And can I just say, I've never been happier to say goodbye to a symbol.
I welcome you, 2010! Truly, from my heart.
I am so hopeful that you will be
calmer, sweeter, more peaceful
I have hope that you will be.
This year has been so blessed it is amazing.
I can't ever discount that.
I have felt watched over and loved.
To bring closure for myself, I will share with you some of the things I learned this year:
I learned that life can be so hard.
So painful, so searing, so vicious.
So incredibly painful.
I learned that people can be cruel.
So cruel I never even imagined it.
I learned that the Savior can swallow all of that up.
I learned that the Gospel applies every second
of every day.
That the Atonement is all-encompassing.
That you are never actually
I learned how important relationships are.
I learned how kind people can be.
I learned how tender friends are.
I learned how valuable friends are.
I learned I am stronger because of all of you.
I learned that my marriage can be tested
and become stronger, better, sweeter.
I learned that my children are my greatest joy.
I learned that I will risk things for them.
I learned that I will face what I fear most for them.
I learned that I am so happy to be their Mother,
that none of my old ambitions matter so much anymore.
I learned that I am changing, and I like the changes.
I learned that my own family, my parents, my siblings,
my aunts and uncles, my cousins, my family --
mean more to me then anything else ever could.
I've learned lots of things this year.
Some big, some little, some important, some silly.
It has been a hard year, a growing year, a year of changes.
A year of joy and discoveries.
One of the most important years of my life.
In fact, I think this year might be one held up for review in the next life.
And I think I'll be able to bear that. I really will.
To all my dear friends, all of you --
I love you.
Thanks for everything.
Thanks for sharing yourselves with me.
It has helped more then you know.
I can't wait to see what your new year brings for you!
I hope it is all good things.
"Precious babies are so precious. Babies are so precious to humans, to birds, and to other animals. Reindeer are so precious to Santa Claus." -K.J., educating Olivia on the ways of the world while riding in the car. 2/16/09
"Mom, you make me smile." K.J., 2/16/09
"Mom, I love you. I'm never gonna let go of your hand!" K.J., 2/17/09
"Daddy, you are my hero." K.J., 2/19/08
"Quatro, Cinco .... (big smile) cinco ... cinco ... Siete!" Olivia, counting to 10 in Portugese and for reasons not understood, refusing to say Sies. 2/09
"Don't worry, Momma!" Olivia, reassuring me that she had in fact found her binky and the crisis was over. 2/20/09
"Momma, Livi is really a tiny dinosaur, huh." -K.J.
"I yawn it! Thanks, Momma!" -Olivia making a request. (Translation: I want it.)
"But, Livi! You're part Allred, and all the Allred's like bread!" -K.J., concerned that Livi was breaking the mold. 2/23/09
"Mom, all kids are sprouts. And you're the most special sprout of all to this family." -K.J. 2/23/09
"Okay, Moowie." -Olivia, I think calling me Marie. What the heck. 2/24/09
"Mom, when I'm 68, we're going to go to Disneyland, and I'm going to take my three toothbrushes and yours and Daddy's." -K.J. 2/26/09
"I wish the Easter Bunny would come . . . I wish Santa Claus would come! I wish I could see the Easter Bunny. Mom, is the Easter Bunny really a bunny? Or is he a human acting like a bunny?" K.J., pondering the mysteries . . .
"Mom, remember that Halloween party? That apple juice was very pesky." -K.J. 3/4/09
"I don't think Aladdin anymore . . . I think we should take my Jasmine to D.I." -K.J., who thinks he's afraid of everything, including Aladdin, and that donating it to other children will make the bad genie go away. 3/6/09
"Brother, where you? Brother! Where you?!? Want Bunny? Want Bunny?" -Olivia, generously bringing Bunny the cabbagepatch to her big brother, whom she loves dearly. 3/7/09
"I sit by you, Momma?" - Livi, in her sweetest, most syrupy voice. 3/15/09
"Oh, no!!! A boy with girl's hair!!!" -K.J., totally mystified with the man with both a goatee and a ponytail at the next gas pump.
