Monday, November 30, 2009

Thankful for...

I love Thanksgiving. I love what a beautiful time it is to reflect on blessings and the simple things in life. I love what a beautiful beginning it is to the Christmas season which is a celebration of the Saviors life.

It is just a special time to slow down and evaluate what I am blessed to have and what I am truly grateful for. It is also a time for me to regroup and remind myself what a want is verses what a need is.

I am over abundantly blessed in the spiritual, physical, emotional, and material sense of the word. I love my Heavenly Father and know that he loves me, I am able bodied and healthy, I have the emotional support of loved ones, and we live in a nice, safe, warm home.

I love that prior to Thanksgiving I had to have a new table, new boots, new clothes for the girls, a new computer, new furniture for my bedroom and Jayda's, new make-up, gifts for everybody I could think of for Christmas, a planned vacation, etc etc etc...yet after Thanksgiving and after writing down what blessings I have received this year and what I am truly grateful for... I realize that not only do I NOT need them, I don't even want them right now. That's not to say I won't want them again in the future (I do love to shop!), but right now I want to simplify. I want to stop "needing" things that I don't really need. I want to focus on the beauty in my girls smiles, the warmth of my hubby as he lays next to me at night, the furry little friend that is my sweet Riley, and the blessings that come from being TRULY happy with what I have...which is A LOT and then some.

As I reflect on this past year it became apparent that I was more blessed in 2009 than any other year in my life.

Here's a list of what I'm most Thankful for (in no particular order):

I'm thankful to now work part-time. I work about 25-30 hours a week instead of 45-60. This change has brought a sense of peace into my life that I hadn't felt for over 4 years.

I'm thankful for my 12 year old, one-eyed, three-working-legs dog. Riley brings me so much joy...she's happy and healthy and spunky and we're blessed to have her.

I'm thankful for my in-laws and extended family. They rock. I'm blessed to be a Roth. My girls are blessed to be Roth's.

I'm grateful for my friends who laugh with me, cry with me, and bitch with me when needed. All my friends are fantastic. Those in California who make me feel missed and those in Virginia who make me feel welcome.

I'm grateful for little hands that reach up to hold mine and little feet that are always under foot.

I'm thankful for my calling at church. I'm grateful it helps me learn more about the Gospel and our Savior and that by performing my calling I am serving the Lord.

I'm thankful that kids eat free every Tuesday at Chic-Fil-A.

I'm thankful for the health of my children. I'm thankful for their laughter, and their smiles, and their arm dimples, and their big blue eyes that light up when they see me, and their sweet little spirits. You can't look into the eyes of a child and not think about the Love of our Savior.

I'm thankful for my brothers. Austin for his support, laughter, and friendship. Dallas (Elder Porter for 19 more days...but whose counting) for his example, humor, and fabulous penmanship in his letters home which provide me hours of entertainment as I try to figure out what the hell he wrote.

My mom. I'm thankful for my mom. For everything she is. For everything she's taught me to be. For her example of pure Christ like love. For her showing me what it means to truly be a good wife, mother, and friend. For her patience. For her humor. For her. I want to be her when I grow up.

I'm thankful for Spanx (not the naughty kind...the kind that suck your butt in when wearing tight pants)!

I'm thankful for my precious baby girl, Sierra "Bella," who came into this world nearly 2 months early but was healthy. I'm thankful for the doctors who helped me throughout my emergency (and scary) operation and for the NICU staff who loved and held my sweet girl for the first few weeks of her life when I couldn't.

I'm thankful for Jayda. For everything about her. This post is already long so I won't bore you with how cool she is and how much joy she brings into my life. Let's just say that it's a lot. I love her all the way to the moon and back. I'm grateful that when I tell her that she replies: "Well I love you all the way to the freeway and back!"

I'm thankful for my hubby. I could try to detail the reasons why, but it would be impossible. He's my Prince Charming, my Fairytale, my Happily Ever After. He totally got the short end of the stick in this deal. I lucked out.

