Wednesday, December 03, 2014

My totally cliche new year resolutions

Funny thing about cliche's right. They become cliches in the first place because they are so common.

Not very long ago I had such specific goals. They incorporated ass facets of living. Emotional, spiritual, physical, mental and something else I can't remember. But you know what, I simply don't have the motivation for all that. I could say I don't have the time but I probably do. I mean, If I REALLY REALLY wanted it, I could. Instead, I will shout from the rooftops that I just don't want to do it.

I have been reading this book by Sheryl Sandburg called Lean in. It really isn't anything new. I enjoyed the stories and some advice she gave. Other things I really disagree with. However, I do recommend every woman and man to read it. McKay actually recommended that I read it. Early on she attacks the idea of "having it all". She says simply that if someone claims to be able to do it all or have it all, they are lying. I am lucky enough to NOT get weighed down by comparisons in that respect. By vice is comparing my body... not to others per say, but to the time in my life when I was in my best shape ever. Such a dumb thing for anyone to ever do. But I do it. I'm working on NOT doing it.

That's not my point. My point is, er, was--- that goals need to be realistic. And I am totally okay with simple and realistic. Will I get up at 5am and go run then come home and make breakfast and then drop off my perfectly coiffed children to school? Nope. That will probably never happen and for a lot of people, that is not even a big goal. Its probably something people do every day in fact. But for this mama who HATES mornings, it really is all I can do to get up 30 minutes early to read the Book of Mormon.

What I am trying to say (and failing miserably) is that goals should not be something that gets you down. They SHOULD be challenging and they should stretch you, but lets be easy on ourselves.

A while ago I wrote a post about our family rules. It was discussed, pondered, prayed, discussed again, analyzed and even agonized over. FINALLY, we got our 6 family rules. Simple. Do-able. In like fashion, here are my six goals for 2015

1. Run a 10k in under 60min. Thats about 9.4mile. schedule here
-sub goal is a Triathalon w McKay
2. Study the Book of Mormon for 30min each morning
-sub goal: read with kids and McKay each day
3. Stay in budget actually, i am pretty good about this anyhow but its a good goal to keep
-sub-goal: travel to a foreign country sans kids (probably Europe)
4. Read a non-fiction once a quarter I LOVE fiction. I really do need to branch out though
5. Be a better friend Sounds very general. But, I do have a plan that involves sending birthday cards, calling up friends and family monthly, having people over for dinner etc
6. Say YES a whole lot more I just really want to recapture that girl I was before marriage and kids. I want to be up for adventures instead of worrying so much.

Well, what do you think? What are your goals, as cliche as they may be? Goals can become a lot like family photos... there is A LOT of work that goes into getting one that works.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Senior photos

Over Thanksgiving I was able to take a few senior photos. This was my first time and I LOVED it.

And then it was Eli's turn:

Who knew a parking garage would hold such promise?!?! I loved taking these photos because we were able to be pretty creative and to also work together and create some memories. 

Thank you Alex and Eli! Congrats class of 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Its taken 7 years to go through a big box of salt

Today I decided we were going to make peppermint playdough. I got out all the ingredients only to discover that I was out of salt. WHAT?! That has never happened in my whole married life. But it did today. That meant no playdough. It also means we better get to the store so we can keep with tradition. Today is a big deal

8 years ago, I waited in my kitchen at college for this neighbor boy to show up. We were going to make pies. He said he was taking a class and they made a really yummy apple pie. I wanted to make my favorite chocolate raspberry pie.

I had no doubt he was NOT going to show up. That was the kind of guys I seemed to get asking me out. The flaky ones.  I was wrong w him. 

Now today marks the day that McKay and I had our first date. Traditionally, we have made our respective pies each year.

Its been a fun thing to share as we have grown in our marriage. Sometimes perfect pie night is something that I do not look forward to. Its usually the days that are busy and the house is a mess--well, I am usually a mess. But I've been really trying these past few weeks. Thanks to our family rules and making a bigger effort to read my scriptures each day, life is really really good for me. And it all started with perfect pie night.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


I saw this on pinterest. Here is the link. Maybe I will make this a standard weekly event. Maybe...
The concept presented is an easy and quick way to document what is going on in your life. With this year quickly ending and a new one beginning I already have a few goals in sight. The thing is, I feel like if I start all these new goals all at once, I just get overwhelmed. But I figured out the secret... take it in step. What's the saying? "how do you eat an elephant?"


