-of-many-many-hats, need to simplify! How much in our lives, in our homes, do we actually use or need? I'm pretty sure my home doesn't need 20 pairs of tiny shoes, especially when there are definitely favorites being played here.

What about in my life? What if instead of a  "TO DO" list with all the things I need to do today, what if I made a "TA DA" list with all the things I have accomplished so far today?! What if the focus wasn't on what I still needed to do, how far I still needed to go, but the focus was then on what I have already done, how far I have already come?!

Often times, I feel like a video game hero (Link for example!) who has to get to level 100 to win the game. I'm so focused on where I need to go next and what I need to do still, that when I do level up (I'm level 31 btw) the thought that crosses my mind is, "Ooh yes, my lives are refilled, I can now go fight the big mega-boss at the Academy." When my first thought should totally be, "Oh wow, look at all I have done to get to level 31. Wow. Keeping those 2 monkeys alive has been so rough on me. Look at my clothes, there are bite marks on my clothes! I can't believe I survived, but it looks like Someone wants me to win, Someone wants me here."

There is so much more to life than what we need to do next. Seriously. Take a moment, to sit back and just soak in how far you've come. Look at all you have accomplished. You, my sweet friend, are a rockstar. You're freaking amazing. Brush off those shoulders, cuz you are totally a boss.

Now, if you can accomplish all that you already have, if you can survive all of THAT (whew, and it was a whole bunch!) than you, my awesome, amazing, rockstar, can totally rock whatever is coming next. You got this. You got mad skills. You have skills that I don't have, you shine with your own light, and the world needs your light. So shine, rockstar, SHINE BRIGHT!

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Thoughts at 37,000 feet

So, as I sit here an a plane, somewhere over Nebraska, but next to my little and a very nice older man who Snapchatted the boarding process, I am thinking of Christmas with my family. Yeah, it's been a pretty rough, wild, crazy, and eventful 2017. So much has happened, and not all of it pleasant.

I'm reading a book on the plane, one I bought specifically so I could read it on the plane. I love the author, Gregg Luke, and I have become a fan of historical fiction, and a huge fan of LDS historical fiction, like retellings of the Book of Mormon. (Ok, they aren't retellings, they are just the same Book of Mormon stories, just with specific fiction details about the personalities of the characters.) I'm reading "The Hunter's Son" and I love it. A young Nephite is captured and sold into slavery. He keeps his hopes and his faith alive with the help of his friendship with another slave. Once they are separated, he spirals down to defeat and depression. He catches a glimpse of his reflection and doesn't recognize himself. He dives deeper into his life and thoughts and has an amazing discovery :

Just like following evil leaders, I knew that finding solace in sorrow broke the spirit, opening the door to emotional, spiritual, and even physical destruction... It had been a long time since I had opened my soul to God. I still believed in Him; I just didn't trust Him. I knew that God did not delight in the sorrows of men. But sometimes sorrow was the only thing that could bring us back to Him, because sorrow is a precursor to humility.


*I knew that God did not delight in the sorrows of men. But sometimes sorrow was the only thing that could bring us back to Him, because sorrow is a precursor to humility.*

This helped me to look inside myself a little bit, and I realized that I am NOT a humble person. Yeah, sometimes I can be, but for the most part, I like people to see all that I am doing, see how hard I'm working. And I can honestly say, that when I'm doing things for ME, for the show of it, I feel awful. But when I'm out doing things for others, I feel great.

So I guess, my word for 2018 is HUMILITY. 

I guess we'll just see how this goes.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Well, hello

