some things i love

christmas cards! it's so much work that every year i wonder if i'll ever do it again. but then seeing those smiling faces on my mantle--the faces of all those people i love--well worth it.

running! i know i talk about it, and it may be annoying because you're like "yes janell, you run, okay." but i can't really tell you how much i love it. it makes me happy, it calms me. i love how it makes me feel. i totally look forward to it. even when it's cold and icy and snowy and dark--still love it. it's part of me and i hope i can run into my grave.

optimism. i've been realizing lately that i am a happy, optimisistic person. i feel hopeful about the future even when things are hard. i love to smile and to laugh, and it comes very natural to me. i feel i have every reason to be happy, and so little reason not to be. even when things are very busy or really tough, i generally feel calm and happy about things. i'm not a big stresser. it's a mindset i hope i always retain.

the moon. i love full moons. especially when the mountains are covered in snow so that they glow and the sky looks midnight blue instead of black and the world looks lit up. i see this often when i drive home from studying at 12 or 1230 at night, listening to nighttime jazz or norah jones, and the world feels peaceful and calm and magical.

people. i love people and have no desire or inclination to judge them. i am not trying to say i'm awesome--i'm horribly flawed. but i pretty much like everyone, and can't think of anyone i hold any grudge against. i think i am blessed to be able to see people in the best light. i make every effort to try to understand others and not to question their motives or sincerity. i only mention this because it brings me great joy to be able to love people.

high heels, sweaters and coats. i'm grouping them together because i don't want to sound too materialistic! i LOVE high heels and would like to wear them most days and have a million fun pairs. i saw the cutest gold (not shiny, just yellowish) heels with very pointy toes and this big bow over the toe. so cute! don't worry, i didn't buy them. i couldn't because i DID buy my bright, shiny red 5 inch heels that i am in love with. i also love boots, especially knee-length boots. small joy. as for sweaters--who can have too many of them? v-neck, turtle neck, fitted, baggy--they are good for every occassion. i probably have 10 black sweaters alone. love it! and coats--for christmas i got the cutest black wool peacoat with a hood and it's stinkin cute. i love being a girl.

these two monkeys. aaaaahhhhh! can you even believe their cute/fun/silly-ness?! i'm crazy over them. really. i have the best kids EVER. that's right. this picture is them trying to be strong like their dad. some mornings he does sets of push ups, sit ups, etc--with his shirt off. so the boys have their shirts off and attempt to do some workout. jacob is holding his stomache since he couldn't get the 6 pack effect by flexing his gut. really, you can't blame them for wanting to look like their dad. i mean seriously, have you seen him with his shirt off lately?! todd should back me up on this one.

news and politics. the new york times makes me very happy. i'm a nerd. i especially love reading op-eds and the latest research. and i am forever grateful for those wonderful friends--like katie w and david b--who, although i may disagree with them more often than not, will have thoughtful discussions about things that matter, and yet STILL be able to laugh at the political craziness on both sides of the aisle. and lets not forget inauguration day is january 20th. sweet! barack obama is definitely something to love.

this family. it makes me happy to see us because i think we look as happy as we are. from christmas lights at temple square.

by the way, here is a link to more of our fabulous family photos. i LOVE them! there are some great family photos, amazing individual shots of both boys and adorable ones of the two of them together. there are even some shnazzy ones of a good lookin' couple. i love looking at them--it really makes me very happy. my friend kendi took them and she is wonderful, not only because she takes great photos but because there's nothing worse than having a photographer who gets impatient with your kids for being kids. argh! but kendi takes great photos AND is a lot of fun. check her out.
if this photo doesn't whet your appetite for more cuteness, you're hopeless!


need i say more?


what i'm happy about...

i've been sweetly commanded to blog, and it's just as well, since i'll be back to school on tuesday the 13th and don't imagine i'll be blogging for awhile. my final semester of school, and it will be a rough one. but four months and i'll be an MPA grad! even though i'm nervous about ALL i have to do before then, i think i'm about ready to go back. this break has been wonderful--just what i needed. i feel renewed. we had a relaxing and fun christmas and new years, and we got to spend good time with both of our families, and--yeah!--with each other.

now that it's 2009, my goals are very meager.
1) graduate
2) move
that's about it. sure there are all kinds of things i'd like to do, but in all honesty that's pretty much what i'm aiming for. finish and move on! it's time.

i feel unbelievably happy lately. i think part of that is that i'm getting sleep. the other part of that is that i've got the greatest family ever. we were sitting around playing cars with the boys on sunday and i felt like everything i need is right there. so happy. josh is amazing, and joshua and jacob are so much fun! really. i love being with them--they make me very happy. i am a lucky woman.

my big boy joshua. recently he and i have read james and the giant peach, ralph s. mouse, and sideways stories from wayside school together. right now it's boxcar children. it's one thing just he and i do together, and it's probably my favorite mom thing to do. i love it. joshua has taken to spontaneously giving me hugs and saying "i love you mom." such a sweet, sensitive boy.

i can't even say how happy this mischievious little boy makes me. he is a one compact bundle of joy. and he loves to give hugs and kisses. "i wanna give you a kiss mom! i wanna hug you!" he has the silliest giggle and, although he has a temper to run from, he so quickly recovers and gives you that killer smile that you can hardly hold it against him. and i don't. he's his mom's son, after all.

josh turns 30 next week--crazy! i'm close behind. we're moving on up. josh is too good to me, unbelievably thoughtful and forgiving and supportive. it has been so nice to relax with him and enjoy his company. he is one an amazing dad. i hope some day my boys know how lucky they are to have him. josh recently got a big promotion--goldman's latest associate! he deserves it, i don't know anyone who works harder. now he's applying to business schools and we both are so excited for it--somewhere new! we're ready to move on and see what life holds next. i love him, and feel very content with our life. i think we're where we want to be. i can't think of anything more i could need...

here's the big fam. my mom and frank-o were here for thanksgiving which made ALMOST a full crew. we still missed my bro john. i like this picture though--all those kids! and what is better is that they all LOVE each other! they get crazy and noisy together and we love to see it. their cousins are their best buddies, and i am quite attached to my niece and nephews as well. what a great family!

look at these beautiful women! my mom is the best, and i love my sisters. there is so much in them to admire, and i often feel woefully inadequate compared to them. it was great spending thanksgiving with them all, some christmas time, and a hilarious new years. i haven't laughed that hard in a long time! it is such a gift to be by family, and we are appreciating it extra as we know we may be leaving soon.

i'll admit--i've been choked up the whole time i've been writing this. nothing spectacular going on but i have felt SO HAPPY and so blessed lately. i adore my family. i have so much to be grateful for.
more on that later...