Tuesday, July 22, 2014

i am 25.

this weekend was my birthday.
i just thought i'd tell you how old i am in the title for fun.
i often go to ppl's facebook and try to see when they graduated high school or wtv to calculate their age. i'm getting to the age where some people are touchy about asking how old they are. so i am a detective.
and some 25 year old look 15 and some 25 year olds look 35. so anyways- sidetrack.

this post is  a little about my birthday and  a lot about other things.

my parents left this morning and i miss them so much already. i plan to take a trip with capri this fall when chase is in school and spend some good time with them. but still. and at least i have new york on thursday to look forward too! every hour is planned out and we are stoked!!
and a birthday date with my cousin lauryn tonight!!
anywho- capri finally warmed up to my dad these last two days before he left. classic. ha. and capri was always whigging out and reaching for my mom. they are really great grandparents and my kid(s) are some lucky ones.


And now that I've complimented them so well- let's show some less perfect moments. I wrote some notes down of the funny stuff that has happened over the last three weeks. 

Dad: Michele, I love you so much. 
Mom: I don't get it. 
hahaha. well that's a healthy relationship! 
Mom explains afterwards that she figured he was saying that bc he wanted something..... hahah.

Grant told me that when you curl your tongue and pull it back in your mouth- that's how you make the three leaf-clover tongue thing. You know what I'm talking about? Anyways- so i've been practicing and sometimes i am ALMOST doing it.
One time as I was practicing, my mom just walks by and says: "You are NOT doing it. You are NOT doing it." what encouragement. 

We are watching the world cup. Brazil vs. Germany. One of the blonde German players was on the screen and Grant and I spoke at the same time. 
Marissa: The blonde is CUTE!
Grant: Hey, that blonde guy looks just like me. 
We look at each other. Awkward.....

Taryn and Caleb were changing in my cousin's hotel room and my cousin is on a tea-tox (detox diet with tea) and they were reading the ingredients and the first ingredient is GUN POWDER (no joke!) 
and Caleb says: You drink the gun powder and it blows up your fat! 

I give Capri bananas in her munchkin food feeder (google it). It's like a paci with netting. You put the food in it and then they don't choke as the food seeps through the holes. I mainly do it for capri bc she is weird about texture. She won't eat little bites of bananas but will eat the bananas in the food feeder. Anyways. 
Caleb looks over at her and says: What is she eating?
Me: A banana
Caleb: That's not a banana.
Maybe you had to be there but he was serious. He thought he had to tell me that the munchkin food feeder wasn't a banana......

I'm glad I will have these memories written down, even if they aren't that funny to you. Moving on. 

My mom gave me this game called "Telestrations" and it's basically the game pictionary and telephone combined. I'm obsessed. 
You are given a word. Draw it. Pass it to the next person. They write the word of what you drew. The next person draws that word. Then the next person writes what they see. And it gets all messed up by the end. Some serious belly aches from all the "talented" drawings and hilarious guesses. You must buy the game!
Examples:
first I drew this. a platypus. right? chase guessed it right and wrote the word platypus.
dad drew this........

i think it was taylor next. who put beaver. valid guess for this masterpiece. 

then mom drew this......
a vampire beaver or squirrel.... she forgot what buck teeth looked like. aka mom's drawings are always the best. another round the word was bumble bee and this was mom's drawing........
no wings. no antennas. one of the easiest, most classic images and this was her best. (i show ppl on my phone) and you can always hear her in the background shouting..... well did dad guess it correctly or not? hahaha just bc my dad knew she was trying to draw a bumble bee doesn't mean the drawing was legit. it just means my dad knows my mom really well :'D

another great drawing by tar of a big horned sheep. i admit that that animal and specific label is a tough one.

and my cousin, bryan's picture of a wallpaper...... obviously the next person didn't stand a chance at knowing what this was. so they wrote hail storm. 