I'm thankful for my Savior. I'm thankful to be a member of his church. I truly believe that the good things in my life are a direct reflection on my membership within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I love being Mormon. I love that Jesus is My Savior and that I have a Father in Heaven who loves me and who sacrificed his son for me so that I could have eternal life. It's almost too much to even wrap my head around. It's a love that I can't fully comprehend...probably because I'm human.

Finally, my biggest blessing in 2009 is my dad. I have my dad back. We all do. For over 10 years my hero, the first man I ever loved, was in pain every day of his life. He hurt and took pain meds and suffered. We all suffered with him...especially my mom. But he is now nearly pain free and off pain meds and is back to his old happy self. He talks (non's awesome!), he laughs, he jokes around, he has energy, and he's truly enjoys his grandbabies. In all honestly I didn't think we'd see the day when we'd have him back. I didn't see an end to his pain. However, the Lord had other plans and proved (once again) that through true faith and prayer... miracles can happen. I'll never understand how come some people are healed and other's aren't. I know the Lord doesn't love one person more than another. I just know I'm thankful for the lessons we all learned throughout this decade of trials and I'm grateful that my dad being healed was part of the Lord's plan. He's back to his old self...only better. It's truly a bigger blessing than anyone could ever imagine.

So, is this a sappy post? Yes. Am I a bit embarrassed to share it with everyone because it's so personal (and quite long)? Yes. However, I would be remiss to not put down in writing the blessings I have been given. I am so thankful for each of them. I am so blessed.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!!

We hope you all enjoyed the Halloween festivities. We had some friends come over for Pizza and Trick-or-Treating and had a great time. As you can see by the pics above, Bella was Princess Leia and Jayda was Michael Jackson.

I sprayed Jayda's hair black which seemed like an okay idea at the time, but quickly proved to be quite dumb of me. It rained and so her "hair" dripped all down her face and created quite the mess. But also extremely hilarious!

Halloween night was less than 48 hours ago and I've already used her candy to perform 4 bribes and 2 "if you don't _________ then I'll throw your candy away." Wow - who knew that the candy would provide Jayda with eating enjoyment and me with bribes and punishment threats! Good times!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Last week in pictures

A church Halloween activity (which is why Jayda is wearing makeup and looks like something from that show Toddlers and Tiaras!

A trip to the Washington DC Temple Visitors Center.

little Bella's first bath with her new chair. She loved it!

Good times had by all!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Flour Fun

Most of you know me well enough to know that I don't cook or bake. I warm things and order things and that about covers my cooking career.

Interestingly enough, I married into a family of cooks. My mother-in-law rocks at cooking and my sister-in-laws are equally impressive. I remember being a newlywed at a family bbq and having Renee (my sister-in-law) ask me to cut the watermelon. Total panic! How does one cut such a large piece of fruit? Then my other sister-in-law, Ronda, was putting together a killer salad with all sorts of fun things like craisins, cheese, etc. Who knew that all salads didn't come premade in a bag?

Anyway, the Roth family is very talented in the kitchen and although I have learned some tips on how to cook, I have not learned to love to cook. In fact, I hate it. Like truly hate it. I'd would honestly rather wax my armpits or wear too small stiletto heels for 3 hours walking up stairs than cook a dinner or bake something. However, I have a 3 year old who enjoys baking cookies. I blame my mother-in-law for being an amazing cook and spending sweet moments with my little Jayda in her kitchen. Now Jayda thinks that I will spend time with her making similar memories. However, last time I really cooked with Jayda it was using her easy bake oven and I burned the cake and melted the Easy Bake utensil. So, I will leave the true cooking expertise to my sweet mother-in-law, Rosemary, who puts all other cooks to shame. It's hard to compete with someone of that caliber anyway. She's pretty impressive in the kitchen...and on a sewing machine, but that's for a different post!