Hi there. Soooooo, there has been alot that has happened in the past, what, year since my last post? Yeah. Lots and lots has happened. My boys just won't STOP growing! K1 is 6 now, like seriously! Oh, and he's like a giant, he's into size 7/8 clothes. Yeah. And K2 is still my little dude, he still looks like a little guy, he'll turn 4 in March, and he is finally into his 3T clothes. They are still the sweetest, cutest, most awesome boys in the whole world. I sure do love my boys. Shark is still working in Lehi, he's still making that drive. He's still a rockstar. :) I'm back in school, online school, but hey, it's still school. I had to take a step back and drop a few classes, apparently being a mom and taking classes is something I have to learn to juggle, and figure out something that works for me. I'm still figuring it out. Danger loves kindergarten, he has started to read everything, and he is learning soooo much! The Colonel is in his first year of preschool, and he is loving it, granted it's one day a week, and he's been sick for the past month, but he still loves it when he goes. Danger lost his 2 bottom teeth right around his birthday, and he is so excited. When he put his teeth under his pillow, he came down at 5am to show me what the Tooth Fairy had brought him. He thinks the Tooth Fairy is the coolest ever. She folded the dollar bill into a ring for his first tooth, and into a sword for his second tooth. He absolutely loves it, the Tooth Fairy has mad skills, even if it's just a single dollar bill. I absolutely love this family of mine. Last week, I was sitting on the couch after dinner, I was crocheting (of course!) and the boys were just playing with cars in the living room. The TV wasn't on, there was nothing to distract me or my boys. I got to sit and just watch them play together. I got to sit and appreciate the blessings that I have in my life. I know my having these boys is an absolute miracle, and I absolutely LOVE the quiet moments when that thought really hits me. It brings such a peace to me. I am so very grateful for these sweet things and beautiful blessings in my life. I love that I recognize them as blessings. :)

I know I have been missing for a whole, but I do plan to get back into blogging more often, you know, making it a regular thing again.

Here are a bunch of pictures....

Friday, December 4, 2015

Work in progress

So some days I feel like I totally rock the Mom Thing. Some days I feel like I totally fail. Like major "whomp-whomp"

I haven't been feeling like myself lately. Actually, I couldn't really tell you what "myself" feels like, cuz I'm pretty sure I haven't seen her in years. But in all reality, the past few months I've been a heat seeking missile with a very very short fuse, and I'm surrounded by 2 tiny volcanoes.

It's felt like anything and everything sets me off and when momma goes off the rails, oh man, you better buckle in. Shark says I'm "passionate" and very expressive, and when one emotion hits the whole tank needs to empty before another emotion can take over. Well, right now, anger, sadness, frustration and failure have humongous tanks.

Mostly anger. Yeah, that's got the biggest tank. Like freaking huge. Water tower huge.

And I'm very expressive. Ask my father in law how expressive I am during a Packer game. He got started and surprised at how I yelled at the TV. (I learned from the best football watching crew ever : my football crazy dad and uncles!) I yell. Apparently, that's my quickest reaction to everything.

Well, after taking Danger to preschool Wednesday, (after fighting him about going, and dragging his feet to find his boots, and put his pants on the right way, and then figuring out his underwear was on backwards too, and then his crying fit over not zipping his jacket, and then him having a meltdown in the car cuz he couldn't buckle) I was BEYOND frustrated. I think I yelled at him the entire 5 minute ride to preschool. Ugh.

I prayed the whole home about what to do, how to change him, how to teach him.

On the way back to pick him, I prayed again (or was it still?) but this time, as I prayed, it hit me. I was praying for the wrong thing. I needed to ask how to change myself, what I needed to do to change, to see it differently, to lead him.

I suddenly realized that I couldn't start with my children and expect that to change everything. The only way to change the way things are going is by starting with yourself.

I needed to treat my sons differently than I had been, I needed to show them love and kindness. I needed to give them an example to follow.

I discussed the new plan with Danger on the way home. Hugs and kisses, oh, and some Shaun the Sheep, please mom.

So Thursday was a day of kindness. Well, at least the morning was. There was tickling, and giggling, and laughing, and kissing, and running in circles, and chasing the dog, and lots of love. There was Ironman and Ultron and Hulkbuster. There was joy and kindness.

By Colonel's naptime I was starting to get irritated. But we had resolved/averted some issues with hugs and kisses instead of yelling and spankings. Danger seemed to be testing the waters, pushing the line. And after not helping to clean up his toys or put away his dishes this momma had tossed her hands up. (I had also had a rather sad trip to the store that sort of solidified my feeling of failure for the day.) So, Danger got to eat the ice cream he bought, and mom ate a cake in a mug with peppermint stick ice cream.

The afternoon did not pick up, although we did get the living room clean. Colonel got hold of an apple and proceeded to bite the skin off, only to spit it out. He did this to 2 apples. And lots of jumping on both couches left me feeling frustrated. I discovered that Colonel bit the tip off my tablet pen (the second one he's done that to) and I searched everywhere for it, and concluded that he ATE it. So I was sitting on the porch, literally, cooling off - both from frustration and from shoving my couches around in search of my tablet pen tip- when Shark got home.