so we played a lot of games this weekend. had a fam bonfire last night in the canyon.
we also had my birthday and a family wedding this weekend.
saturday night, chase took me out for a nice birthday date. we had indian palace food. my fav!
walked around center street until our showing of Comedy Sportz started (it was my first time and chase and i were laughing hysterically the whole time and i even volunteered for a skit. we will be going a lot more often and invite some others for double, triple, quadruple dates bc we want everyone to enjoy! oh laughter and clean humor is a treat!) . we went to rita's afterwards for dessert and drove to a park and stargazed. 
thanks to my parents for babysitting capri.
also, on our walk along center street we also explored the new temple, a vintage store aka Unhinged (i got a spoon ring that i love!), 
and toured the nuskin building. we couldn't stop talking about the bathrooms. they had a thousand hi-tech features and they were just spiffy. 

chase did an excellent job on my birthday and i loved spending time with him


he wrote me a great birthday letter (this is a random text that i saved) but it went something like this. 

also- in my letter he was teasing me bc i have mentioned multiple times that sometimes i feel bad for Satan bc he can't repent and his future is super sucky. and i was laughing when chase read that part to me (he was complimenting my compassion and forgiveness) but then we got to talking and I said- i feel bad for God too bc I'm sure God still loves Satan and wants to forgive him but he can't because he has to abide by his laws and Satan knew all and still tried to break the commandments. and it got into DEEP doctrine and if you aren't LDS (mainly Shelby Yates bc i know she reads this)- then this will confuse you but in a nutshell= we believe Satan rebelled against God during life before Earth was created and God banished him. but anyways. for all you LDS (or non-LDS ppl too i suppose).... here is a question for you. Do you think God still has love for Satan? in a way a dissapointed father still loves his son.... let me know what you think. 
he also got me some flowers and this hand crafted jewelry box- he ordered it and it's coming. pics posted  soon i'm sure.

it was an awesome bday and i'm happy with where my life is at now that i am 25! a quarter of a century!

and my cousin got married on my birthday so there was good food, family, and dancing. a perfect birthday!
congrats bethany and charles!

and during the receptions is started pouring rain...... these knuckleheads made a pact to sit out the whole rainstorm..... ha.
luckily it stopped raining and they pretty much dried by the time we got in the car to go home. 

and some dancing.

and two videos of capri and her tricks. and proof of how much she was loving her grandma schroedter. 
and yesterday capri started playing peek-a-boo and covering her eyes and i'll video that soon and i'm definitely an obsessed mother. ok. i'm outie. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

sunshine

today i'm focusing on the sunshine even though my natural tendency is to be kind of crazy. (maybe i am pregnant bc i feel so nuts-o, but i hate that crutch. but then again- a girl can dream about the prego part. i don't want to know either way until after new york bc i don't need any excuse to feel plane or car sick.) 
oh these crazy emotions. i know they won't go away over night. it's been about 8 months of them encroaching on my sanity. but i feel better every time i conquer them. and i don't mean to alarm ppl by admitting i feel a little unstable. i just want to be too honest and share. so i will. maybe it will bring comfort to other women feeling that they're postpartum hormones are lasting forever or women who are trying to adjust to the stay-at-home life where they are alone 90% of the time. 
daily gospel time is a must. and i always feel more grateful after. so i decided to take visual pics of things i am grateful for.  
counting blessings helps. 
i love my sister's book list (it will take me five years to go through it) and i love going to the local library!
whoever invented the public library system = genius.
i also love reading books with annie or others at the same time so we can discuss. it's not an official book club but it works.  

grateful to chase, my aunt arlene, and steven for making this happen. we tossed our old futon (it has broken over 5 times) and got this beauty at DI. I'm in the process of deep cleaning it and we love it! 

grateful for capri's hearty appetite and the fact that her hair looks like a whale today.

i love getting calls from chase or cody to "hurry and look at your window" about this couple. 
i see them multiple times a week. they are always jazzy'ing around and headed for the gas station or to the park. I've been monitoring their patterns and they seem to ride around 2:30 and 6:30 pm. The man steers them both and they constantly pause to kiss and hug. Next time I see them I'm going to go talk with them. Why not?! 
And when I snapped this pic- Chase whispered, "it's just like our love." hahaha I don't know what that means but I think they're cute so I guess his comment was cute. 