So Jayda wants to bake cookies one rainy day and I feel obligated. I really do want to spend time with her. She's super fun to be with. However, I don't want her to have memories of her mom burning things and tasting crap that's supposed to pass for baked goods. So, I decided to have some real fun and hope that she remembers that as opposed to my lack of culinary talent.

Besides, food fights are waaaay more fun than baking!
PS: The cookies actually ended up being really good!

(getting daddy involved without prior warning was the most fun part!)

Friday, October 16, 2009


My mom is an artist. She's good. Really good. Not like "pretty good with a few cool pieces to look at"...more like "blow your mind, holy crud someone can paint that" good. Granted I'm biased, but she's done over 1000 projects in the past 20 years and I'd have to say that everyone agrees with me. Her God given talent to bring art to life is pretty amazing.

She has painted every room I've ever lived in---which is why as an adult I have an unnatural fear of plain white walls. So, if you too are white wall phobic, or want something special painted in your home, business, school, church, etc...then call the best...AKA: My Mom.

If you're in the giving mood during this pre-thanksgiving season, do us a favor and add my moms button, or a link to her site, on your blog. You can show all of your friends how hoity toity and artsy fartsy you are by knowing a famous Orange County artist (who is and is not famous is totally subjective, right?) Maybe if she gets a job from your blog button she can paint your face hidden in her next mural??? (Ha! Just kidding...that would be massively creepy!)

She's ready and willing to paint some killer murals or canvas keep her in mind when you're in the mood for an interior make-over!

Love ya mom. And yes, I'm fully expecting a painting on canvas for this free advertising.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Potty Talk

When Jayda poops she always yells to me "I love you mom."

It's not just any "I love you mom." It's the grunting, breath holding, intense moan of "I love you mom" as she poops. She's always done it. She does it every single time. No matter what restroom she's in (our house, friends, stores, etc) I hear the declaration of affection while she's making her deposit.

She had some issues with her urinary tract when she was really little so it often hurt her to use the restroom. I remember holding her hand as she sat on the pot and cried and I'd cry with her and tell her "it's okay baby. I love you" as I'd try to offer up little words of encouragement as she suffered. Poor baby.

I can only imagine that those words of encouragement left a mark on her little brain and now she doesn't know she can poop without yelling that she loves me. That's okay though. I love hearing those words, even if she's sending them from her smelly, porcelain throne.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Annie are you okay? Are you okay, Annie?

I hear Jayda's feet hit the floor as she jumps out of bed in the morning. I can sense her tip toe past her sisters door so she doesn't wake her up and I finally see her walk down the stairs with droopy eyes, crazy bed-head hair, and a big yawn. My heart melts. She is sooo sweet and cute. I love this kid.

I sweep her up in my arms and I whisper in her ear, "good morning bubba. I love you."

She replies, "Michael Jackson videos please."

Yes, the first thing out of my daughters foul breathed little mouth is a request to watch more Michael Jackson on youtube. She kills me.

The above is just one example of the craziness that is Jayda's pure obsession with MJ. She loves him when he was normal, not so normal, slightly crazy, and full blown commitable.

Throughout the day I hear little Jayda singing: "Annie are you okay? Say Annie are you Okay? Are you okay, Annie? You've been hit by a smooth criminal..." Ha!!!!!Actually, she can often be heard singing the following greatest hits in her room, or while she plays, or when she's reading books...or frankly anytime she's awake: Billie Jean, Smooth Criminal, Bad, Say Say Say (duet with Paul McCartney), Remember the Time, The Way you Make Me Feel, PYT, Wanna Be Starting Something, Rock with You, Black and White, Dirty Diana, and They Don't Care About Us. Many of you may immediately notice that some major songs are missing - primarily Thriller. Come on people - there is a limit to my bad parenting...that video would scare the poop out of her!

She talks to MJ as if he's in the room with her, she bounces her ball off the back of the chair and when it comes back to her she acts as if MJ threw it, she saves him dinner, reads him books, and holds his hand when she's walking around. Creepy does not begin to cover this situation.