This next year we have some big things coming up. Well, one big thing coming up. HOUSING! We need to decide really soon if we are going to build or buy a house. I actually do not like that I feel like I am being pressured to make a choice I am not ready to make.  I don't mind renting a little longer but I a) don't want to move again in a year and b) hate the thought of "throwing money away"

I will post my yearly goals after Thanksgiving. One of the things I am going to do is use my time more wisley. I am sure, like you, there is never enough time in the day. There were some good tips I took from here. Its a short and worthwhile read. Especially setting aside time each day to be tech free. This was also addressed in General Conference this pat month. 

Here are my currently items as of this week: 
Reading: Lean in by Sheryl Sandburg
Playing: Lego Batman with Keo
Watching: Once upon a Time
Trying: to lose 30#'s
Cooking: (making): bottle of formula
Eating: Chocolate from Amsterdam
Texting: Melissa
Pinning: Thanksgiving games for kids
Loving: My 3D mascara
Hating: Having to find a house or a lot in two months
Listening to: The silence of my children when they are watching Leap Frog on Nextflix
Feeling: Happy my hubby is back home
Smelling: the baby smell of a 4 month old
Thanking: The country I live in for good hygiene and kids that are healthy again
Finishing: The Book of Mormon
Starting: to train for a 10k

Monday, November 10, 2014

Family Rules

You've seen them around the web and even in stores. But, have you ever really thought about what YOUR FAMILY RULES are?

I am an ambassador for Power of Mom's. (One day Maybe I will graduate to writer). I started out going to Learning Circles and really loved it. Y'know, the material wasn't new. It wasn't anything I hadn't heard before. But there was a bonding that took place those nights that I really loved.

One of my friends I met there, Danielle, gave a presentation about the five rules her family has. Only FIVE?!?! How could that be? And then she explained it and it all made sense. I really really loved that there was only five. Sometimes I feel like there are too many rules for little people and it has always rubbed me wrong. So five, heck yes!

It took a lot of thought. It took a lot of prayer. It took a lot of picturing what these rules would like for our family in a week, in 5 years, in 20 years. I didn't want them too broad nor too specific. I wanted them to really fit.

We had a family night where we talked about families and rules. Later that week, my husband and I cam up with these 6. yes SIX. I know its not five. It was hard enough to narrow it down to those but I really feel like these are rules we can live by. They are rules that will make us happy and keep us from going crazy.
We also have a family motto. Again, this is something that is not to be taken lightly. We have gone through a few over the years and none have really stuck. Until now. Ours is simple: 

Always Follow The Prophet

And, since I am on a roll, do you have a family cheer? Ours developed from our little 2.5 yr old boy. He has been bestowed, already, with a crazy obsession of BYU. And the end of our nighttime family prayers, we all put our hands in a pile and say


It's ok. I know you are jealous. Actually, stop being jealous and start one for YOUR family. We have the family rules both downstairs and upstairs. We used to have our motto really big in vinyl in our last place. Right in the living room under our family photo. I loved it. And every night, we all look forward to our family cheer. Weird, I know. But also pretty cool. 

Saturday, November 08, 2014

MUST HAVES for Twins. Actually, for any baby really

The weather has been really just dreamy here the past few weeks. 

We have LOVED going to the park... like everyday. 

Since we have chosen to homeschool, I have all 4 of my children with me most all day long. If you know me, then you knew very well that I am not the kind of person who does well at home day after day. Regardless of the fun things we do IN-home and all the learning and growing, we all LOVE to be outdoors. 

Living in the city (i think its called urban-living) requires some adjustment. So does having a toddler and a newborn(s). Here is my very professional list of MUST-Haves. I'm not kidding. Its worth it. 

I got mine a few years ago (like 5) off their outlet sale. I have NEVER EVER regretted it. I used it as a diaper bag, carry-on, camera bag and, on occasion, a pillow. The boxy backpack is on sale here for $129. Mine has really been through it all. Multiple kids, multiple countries, multiple uses... and it still looks so beautiful. 

I wasn't every going to get these. Usually I keep the car seats in the car and put the babies in the stroller. HOWEVER, I am so happy I have them! Sometimes, it is easier for me to just take the babies in their car-seats vs moving them to the stroller. And, the canopy also can be used as a blanket which has been a lifesaver on occasion. 

