Sunday at the park

This sunday we went to Tonaquint Nature Center for a little afternoon picnic and to see the turtles of which we love so much. The turtles are so cool and the park is so extremely beautiful! I love that it's safe but also seems like the wilderness so we can let the littles explore to their hearts content! This is definitely our favorite family outdoor spot now.



This year Jude got to go to the "BIG SCHOOL" which is the same Pre-School but the older class and a bigger classroom. Jude was incredibly confident and excited this year. He knew all about preschool this time and knew he was a big kid now. So cute! He even said to me the morning of school (in the most smug manor) "Everyone there is going to think I'm really cool." He was also quite opinionated about his outfit and would NOT let me choose what he wore. Also he was way too cool for pictures and only humor me for a few seconds just begging me to let him get in the car to go. (note the running out the door shot.)
I'm just happy he still wants to wear his little elephant backpack. He's still my little boy.

And for fun… here are some phone shots of him trying on his clothes the day before. I die!


Thoughts on routine, self doubt and FACEBOOK

This morning I was up making breakfast before the boys even arose. I had good music playing and morning sun shining through the kitchen windows - all while filling the home with good breakfast smells.
I have not been excited to kiss summer goodbye. I was really enjoying my slow lazy mornings. But today, it actually felt really good to welcome some routine back into my life.
Lately  I have been quit grumpy and feeling very trapped and bored staying in the house all day. (I haven't left the house much because it's so hot in the summer.) The simple act of dropping Jude at preschool made me feel so good. It felt so great to get out of the house in the morning and get moving. I have plans to drop Jude at preschool then head to the gym. I am nervous because I HATE exercising and can't ever seem to stick to a routine. This time however I am am thinking that the time Jude is at preschool isn't really enough time to do much anyway so i might as well fill it with healthy habits and take some ME time while Maxwell plays at the gym daycare. Jude goes to school three days a week so its not too bad anyway. I CAN DO HARD THINGS right!? *Sigh

This week it's just short days for Jude as they introduce him to class so they only kept him for an hour. I came back home and let max take a short nap and just sat on the couch enjoying the peace and quiet. Then thoughts started to creep into my head. Thoughts of doubt and poor me and life is hard and why can't it be this or why can't it be that. I know Satan knows my weaknesses. He knows I am guilt stricken and sensitive. He knows when I am alone I think far to much about silly little things… this is also another reason I want to fill my quiet time with the gym. I do not want to sit on the computer and do mindless activities while wallowing in self doubt. I don't want to let Satan in.

…Which brings me to another subject. Facebook.
I deleted my personal Facebook account about two weeks ago. (I kept my business page for advertising and exposure purposes.)
I can't even describe how amazing it feels to let that go. I was addicted to Facebook. I was on it multiple times a day.. reading, commenting, liking… comparing, self doubting, over-sharing.. etc.

Now, Believe me, there is so much I love about Facebook. I have built relationships on Facebook and created a wonderful group for mothers to reach out to each other and share advice. I have gained clients from Facebook and even gotten to know family members better through it. But! I was up to about 700 friends and it was getting to the point where I knew I was sharing Jude's achievements and what i had for lunch with too many people. I was also starting to feel an obligation to those so called friends. I felt bad if i didn't answer messages quick enough or respond to comments right away.

Then there was the comparing - it was getting bad. I started to feel less awesome because so and so made three loaves of bread and I don't even know how to make bread. Or another mother feeds her child only organic food and cloth diapers all her babies. "Should I be doing that?" And then there's photographers. Oh man! I was not happy for those photographers that were booked months ahead of time. I was getting major jealous of those photographers traveling all over the world for photo shoots. I knew that was wrong.
I was sick of second guessing myself and resenting others for their successes. I read a quote once that said something to the affect of "Others successes to not diminish yours." and it rang so true. I was assuming that if someone else was doing amazing things, that meant I wasn't. What on earth was I thinking? Wow! I'm embarrassed to even admit to this.