Russ and I are so sick of hearing about Michael Jackson. We told Jayda that he is a freak show and that she probably shouldn't talk about him all the time, but that didn't work. I heard her apologizing to MJ for her daddy and mommy calling him rude names. We told her that he is no longer with us and that he died and that he now lives in heaven. We thought maybe that would stop the obsession. Nope. Now she just tells him she'll have to wait to see him until she lives in heaven too.

She does all his dances in the living room and has now officially declared that she wants to be MJ for Halloween. Okie Dokie. I guess I just have to remember that I'd rather hear and see her sing and dance to MJ than Barney or Raffi.

Jayda also loves picking out her own clothes, cuddling with her sissy, reading books, playing with her friends, talking to her Grammy on the phone, making up stories, helping cook, eating snacks ALL DAY LONG, snapping (she's still mastering the skill), hugging her mommy, wrestling with her daddy, playing with her dolls, going to primary (church class for kids), picking up worms out in the front lawn (she totally gets this from her grammy (my mom) because I'd rather have a root canal than play with worms), putting on makeup, wearing my high-heels, and laughing. In fact, when something is really funny - she cries. She tears up and says she's crying because she's so happy she gets to laugh.

I truly - truly love this kid. I'm about as obsessed with her little face as she is with Michael Jackson... and that's saying A LOT!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Our sweet baby girl was blessed this past Sunday. Russ gave a beautiful blessing and spoke loud enough for us all to hear...which was hard since Sierra cried quite boisterously the entire time!

Baby blessings are a beautiful LDS custom. Russ gets to place his hands on his little daughters head and bless her with all of the things any parent would hope for their child. Others are invited to participate in the blessing. We were so lucky to have my dad (Sierra's PaPa) come from California to help give her this blessing. It made it so much more special having him there. We also had some good friends of ours help cradle her as the blessing was given.

In the blessing, Russ asked that she be watched over throughout her life, that she will know how much her parents and her Heavenly Father love her, that she will be close with her siblings, that she will be an example to others around her, that she will eventually marry in the temple and have children of her own, that she will be mindful to those around her and help those in need, and that throughout her life she will always go to the Lord in prayer. It was beautiful. It was perfect.

Mere seconds before Russ was to walk up and give the blessing we didn't know what her name would officially be. We had our top three names selected, but I wasn't able to make a commitment. Silly me. I like to think that she's just so special that I can't pick a special enough name...but whose kidding who...the problem was that I'm mildly crazy. Russ took the bull by the horns so to speak and just went with whatever came out of his mouth. I think it was a great decision.

He blessed our sweet baby with the name: Sierra Isabella-Mae. We will call her Sierra with an occasional Bella or Izzy Mae thrown in there. We call Jayda the following names: Jayda, Jayda Grace, Grace, and Gracie. Whatever comes out of our mouth at the moment is what she responds to. So, we figure an extra long name giving us multiple options is great. Some may think it's too long or too much, but the name really gives us what we wanted. It gives us the name Isabella Mae (we love calling her Bella and we wanted to name her after my grandma), but we also love Sierra. So why not have it all? Celebrity babies get 3 names all the time!

Thanks to those who voted on our poll. Your help was appreciated.

We will call her Sierra, but you can call her Sierra, Bella, Izzy, Izzy Mae, or "cutest baby in the entire world." Any of those will work.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Name our 6 month old ---- PLEASE

As many of you know, we have never been happy with the name Sierra Bella.

I'll give the reasons we don't love her name in a future post.

Some of the time we call her Bella (which is great), but most of the time we call her "baby." The poor little thing needs a name.

We are frustrated not being able to decide and we are embarrassed it's taking us this long.

So, PLEASE take the poll on the side bar and help us pick a name!

Even if you don't normally leave comments - take our poll! We need help.

Here's a little bit of extra info to help or hinder you in your decision making...