getting this pic message from my brother. roller coaster ride at seaworld. :'D 
i received it when i was sitting in a chuck-a-rama booth alone with capri. i probably looked insane but i couldn't stop laughing. 
and chase wonders why the schroedter children fear roller coasters until they're about 15 or 16 years old. hence. 

last night we stayed up till past midnight looking at google maps. it was so fun to see where chase walked in brazil - we even saw two missionaries on the google maps but it wasn't him. he was even in that area when the map was dated and recorded. crazy! 
and then i showed him some singapore pics. this was my bff's house! oh mary, so many memories.

and good friends. old and new. it's important to have people you can relate with, laugh with, and feel validation from. 



Monday, July 14, 2014

Perfectionist

Today, I have been feeling blue. It's been happening more than I can publicly admit and it's easy for me to blame it on postpartum troubles or on Chase.
It's not just waking up on the wrong side of the bed, but it has been months of too many bad days.
I have had great memories and great moments over these past months and that's an obvious observation (aka what I post on this blog is full of love and eternal worth). It's crazy to feel down in the dumps when there is so much to be grateful for and so much goodness in my life, right? But there is definitely something going on with me. I almost feel like I have no control over these spiraling emotions.
It is a strength of mine and a weakness of mine that I strive for perfection.
I have controlling tendencies and a standard of perfection. I expect perfection from myself, my spouse, my friends, and my life. It is ridiculous. We live in an imperfect world and I am not perfect.

However, we have hope because we can become perfect in Christ.

I decided that I needed to feel that inner joy that only can come from within your own heart as you feel God's love. So I told myself that I would sit on my bed until I was able to feel that happiness.
I had my scriptures, my ensigns, my journal, my marriage book, my recreational novel, my old mission letters from chase, my patriarchal blessing, and other goodies- I was not budging until my heart opened and let in the Spirit (of course I did have to get up for the doorbell and phone- i am on shift after all). But this hiatus from distractions made for an incredible afternoon.
And Capri cooperated quiet nicely by napping for the last 2 hours and she is still snoozing away.

I didn't know exactly "what" was wrong, but I want this rough patch to end and the only two sources that can make that happen are myself and Deity.
I started off with a prayer spoken out-loud of gratitude and yearning before I turned the pages searching for my answer.
The chapter I read in Alma was enlightening, the visiting teaching message was great, my journal entry was uplifting, my patriarchal blessing spoke to me, and then i reached this article in the Ensign and I truly know my prayers were answered.
I don't feel as lost and hopeless after this gospel study. I heard God's voice and now know how I need to improve.

I hope this article (Becoming Perfect in Christ by Elder Gerrit W. Gong in this July 2014 Ensign) can be an answer to your prayers as it most definitely was to mine.

I would read the WHOLE thing with a prayer in your heart but these are the words I especially needed to hear:

A misunderstanding of what it means to be perfect can result in perfectionism—an attitude or behavior that takes an admirable desire to be good and turns it into an unrealistic expectation to be perfect now.             
Perfectionism sometimes arises from the feeling that only those who are perfect deserve to be loved or that we do not deserve to be happy unless we are perfect.

.......