For me, I don't have a lot of self control. I can't just say I won't get on Facebook. I have to completely eliminate it from my life and so I deleted my account. When deleting my account I got a prompt saying "You are about to lose touch with all 723 of your friends" and I about died. The way they worded that just killed me. I LOVE people! I don't want to say goodbye to all of them! But I knew that Facebook was not the only way to have friends and that real relationships will continue without it.

So I deleted Facebook and it was kind of annoying at first. I couldn't get a hold of a few people I needed to get a hold of… I couldn't tag clients in photos on my business page anymore… I couldn't enter Facebook giveaways… hehe… but those things were nothing. NOTHING in comparison to what happened.

What happened was hardly noticeable at first…but it really happened. I started to feel free. And productive, and happier and less grumpy and less trapped. I started finding time to do more things I love. I was able to get more editing/work done and more craft projects around the house done. I started finding joy in the little things again and also didn't feel the need to share everything as much. Because I was feeling it to feel it and doing it to do it - not because it would be fun to share with my friends.

It was amazing! It still is amazing! I feel so great! I have no photographers in my face anymore. I am finding inspiration from within. I have no other mothers opinions haunting me and my own choices as a GOOD mother. And! I am spending WAY less time on my phone and I'm so glad for that… I don't want my children to ever feel like I prioritize my online relationships over them and the same goes for my husband.
I am embarrassed that I let Facebook consume me so much but I am glad to say that I have left that unhealthy habit behind! :)

Those are my rambling thought on Wednesday. XO Randi


Fun Video

I just wanted to share this great video that our friend Carson created for the School of Life Foundation. The boys and I are in the very beginning and it's so beautiful! Carson is the same one who made our family video of which I can't remember if i shared here before so here they both are. I am wanting a new family video bad! We will see if we can spring for it this year! :)


Gardner Family {Lifestyle} from We Are Roz on Vimeo.


Saturday Morning Pictures + The Talk Jude never gave.

Jude was assigned the talk in Primary a few weeks back. Whenever he is given an assignment he straight up refuses to do it. This time however, I told him about it and how he could write his own talk and he was so excited about it. The topic was pray - praying with your family so I quizzed him about prayer: When he prays, why, what happens, and how it makes him feel, etc. This is the talk we came up with the Jude literally made up himself. It was the cutest thing:

In my family we pray together before we eat, before I go to bed, and at church.

We also say prayers when we need help.

I said a prayer once when I was scared of the dark.

Heavenly Father helped me to not feel sacred by sending the Holy Ghost to comfort me.

I like to say prayers with my family because it makes me feel happy to talk to my Heavenly Father. 

We practiced this talk so much that he memorized it. We said it for my parents and for some friends and he was so excited. Then on Saturday we took the picture above of us praying and sent it to one hour photo. On Sunday we held up the picture and proceeded to start Jude's talk when he refused. He was already grumpy from falling in the hallway so there was no way we were going to convince him. 

So, I said the talk for him very awkwardly - since I was flustered and embarrassed from Jude throwing a fit in front of the entire primary. And that was that. Haha. I am still so proud of him for writing his talk and practicing it so well though and I know that 3 year olds can hardly be expected to not be scared in front of the whole primary.. 
 P.S. Maxwell loves wearing hats now so that's what is so fun for us about the other pictures - they were taken the same morning as the prayer picture so I included them.


Bloggy Blog Blog

I just wanted to say that I plan to blog a lot more again! I want to record our lives in writing better. I suspended my Facebook account in an effort to simplify and choose a better form of sharing… Facebook privacy was changing daily and making me feel a bit out of control and with the amount of sharing that I do, I felt it best to eliminate one form of social networking. Plus I foresee Facebook getting less and less used…

Also I am excited to get away from the millions of photographers on Facebook and draw inspiration from within!
This also speaks true for motherhood!

Rambling thoughts + Current stuff about us.