I can say, I feel rejuvenated after my class tonight. It helped put things into alignment. Sort of readjusted my priorities. And I can see the results I want, and I can see steps of how to attain them. I know the plan will have to be refigured with each step, but I've got a battle plan to keep the anger, sad, frustration and failure away for tomorrow. We'll see about Saturday, but right now, I'm only worried about tomorrow.

Being a mother is hard, and some days I don't think I can handle it. I love my boys, and I love my husband. I love my Heavenly Father for blessing me with my family, and for calling me to be a mother. I also love Him for lifting me to the challenge that is being a mom, for making up the difference, for being ALL the difference! I've struggled with being a mom, and it's hurts my heart that some days I feel like I don't want to do it. But those boys cuddle and giggle and love me. For me, for who I am RIGHT NOW. I will never forget that. Ever.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

His Hand

Last night I was reading Ether 3: 4 And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea.
5 Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men.
I absolutely love this. It reminds me that we have been so very blessed by His power.
I know that my boys are miracles. They trully are. It's an absolute miracle that I was able to carry them, and bear them and deliver them. It's amazing that we are all healthy and strong.
I know they are miracles, but honestly, some days, some moments it is hard to remember that they are miracles. Those days, those moments are when they're running all over, tossing laundry across the floor, dumping out toy bins, and fighting. I am working on seeing the miracle at all times. I'm working on seeing past the physical, temporal, the meaningless.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Keep swimming

You know those days where you're at the end of your rope and its not even noon? (Heck, some days I don't make it to 10 and my boys wake up at 9!) Those days when the kids are goi g at it during breakfast and don't stop for a moment. The days where you sit in front of the TV all day and just let Sesame Street play on an endless loop because frankly, those Muppet puppets keep your children entertained when you just really don't feel up to it. You know those days right?

I have one of those days usually once a week, and never always on the same day. Like this week, today was that day, Tuesday was that day. It started good, everything was going good. We hung out with our neighbors for a while and then went shopping. Shopping always ends with 2 cranky boys and a frazzled momma. It was all I could do to keep the morale up, smiles going and the boys in the cart. 

Once home, everything erupted into a fit of tears and fists. Danger didn't want to go in the house, so I was leading him with my hand on his back. He hated going in the house but hated it even more when little brother started pushing him. He turned and shoved Colonel. Colonel got up fighting and started punching Danger. Danger got sent to his room with a swat on the tush, and Colonel also got sent to his crib with a swat on his tush. Momma also got sent to timeout. 

Sometimes everyone just needs a timeout, away from everyone else. Colonel ended napping, and once I explained to Danger that momma was in timeout he backed off and let me be in timeout. He was pretty cute when he asked "Are you still in timeout, momma?" 

Another thing that made today hard was Shark's schedule. He's been on this crazy project, and with our 2 week vacation coming up, he's been stressing. And his summer is ending, so his brothers have been making plans, but it seems like all their plans happen at night. Crawfishing. Frog hunting. So last night Shark, his brothers and Danger went frog hunting. So it was a late night for them. He's been exhausted lately and going frog hunting didn't help, but man, when they walked in the door, they were both smiling ear to ear. He was so happy.

Today Shark didn't get home until late. I have an app called Find My Friends, where I can track his phone. Danger and I "check the map" to see where daddy is on his way home. It's something that both of us do for fun as daddy comes home. Today I couldn't find Shark on the app, it never showed him, and suddenly he showed up at the house.

I was exhausted today, and just spent. Out of energy and out of patience. Heck I still am. But I've found some things to calm me down, help me collect myself.

I crochet.

I read.

I watch tv.

I like things that I can just shut my brain off and do. Now, I can't just sit and watch TV, my brain gets bored, so I usually crochet and watch tv. Reading allows me to shut my brain off to MY world and enter a new one.

Sometimes everyone just needs a break. Sometimes everyone needs to be given a break. Sometimes everyone needs to be reminded to take a break.

One thing I've learned : no matter how hard today was, the fate of tomorrow is NOT dependent on today. I can make tomorrow into something completely new.

Just keep swimming. Just keep trying. Just keep being.