-Eco-smart Planet lunch boxes
Smartest. Idea. Ever. Well, as for as lunch boxes go. We have 4 and use them daily. I get SO many compliments and people asking where I got mine. I got them on a sale at But you can get them on Amazon or Walmart

-Valco Stroller
I cannot imagine my life without this. Seriously. I also got the stroller board and it has been incredible to be at the zoo or the park or even church and have the babies lay down. In a few months they will be out of the bassinet and into the seats. It fits in the back of my minivan with room for groceries and fits through EVERY door we have come across.

-Post partum stuff
Squeem corsset Its nice to have all the lumps and bumps smoothed out. While I am a far cry from what I was pre-pregnancy, this baby has really helped me fit into my shirts once again.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Re-inventing me as mom

Have you seen this? My friend recently posted a link to Mrs. Staffords blog. For whatever reason, I was captivated. I was completely lost in reading post after post. Maybe it was a combination of my recent musings or the fact that I feel utterly incapable of being a really good mama a lot of the time.

Its been two weeks since I first stumbled across it and in that weeks time, I have used a few of her "tactics".

-Take 6 seconds... to respond, to give a hug, to give a kiss...
-Avoid saying hurry up
- See my children as they REALLY are
-Take time to play with them

There are a lot more ideas but those are the ones that really stick.

Especially the 6 seconds one. (scroll to the bottom of the post)

I have twin baby girls. I have a 2.5 year old BOY. And a 6 year old girl. My son is 100% all boy. He loves to run, be dirty, play with worms and bugs. He loves trucks, trains, legos and teasing his older sister. He is rambunctious and such a soft-hearted little boy. He loves to lay with me in bed and sit on my lap and read a book and be sung to at night. He is really hard a lot of the time. He just has SO much energy and wants to help me with EVERYTHING that, more often than not, I am frustrated with him "helping". Isn't that awful for me to admit??!!


This week I also met with my friend and fellow homeschool mom. She has 8 kids and, I swear, never raises her voice. I am not kidding. I was picking up some curricula books she had for me and was simultaneously trying to prevent my kids from destroying her brand spankin' new house.

Picture me---- trying to look at this curriculum holding one baby while my friend holds the other baby and my son is literally unlocking the front door and running outside. A little part of me gave up. He always came back, was in no danger and, for the moment, I really needed to hurry and get this done so we could all go. I was thankful he was not breaking anything and just didn't really care that he was ignoring my demands to stay inside.

We (I say we because it really took both of us) finally got him to come in and play. Then she said to me "would you be interested in a parenting class" Normally I am not. I have read everything there is and, as evidenced by my drawer filled with charts and bribes and quotes and.... well, lets just say that nothing really worked.

Nothing except Strike 1, 2, 3 approach. (similar to the 1-2-3-Magic)

But I was still struggling.

I was counting to 6.... A LOT.

My friend told me to try putting down the baby and showing him that I would enforce rules regardless of how "busy" I was. I thought "you have no idea, do you?" Oh, mother of 8, yes you do! I actually dismissed the idea but it really stuck with me. So I gave it a try.

IT WORKED! After ONE DAY it was working. Usually it takes weeks and weeks for something to stick (like my basic standard for school--more on that later). But this, this stuck after one glorious day and has been an amazing tool ever since.


I have been SO BLESSED to have a friend help me out on Thursdays. I would be utterly lost without her. I used to use that time to grocery shop. Now, I use that time to nap or take one of the kids on a mommy-date. Like this one

I go to the gym and take classes. I LOVE my classes. Some people use shopping, cleaning, or crafting as an outlet. I never used to be like this, but exercise has become my outlet. I really love working out with my friend and meeting new ones. So, I guess, its not really the exercise as it is the people.

I watch tv. I'll admit that. There are a few shows that we watch as a couple. And boy, oh, boy, do I ever look forward to it. They are clean. They don't require any thought. Its nice to shut off my brain for a bit.

I've gotten back into photography. So happy, right?!  On a sad note, I have completely lost my memory card with the baby pictures on it. But, thankfully, I have some on IG. One thing I have loved is the post process part of it all. I am currently enjoying making our photo books via Shutterfly and blog books and Instagram books via Blurb.


Happiness isn't a destination, it is a state of mind.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Hallowen

From our family to yours....