Every morning Jude comes into my room and yells "Get up! I'm hungry!" I convince him to crawl into bed with me where on a lucky day he falls asleep but usually Max squawks from his crib right about then and Jude pesters me to get up until I finally do. (Jude and I are super grumpy morning people. It's a good thing Maxwell is a pillar of light, otherwise this house would be a scary place at 8am. hehe)

Some days when I am extra sleepy or when the boys get up too early, I take them both into my bed and prop the pillows up for them and turn on PBS. Every morning, just says "do we get a show mom!?" And now Maxwell has started pointing the remote to the television and saying "Show!" Show!" I can't begin to explain how cute it is to hear a 16 month old say "Show."

Maxwell is picking up on a lot and understanding a lot! He knows his routine. He knows that after he eats, he gets to play. "play! play!" he says. He is such fun! He even took his first steps a few nights ago and we expect him to be walking soon!

Yesterday Max had some toys in his hand and I told him "Go put those away in your room and come back." I was in awe after he did exactly what I asked of him. Man! He is growing up so fast!

Jude returns to preschool in a little over a week. He will be in the big kids class so he is super thrilled. Trenton has been working away at their plumbing for our trade. What a blessing to send Jude to a top notch preschool for trade!

I'm not sure I have written about Trenton and his successes on this blog yet. He is now a Master Plumber and slowly pursuing his business "Independence Plumbing." He works at the county by day and nights and weekends he is plumbing houses. He is so busy all the time and even has to turn down work… and yet we are so poor because we are saving every last penny of his plumbing income.
I'm not gonna lie, it's not easy for me to be home all the time with little control over the income - while Trenton works his bum off earning money that we lock away. We are hoping in two years or so it will really pay off and we will be moving into our dream home with a YARD! (And no homeless shelter in sight mind you.)

I HAVE however been trying to pick up a little slack by earning a bit extra money working for a friend of mine who is a Realtor - doing simple marketing and office work from home. It's been tricky prioritizing it but I was extremely upfront with her about my schedule so she's been great to work for! My children will always come first for me.(Still I plan to work more as Jude goes back to preschool.)

I am also now specializing in Senior Portraiture. I decided to really push what I am best at and enjoy the most. I don't enjoy newborn photography or weddings much anymore but love senior portraits and family portraits. I decided Senior Portraiture was what I wanted to push most so I am running with it and its scary and things are different in my business now but I am hoping in a year, I will be more established in my area of expertise.

Our lives have had lots of strange twists and turns this year and our path is changing a lot, but as Trenton and I spoke of our differences last night we agreed that we don't have two different paths that we are trying to pull each other to but rather one new path that is even greater and works for our family perfectly! It's amazing what love can conquer. Love is really where it all started. Christ's love and sacrifice makes my each day possible and wonderful!


A Mother of Boys

I'm such a broken record, I know. I just can't seem to get over the joy I feel in mothering sons. I always always pictured a baby girl before I was pregnant but the minute I found out there was a little one growing inside my belly, I was sure it was going to be a boy. With the next one I thought he was a girl for sure because everything felt so different.. but another boy it was and I was completely over joyed at the thought of brothers playing cars together. Now, my dreams are real every single day. The floors of my home are filled with train tacks, trains, cars, and trucks.

I sometimes roll my eyes as I trip over the elaborate track creations on my bedroom floor but then I immediately remind myself how lonely my floors will be someday. I wouldn't trade clean floors for all this. Ever.

I feel as though I am always in a whirlwind of feeling thankful and sorry for myself simultaneously. These sweet boys are the sweetest most exhausting things I've ever known. They take every last bit of me and use it up and I love it.
I don't think I'll ever feel like I've completely got a handle on everything, but I wonder if anyone does. It's moments like these, watching little hands pull trains across a track as the evening light hits their perfect faces, that slows everything down and helps me remember all that truly matters. I am so thankful for these moments.


The Washington County Fair

 This year was so fun because Jude was old enough to go on rides alone and be excited about them - he was thrilled about the train ride especially! We even put Maxwell on a ride with Jude which was the most adorable thing ever! We also watched the figure eight races which was super fun and even the boys loved it!