Mae was my grandma's middle name. Virginia Mae Porter passed away the same day we found out we were pregnant. I adored and admired by grandma so the middle name "Mae" would be a tribute to her.

If we keep the name Isabella in there somewhere than we can still refer to her as Bella as we have for the past 6 months. Or we could call her "Izzy" which is super cute too!

Isabella was the 2nd most popular name the last two years in a row (this could be seen as good or bad - you decide).

I like the name Brooklyn - but I don't like "Brooke" or "Lyn" for nicknames (even though my middle name is Brooke).

Does Chloe sound too much like Cori or is it okay?

Anywhoo-this info may have helped or hindered or at a minimum sheds some light on why we are undecided (other than the fact that we are lame).

So, please cast your vote, leave me a comment if you'd like (please don't offer up new name ideas - I may go postal if I have to consider anything brain can't take it!) and check back later for our decision.

We are blessing our sweet baby on Sunday, September 20th so we will have picked a name by then.

So, what will this little buggers name be?

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Happy Anniversary

First Came Love...
First date - Sadie Hawkis.1997
Weren't my pants awesome? (ha) Check out Russ' bleached tips! (hillarious)

Russ' Senior Prom 1997

Then Came Marriage...

Wedding in my Grandparents back yard - September 6, 2003

Then Came Baby in a Baby Carriage...

Happy Anniversary!

Together for 12 years

Married for 6

Hand-in-Hand for Eternity

Amazed: Our Wedding Song

Every time our eyes meet

This feeling inside me

Is almost more than I can take

Baby when you touch me

I can feel how much you love me

And it just blows me away

I've never been this close to anyone or anything

I can hear your thoughts

I can see your dreams

I don't know how you do what you do

I'm so in love with you

It just keeps getting better

I want to spend the rest of my life

With you by my side

Forever and ever

Every little thing that you do

Baby, I'm amazed by you.

Our Wedding Dance song still rings true 6 years into this bliss. I truly love you more every day. Thanks for loving me and for being my best friend and for being such an amazing dad and husband. Thanks for working so hard to provide for us and for coming home and working even harder to help with the girls. Thanks for kissing me goodbye and telling me you love me every morning before you leave for work (even though you wake me up at 5:30am to do it). Thanks for making me a wife and mother. Thanks for holding my hand through laughter and tears...and morning sickness. Thanks for making me laugh even when I don't want to. I could go on and on about all of the things I am greatful for, but in reality it boils down to this: I love you more than anything or anyone and words can't express how blessed I feel to have you.

All my love,


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Daddy Daughter Date

Russ sure loves his girls. He knew that our sweet Jayda needed some parent time without the baby around so he agreed to watch Bella while I took Jayda out for a mommy - daughter date. We had plans to go get ice cream and a pedicure.

That plan was short lived. Jayda saw her daddy come through the door after work and INSISTED that she go on a date with her daddy. She says with a high-pitched squeal, "I have a good idea! Mommy can stay at home with the baby and I'll go on a date with daddy for ice cream without anyone else!" Russ tried to talk her into going with me for pedicures because he figured I needed some "outside" time too, but she looked so sad about having to go hang out with mom that I thought she was going to cry. She just wanted to be the special girl in daddy's life and share some yummy ice cream. So that's what they did. And for Jayda, it was pure heaven. Although I'm pretty sure it was heavenly for her daddy too!

I hope she always knows how much this man loves her. I will never be able to truly describe to her how much she means to him. To us. To our family.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Frustrated, yet grateful...

Dear Pre-Baby Body:

I miss you. Terribly. I miss our shopping trips, our skinny jeans, and our shirts that buttoned over our boobs. I miss our normal bras and our t-shirts sans spit up. I miss our jeans hitting our waist without the "muffin top" that does overfloweth.

I miss our smooth skin that didn't break out as if we are prepubescent and our hair that used to be curly or straight or anything other than its current state of frizzy undecideness.