We hope you have a BOO-tiful and safe Halloween

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Awkward and Awesome

In my goal to re-claim that girl I was, I am reintroducing the Awkward and Awesome.. for your reading enjoyment here are my favorites from the past little bit:

1. Walking out the back and seeing that my old man neighbor is wearing a shirt... JUST a shirt.
2. We are potty training over here (much to my objection actually). Took my little guy to the bathroom and after I am done, he says "good job mommy, good job pooping"....
3. My friend pointing out that the liner to one of our car seats has poop in it. And I'm pretty sure its a few days old. Hmmm... so that's where that smell was coming from.
4. I can't even count the times I have been to the gym and realize that I did not brush my teeth. To my credit, we go 4-5x a week at 8:30a and I have to get 4 little ones PLUS myself ready and out the door. My deepest apologies to whoever talks to me. At least I remember deodorant....
5. Trying to order a giro and shwarma. For some CRAzY reason, my mouth keeps saying Flaffle and Shwarma. It. was. ridiculous.
6. Keo smashing his mac n cheese then butter into the rug. AFTER painting it and the white wall purple. I later found him half-face- painted in Destitin and smelling awfully like my powder fresh secret deodorant. Yes... this was all on the same day and within and hour.

1. I'm 7 for 7 in waking up early to read my scriptures AND getting ready for the day. that includes hair and make up. I know!!! hold your applause please.
2. Look whose blogging again?!
3. I'm finally enjoying homeschooling my 6 yr old. Its only taken me 3 month to get to this place
4. I've made it down to 150lbs. Its been hard but I'm getting there. Only 30lbs to go... ugh
5. Signed up for a 10k. Its in 6 months. Doing a 5k at Thanksgiving then hopefully training for a Tri with McKay for the early summer time.
6. Just the fact that my phone is still working as I type this is pretty awesome. Dear Christmas, please come quick

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A lesson on love to myself

{deep breath}

Hi. My name is Makana. I am a mom of 4, wife of 1 and more often than not I find myself un-loving who I am now. 


It feel really good to put that out there. So many times
I tell others how wonderful and beautiful they are. I try to empower them. To inspire and to listen to the Spirit. More often than not, they just need a voice. They need to really hear what they already knew. Which is this: They are deserving. They are strong. They are smart and kind and irreplaceable. And that is honest to goodness the absolute truth.

With our not-so-recent move, addition of our twin girls, and trying to find my place again as a 35lbs heavier SAHM to a really wonderful man, life has taken a lot out of me. The to-do lists get longer and longer and my drive to be a better me gets dimmer and dimmer. Even writing (which I LOVE), has taken a back-seat. Actually, its not even in the car. Its more like on a train moving with bullet speed away from me. 

Just this week I was told that I am too passive. Now that is a very true statement. I tend to not cause a fuss or speak my opinions etc. I don't know if it is that I am really that passive, I think its more of one of three things: that I either don't care, can't see it making a difference, or I don't want to cause contention. Sadly, most things fall into one of those categories. 

I was also realizing that, despite Luminosity, I feel like my brain is slowly becoming mush. I came across this website, Get Your Girl Back and this article specifically. It brought to mind a few things... how my third grade teacher told me I was lousy at math. That semester in High School when my "friends" spread rumors about me. When my college track coach told me I needed to shed 20lbs. Or the time a boy I had liked and though it was returned told me he thought "he would probably be sick next week".  

Now don't get me wrong, I have had really great moments of sels-esteem boosting. I have had great parents and grandparents. A wonderful support of a few very close friends and of course my McKay. Isn't funny how some labels stick with you though? 

And so, I am taking back me. I want to feel like I have lived my life in a way that my Creator would be proud of. I am going to re-discover my love of writing, reading, photography. Of calling friends and sending birthday cards and..ahem... not complaining and speaking up. Of really loving the life I have and crossing those things off my bucket list. I want my family to love hanging out with me and have really great memories of childhood and of me as a wife and mother and sister and daughter and friend and disciple. 

not all siblings pictured

Monday, September 29, 2014

Two month old: blessing day and fun with hats

Its hard to believe that two months has come and gone! This weekend we took some photos. The babies were blessed and it was just a really special time. I feel like these past two month have been a slice of heaven on earth.

 My sister Lei made those fun hats! My cousins Amy and Margaret made the ones below

 my sweet girls

While I get paid for photos, this blog is where I focus on journaling. Please don't judge my work from my posts.

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