Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hello all of you hundreds and hundreds of readers!

We have not been up to much since Thanksgiving. Damon went back to school yesterday and Ellis and I whined about it for a while before we went to smell Christmas trees at Lowe's.

Also, last night I went to see Breaking Dawn with my frans... It was horribly awesome and awesomely horrible.

The soundtrack though, was pretty good. One day I might buy it.

Also, I go home to Texas in like 12 days, which is going to be awesome. We bought Ellis a tent to sleep in during our travels, so I really hope he digs that.

That's about all for us, nothing exciting at all.

Also, Ellis and his Uncle Jake. Exact same age, face, and hair. Weird?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Last of all

and most importantly, I am thankful for the gospel.

(I just cannot blog anymore every day. I meant to end this yesterday, obviously, but I am never really good at timing)

10 years ago  (in a few days) I made the best decision of my life. I told Derek I was going to be a Mormon too, after him and his friends wouldn't stop bragging about wake boarding at youth activities.

I can't express how grateful I am to him, that he took it seriously, that he recognized a missionary opportunity and ran with it. And set up my first meeting with the missionaries for the next day. I am grateful to all the wonderful people who supported me, loved me, and taught me, and stood by as I grew my testimony.

You don't realize, when you join this religion, that it is a completee lifestyle. It's not a Sunday-only kind of religion. The kid where you go to church and pray and wear nice clothes and profess your testimony and then go home and take off your dress and along with it, your professions to do good, to live the gospel, to follow Christ, and to give that to others. It is so so so much more. It is sometimes a lot of work. Nobody in y church is paid to keep the church running. My friend is the Sunday school teacher. Another plays the organ or piano for each church meeting. Another works the nursery so that little kids can have a place to learn the gospel and eat snacks and be happy while their parents attend their classes. My bishop is a 30-something year old father of 4 young kids, with a full time job. After that he spends countless hours each week counseling, and running our congregation.  My husband paid his own way to drop college and life for 2 years to learn a new language and share the gospel in a foreign country, and some of my nieces and nephews are now doing the same. And it's like that all the way up to the apostles and prophet of the church. It can be a lot of work.

But it is so worth it. To grow every day, to learn of God, to share that with others.

I am so thankful for those who gave it to me. It turned my life around and answered any question I had, erased any doubt. I don't ever worry about what happens after I die, or if my family will be together in heaven, or if friends or family I lose in mortality will live again.

Because I know.

I know that Jesus is the Christ, and that my Heavenly Father created me. And that he sent me to earth to endure trials and learn and live the way I should, and to help others. And I know that when I die, I will have a place to go, and I will have my husband and children and family with me. I know that families can be together forever.

I also know that my Heavenly father loves me, and hears me. That I can pray to him any time and get answers or comfort and love.  He knows you too, I promise. And He is ready to listen to anything you want to tell Him-He knows what you are going through, and He loves you.
I know that He has placed the Church on the earth, with the priesthood and it's powers, I have seen that priesthood in action, I have felt it bless and change my life.  I know that Thomas Monson is a prophet of God, and that God still speaks to us in these days- He didn't intend on limited revelation, and I am grateful for that, because life is so much different than it was when His Son was on the earth. I know that Christ atoned for my sins, and made it so that I could gain eternal life, be freed from sin, and renew covenants. And I am grateful for the temple, that I was able to be married there. It wasn't easy, being married without my family there, and I so wish they had been in that beautiful room with me. But I know that I had to, I have to be sealed to Damon, have to have my children sealed to me. I am also grateful that my wonderful family supports me in that and other decisions. They are my rock, and I am grateful for everything they have given me.

I hope you all know how grateful I am for YOU! And I hope you remember to give a prayer of thanks for the blessings in your life. Sometimes they are easy to forget about, in the day-on, day-out... But they are always there, if you stop and think about them.

I think I need a few days off from blogging. I have 2 more days with Damon out of school, and we have some partying to do!!

peace and blessin's, peace an blessin's!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

thanksgiving day.