"I was wrong. I don't like dinosaurs anymore. I just like trains again." -K.J. 3/17/09
"Hi, Grandmas! Hi, Papas! Oh, LIVIA!! So cute. Oh, so cute." -Olivia, flipping out while watching home movies. 3/17/09
"Mom! Please, drive carefully! You made Mary and the missionary fall on the floor -- you need to be a more cautious driver!!!" - K.J. the furious, after I had to brake hard at a red light and his church toys fell out of the ark. 3/19/09
"What is Grandma Allred's real name? . . . Jill? But Grandma Allred is her real name, right?" - K.J. 3/22/09
"YOU'RE FIRED!!!" - K.J. to Olivia (fired from being his sister??). They were having a dispute . . . 3/23/09
"Mom, I love you so much. Do you want to know why I love you so much? Because you love me! And you give me great hugs." - K.J. the sweetheart, 3/26/09
"And please bless Grandma Burdette. And please bless her sprinklers." -K.J.'s bedtime prayer, 3/30/09
"Jesus! Jesus . . . Temple! Jesus' temple? Yay, Jesus' temple!" -Olivia, looking at a picture of the St. George Temple. Yes! 4/18/09
"I can't quite touch your eyelashes. They're too short." -Thanks, K.J. 4/21/09
"Uh, Grandma ... Nick Allred already gave me one of those when you were gone." -K.J. and the yellow creamie.
"I love you so mostest. I love you times in-fib-i-tee." -K.J.
"Please, Mommy! Mommy, please, please, please! I LOVE YOU! Now, Share!!!" - Olivia, so anxious to share Mommy's makeup it hurts. 5/7/09
"Am I Gor-geous?" - Olivia, prancing around the living room in her skirts. And the answer is a resounding yes!" 5/8/09
"MOM!!! I just got so -- incredibly -- SOAKED!" -K.J., learning about cause and effect in our lives. sprinkers=wet. 5/14/09
"Mom, what is a cats and dogs duty? Is it to pee and poop? Because Grandma Burdette doesn't want them to do their duty in her sandbox!" -K.J. 5/16/09
"Mom, are there girl Indians? Are there girl Indians so the boy Indians can have a wife? Only boy Indians play the drums, though. Girl Indians just dance around like wild." - K.J. 5/18/09
"Jesus loves YOU, Mom! Jesus loves YOU, Mom! (pause of happy anticipation) Jesus loves ME, Mommy!" -Olivia
"Wanna go to Salt Lake, Mom. (Rethinks plan when told we should stay home with Daddy) Okay, um... how 'bout DISNEYLAND?!" - Olivia 5/27/09
"Hi, Gorgeous!" - Olivia, greeting her little friend Savannah
"Oh, Mama, you are just so cute. You are so, so cUUUte, Mama!" - Olivia, 6/4/09
"Mom, the Mama rabbit said 'Bless You' to Robin Hood ... and he didn't even sneeze!!!" K.J., reporting to me through the shower curtain. 6/20/09
"Look, the baby is eating my leg! Yum, yum, yum." -Olivia, rockin' the Sacrament Meeting entertainment. 6/21/09
"You go potty, Mommy? Oh, you so big girl! You wanna potty treat! I so happy about you!!!" - Olivia, the new potty cheer captain. 7/25/09
"Mom, I just don't think I'll be able to walk on these legs for like three weeks at least." - K.J., informing me of the seriousness of the situation post immunization. 7/29/09
"They'll try to break us, huh, Mom. But they can't break us! Because we are a family. And we have Family Night!" - K.J. (I don't know where this came from, but I gotta say... pretty profound.) 7/31/09
"I went potty! I love you, brother! (Looks at Mom) This is-a my best brother!!!" - Olivia, with her arms thrown tight around her best brother.
"Mom, there are a lot of people in our ward with no hair." - K.J. 8/9/09
"It was SO MUCH FFUUUUNNN!" - K.J. on the first day of school. 8/13/09
"Mom, I think I should play now. Because I am really ready to be good to my dear cousin Add." - K.J. trying to weazel his way out of punishment.
"Mom, I am Jasmine. And I am going to marry Daddy!" -Olivia
"Uh! I not awesome, I am a beautiful!" - Olivia, who did not agree with the compliment Mommy gave her.
"That fly was so fast -- he must have been in a fly race or something!" - Kaje
"Use the Force, son! I mean -- yes -- no -- the lightsaber! Use the lightsaber!" - The Double B; featuring his Lego Star Wars game partner, Kaje. 10/6/09
"This soup flavor is fantastic!" - K.J.
"I need a new body! I need a new bum!" - Livi with the stomach flu, poor kid.
"Oh no, I feel very anxious-ed!" -K.J., late October
"Oh Hot Biddily-Buds!" - Kaje playing Lego Star Wars