We also impose expectations of perfection in our own homes. A father or mother may feel compelled to be the perfect spouse, parent, homemaker, breadwinner, or part of a perfect Latter-day Saint family—now.
What helps those who battle perfectionist tendencies? Open-ended, supportive inquiries communicate acceptance and love. They invite others to focus on the positive. They allow us to define what we feel is going well. Family and friends can avoid competitive comparisons and instead offer sincere encouragement.
.......
Of course, we should consider qualities we desire in ourselves and in a potential spouse. We should maintain our highest hopes and standards. But if we are humble, we will be surprised by goodness in unexpected places, and we may create opportunities to grow closer to someone who, like us, is not perfect.
.......
The wait for a perfect spouse, perfect education, perfect job, or perfect house will be long and lonely.
......
For those who may feel chronically burdened or anxious, sincerely ask yourself, “Do I define perfection and success by the doctrines of the Savior’s atoning love or by the world’s standards? Do I measure success orfailure by the Holy Ghost confirming my righteous desires or by some worldly standard?”
For those who feel physically or emotionally exhausted, start getting regular sleep and rest, and make time to eat and relax. Recognize that being busy is not the same as being worthy, and being worthy does not require perfection.5
.......
For those prone to see their own weaknesses or shortcomings, celebrate with gratitude the things you do well, however large or small.
......
Where needed and appropriate, seek spiritual counsel or competent medical attention to help you relax, develop positive ways to think and structure your life, reduce self-defeating behaviors, and experience and express more gratitude.6
I will start being more grateful now! I am grateful for all my temporal blessings: two jobs that support this family, the bright future through a college education, a comfortable house, transportation, good budgeting, and family vacations. I am grateful for the love and persistence of Chase. He cares for me every day no matter my crazy. We have the most beautiful daughter that fills my heart with pure love. We have the ability to have more children and give all our love to our family. We have a HUGE extended family that we both love and enjoy spending time with. I am grateful for my in-laws and he is grateful for his. I have a strong physical body that can do anything I put my mind to. We live in a beautiful state with beautiful mountains and outdoor activities. 
As I sit here with all this gratitude, I can't imagine ever feeling depressed again. But i can't replace my controlling habits overnight, so I'm sure I'll be here tomorrow and the next day waiting for those happy thoughts and grateful reminders to envelope me again. This gospel is the way to a happy life and I am so grateful I believe, know, and absorb the love that God has to offer. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

2014 Ross family reunion

Every year we have a Ross (my mom's side) family reunion and a different sibling is always in charge of it. This year, my mom was in charge of it. We were all put to work and everything came together! A fun one for sure!
Chase and I did all the games and activities.
Taryn and Tay did the little kid craft.
And Mom and Dad did everything else (aka a lot of work!)
But it was a smashing success!!

And we are exhausted. Chase, Capri, and I all took a 3 hour nap this afternoon when we got home. With Mt. Timp, bubble ball, working, and three days of outdoor activities- we were spent! But it was (once again) worth it!

canoeing, kayaking, jumping (attacking) fish, lake fun! 
with all four of us- the canoe was TOO deep in the water



 a little hawaiin charades. aka you spell words with your butt. so entertaining. i wish i had a video of lauryn doing it! she was the champion! 

the kiddo craft! and these cute twins!

chase was beloved by the younger cousins. 

slip-n-slide fun




and we did so much more!!!
cornhole
ladderball
dodgeball
the body hoola hoop
volleyball
water balloon toss
capture the flag
the sign game
cards
food food food
family bingo
the candy wrap
the scavenger hunt
the auction
three-legged race
tug-of-war
family trivia
hiking
ETC.

I feel really blessed for my family and our time together!!

Grant enters the MTC!

This was a happy, sad, weird, amazing day!!! I am so proud of Grant and his decision to serve the Lord. I will miss him so much, but these two years are vital!
I am grateful to have the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that our church has full-time missionaries to share that with the world. I value my mission days so much and know how much they can change you and others. Grant is going to have the time of his life in Madagascar! I need to bake him some MTC treats this weekend! I'm on it!

face timing his sweetheart before he entered the MTC

his last selfie on an iphone for two years!

proud parents

the crew minus taryn (the photographer)

these two!! they both have a twinkle in their eye!
 i've melted- get a sponge to mop me up!



brothers! minus garr. 

and then things got weird.
of course they did.


and the world is so funny- 
bc grant's singapore friend Elder Brenner and our family friend we lived with in Indiana were his host and volunteer guide! What a small world!! 



BRING 'EM HOME, ELDER SCHROE!!!