I am so thankful for my family, our family... My parents who raised me and loved me and were and are always there for me. The ones I love coming home to visit and who drive all the way to Iowa to see us. My mom who taught me love and who gives herself to anybody and everybody who needs her. My dad who is so kind and the perfect example of a father that I looked for in my spouse. And for all the times he let me call him crying in the middle of the night after on particularly ridiculous and overly-drawn out breakup.  My stepmom Pam who gave me a baby brother, always can answer my cooking questions, and always has a positive attitude.  And my stepdad John (definitely the best I've had!) for loving my mom, being so nice and easy going, and accepting, and just being the nicest guy and best person I could have ever hoped for for my mom.

Also for my siblings. All 12 of them.  My sister who fought with me all growing up and then became my best friend in Utah. I miss living nearby, so we could go spend money we didn't have and drink coke at crappy Chinese food places. Or travel around China with.

My little brother, who was the most exciting thing that happened to me in college. I remember the first time I held him in the kitchen in our house in Round Rock, and he makes me laugh all the time. Says the funniest things and can be the nicest 5 year old you'll ever know.

And my 10 Demars siblings- Shelley, Jenna, David, Heidi, Melinda, Sean, Todd, Heather, Sharee, and Tyler.... The funnest and loudest group of people ever!  They love to work hard and play hard, and I'm trying to keep up! One day I'll love building cabins on holidays and playing volleyball during every family get together. Until that day, I'm grateful they still think I'm a-ok the way I am. And all of their spouses, some of whom get me just like my biological siblings. Dave, James, Sheryl, Rick, Brent, Heather, Gabe, Brad, and now Jill! What a crazy huge family. I'm not going to list the 45 or whatever nieces and nephews. But I love them too.

And my beautiful grandparents, who I love and those of whom I miss so much. I know where they are, and I know I will see them again. Andy my grandma Fayne and Oma, for still knowing how to party hard!

Obviously I can't list all my amazing aunts and uncles and cousins and their babies that I love so much! I love my Franke and Salinas family, I couldn't have asked for a better family to be born into.

99999 (this is a message from Ellis)

Also, I'm grateful for all of my friends, who are also my family, who I love so much and who have been there for me through it all. I can't wait till we get our summer beach house like we always talked about, with our kids and husbands and our babies eating popsicles and eventually falling in love and marrying each other.

I am so grateful for the amazing people Heavenly Father knew I'd need in this life. I'm grateful that you all give me and my family so much. I wish I could hug and smooch all of you today, but I'll be too full and fat, and hopefully you will too!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Today I am thankful for Damon.

I searched high and low for my husband. I dated guys that were no good for me, for too long, and I knew it. I got my hear broken and always wondered if there was really going to be somebody for me, or if there was, if he'd be like all the others and I'd just have to settle if I wanted a family...

I don't think I got lucky, I think I just got reminded. That Heavenly Father knows me, knows my needs/wants, and knows my life. He knows me because I am His child, and because this life of mine is a tiny page of an endless book, one that He wrote.

I was reminded that He was in charge because he sent me somebody who I needed, and who I in return could fulfill.

Somebody who didn't want to change me, who knew that I (along with everything else) had a few downfalls. More than a few maybe. But he knew that and he wanted me and them and we make it work well.

Better than well sometimes, worse than well every once in a while, but we always get back to good.

He is the best man I could have ever dreamed of. He is patient and kind and loving to me always, which I never really comprehend. I don't know how he does it. But I know I love him, forever and every part of him.

And I appreciate that he lets me be me, even if it's not always ideal.

I love this guy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

twenty something.

i obviously have an issue knowing what day it is.

today, i am thankful for ellis.
the little ginger that made me a mom, that teaches me everyday what love is. that helps me learn selflessnes in a whole new shocking way- there isn't room to be selfish when you have a baby, kid, teen, adult child. from waking up early, having a little octopus stuck to your legs all day, remembering to feed him and not yourself, never getting a minute to yourself unless he is sleeping, thinking about his welfare before your own. it is astonishing, really.

he is the sweetest, funniest little boy.

i don't know how i'll be able to give him away.

to nursery at church at 18 months
to kindergarten
do driving and dating at 17
to college
to a mission
to a wife.

i am so glad he will always be mine. i guess i will share him a little, here and there.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Oh, now it's 20...