I am trying to find you again, oh pre-baby body of mine. It's hard work. You're pretty far away. You're somewhere through the valley of sweatpants, over sized men's t-shirts, and sensible shoes. But I'm coming for you, fear not. Be patient. I will find you. Somehow. And we will frolic again through the fields of high heels and True Religion Jeans.

Post-Baby Body

Dear Post-Baby Body:

You rock. I am undoubtedly in your debt. What an amazing feat you have achieved. My little baby thanks you for your life giving abilities, your food processing, and your sleep depraved circles that now rest under your eyes.

You were necessary, and appreciated, and valued for all you did.

But your work here is done. It's time for you to leave. Vacate the premises. Go on a looooong vacation. Perhaps permanently - I'll let you know if your services are needed again.

However, feel free to leave behind the patience you gave me that helps me laugh during bouts of sleeplessness, the ability to do 500 things with only two arms - all at the same time, the ability to love more than I ever knew was possible...and my bigger boobs. Those can stay.

Cori - on behalf of her pre-baby body and all her clothes that feel abandoned.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More Jayda-isims

I found Jayda playing on the computer when she's not allowed to do it by herself.
Cori: "Jayda. You know you're not allowed to play on the computer unless you ask and I'm with you."

Jayda: "Well Mom, I'm talking to someone."

Cori: "You don't talk on the computer. It's not a phone."

Jayda: "I'm not talking on the phone. I'm talking by sending emails."

Cori: "Regardless, you're not allowed to do that whenever you want without asking."

Jayda: "Yes I can. I'm emailing Jesus and you told me I could talk to him whenever I want no matter where I am or what I'm doing!"

...well played Jayda. Well played.


I opened my eyes early one morning and was greeted by Jayda staring at me.
Cori: "What are you doing? Why are you out of bed?"

Jayda: "Mom. Get up. It's a beautiful day!"

Cori: "Jayda-go back to bed. It's too early to be up."
Jayda: "No it's not mom. It's a beautiful day. Get up. IT'S TIME TO GET ORGANIZED (she yells)."
Cori: "Get organized for what?"

Jayda: "The day. I am the woman."

Cori: "You are what woman?
Jayda: "I am the woman that is going to change your life!"

...Is Jayda watching self help tapes instead of Yo Gabba Gabba??? She cracks me up!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sierra - 16 Weeks

4 Generations of Meredith/Porter women!

Monday, June 8, 2009


Jayda: "Mom, did you know that I have 3 kids?
Me: "You do? Wow. You must be busy."
Jayda: "Yes, I'm verrrry busy. I have to take them on field trips and stuff."
Me: "Oh yea, where are you taking them?"
Jayda: "To the North Pole. We're going to go and kick it with Santa Clause (and yes, she said "kick it").
Me: "Well, that sounds fun."
Jayda: "Yup. I'm gonna take all three of them there. Their names are Niche, Grace, and Crap."
Me: "You named one of your kids crap?"
Jayda: "Yup. She's nice. She's not a brat...she's just crap."

And that my friends, is a shining example of my wonderful parenting skills!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sweet Bella - 11 Weeks

Update: She cries ALL day. She's actually horse sounding right now from screaming so much. Has reflux really bad. Projectile Vomits. Doesn't sleep well (if at all). She rests in her car seat instead of a bed because she's happier when shes propped up. She often smells like sour milk because she can't keep anything down, she goes through about 50 diapers a day (okay, I'm allowed to exaggerate since I'm going on 2 hours of sleep)! HOWEVER...she has a smile that will melt your heart. She coos and sings for her papa. She has a big dimple that is too cute for words. She loves to snuggle on your neck. Shes happy when she's being held by her mommy. Her eyes get huge and happy when her daddy walks in a room. She LOVES to pull up a chair to the milk bar (if you get my drift), she smiles HUGE for her big sister, and she is truly the perfect addition to our family! She is perfect...smelly milk vomit and all!!