Whew! Today I am thankful that Ellis slept till 8 O'CLOCK!!! That hasn't happened ever! Granted, he went down an hour later. But still... Maybe I should start keeping him up till closer to 9 so I can sleep a little later?

Sorry no pics today, but I have a really cute video on my phone that I will load here tomorrow.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

20 ... right?

Today I am grateful for Stake Conference.

 Stake conference is where the whole stake (which is like, a large area... our stake covers all of the Des Moines metro, and also most of the small surrounding towns, and includes about 10 wards, or congregations.  Our stake probably totals close to 2000 people) gets together and we all have kind of a church meeting together, we hear from the stake presidency, usually the area mission's president, maybe the temple president, etc.  Tonight was the adult session (which basically means adults plus all the babies under 18 months who are too young to go to nursery), and our main speaker was an area authority.  He ended up mostly doing a question/answer type thing, which is always fun to do. People come up with great questions, some of the ones I remember, were:

How do we shield our families and make our home a safe place in such a changing world?
Who will receive the glory of God?
As a mother, how can I not feel overwhelmed and are there areas that I should most focus on when teaching my children so that I am not only giving half effort in many areas that may not be as important as others?

It was all great, but one quote I remembered without even writing down, and even wrestling Ellis out in the hall, was
"If this life is it, then life is unfair!"
I feel so lucky  to know that this mortal existence is only a snapshot of my eternal person and life.

I wish I could share all the things I heard, but honestly, I was only able to take notes on my phone for a little bit before being distracted by Ellis.

I do remember the first few speakers talking about invitations. Inviting others to come unto Christ and the gospel, and also the invitation for me, from the Spirit, to receive Him into my life and to live the gospel as well I can.

He also talked about a good way to study scriptures, what he does... he keeps a journal with specific questions that he is looking for answers to. Anything from how to get through trials, to how to deal with specific problems, how to have the Spirit with you at all times, etc... Anyways, he keeps those questions in his journal and keeps adding to them, and searches the scriptures for those answers (I would guess using the bible dictionary, index, topical guide, etc) and writes what he finds under topic headings so that he can go back and look at them.

Sorry if this is not really something you are interested in, sometimes blogging is a way for me to journal or keep things I am trying to remember...

I'm grateful for the gospel and those who share with and teach me, helping me grow and progress.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Today I am grateful for Michelle, our trusty photographer (she did our engagements/wedding, and my sister's as well), and for how talented she is. I love these photos so much, and can't wait till the next time we can have her take our family pictures...

Thursday, November 17, 2011


pictures like these.

Ellis never falls asleep in our arms, or sleeps on us, or even just lays on us for more than a couple seconds. It was great while it lasted, though!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Today I am grateful for a camera that I love and the ability to take pictures whenever I want.  I love being able to capture memories to look back on and to send to our family that are far far far away from little old Iowa...

Here are a few from today.
 The morning started out so clean...

He loves his bottles...

Jeez mom, you think it's time to clean the mirror?

Bowtie pasta for the little gentleman.

Ellis' new thing: Crazy Face.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

am i on 15?

truth of being a stay at home mom to a baby: most of the time, you don't know what day it is. when your kid doesn't have sports or school or appointments or even playdates (more complex than 'every wednesday morning', that is), you don't have any reason to check the date.

so anyways.
after today, i am grateful for trader joes...

they have such great food... today we picked up:

1001-days smoked gouda. yum, it's going to go great with the pears i got.

peppermint joe-joes!!
and chocolate covered peppermint joe-joes!!!

joe-joes are trader joe's oreo kinda cookie. during the holidays, they put peppermint in the cream, and also make chocolate covered ones with little peppermint candy crushies on them. they are sooooo good!

if you don't have a tj's near you, i am very sorry.
they keep telling me they are building 4 stores in texas (each big city) but it's not showing on their website... hopefully soon though!

sorry, no pics...
except this awesome one!!!

i see you too...