Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The Nativity Festival

Our Christmas festivities just keep pouring in and it makes my heart so happy! It surely is passing the time oh so very quickly. I'm a broken record when it comes to this next sentence, but I am a-okay with time passing as quickly as possible. My third youngest sister (for those who don't know I have four sisters!) has been going to choir practice every sunday building up to this event. The Nativity festival. I wasn't sure if little miss would allow me to due to my sister's performance being at 8:30pm.

We certainly received the blessing that little miss didn't need a nap till the late afternoon, pushing her nap back allowed me to take her out just a little bit later. There was one thing I didn't realize with this event, it just wasn't member's of my church participating, but it was also choirs from many other churches in the surrounding area! It was so wonderful to see that! Though we may all believe something just a little different, we all believe that Christ is our Savior and that this season we are celebrating him and his birth.

As we pulled up the stake center, there was a reverence there. A stable was set up at both entrances. As you walked through (depending on what side you were on) was an angel singing with a live nativity of Mary and Joseph and a baby in the manager. The ceiling was transformed to look like stars which little miss was entranced by. On the other was Shepard's looking towards the star as one of them sang "Mary Did You Know". Guy's this young man had such a powerful voice, taking his time to emphasize what that song is about. I got choked up as I listened to him sing. As I looked around me 99% of the crowd was just as choked up as I was!

As you entered toward the gym it was decorated like that of Christ's time. But as



you entered in the gym thousand's of nativities were placed and displayed! It truly was a sight to see! You could even do a scavenger hunt of the different ones. For example my youngest sister was on the hunt for: The Coconut Nativity, The Smallest Nativity (which was seriously so tiny) The eskimo nativity etc etc. It was so cool to see different cultures version's.

In the cultural hall was were the choir's performed. It was a little odd to be clapping in there, since generally it is a place of reverence. But all the choirs did an outstanding job. You could really feel the spirit and feel true Christmas Joy. Little miss loved running around and staring at all the pretty (breakable might I add) nativities and dancing to the music. Though as 8:50 rolled around it was time to hit the hay. I was able to see one and a half of the songs my sister was performing in with our stake. I wished I could have stayed longer but the role of mom kicked in. It was truly a wonderful experience and was so glad I was able to attend most of it with my family.

The christmas spirit is definitely buzzing in the Semler household! Little miss crashed before we even made it half way home. It all worked out perfectly and I couldn't have been more pleased! How was your guys' weekend?


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Monday, December 15, 2014

Communicating during deployment

Our last picture together before we said "see ya later" 

For those of you who have or are going through a deployment, you're probably rolling your eyes knowing the constant frustration of trying to communicate with your loved one during these months apart. The repeating of "Oh wait! I can't hear you!" followed by a dropped call. Skype freezing right in the middle of a sentence, emails not sending properly or not getting there at all and fb messages getting out of order.

It can be extremely tiresome and sometimes as I lay in bed the thought comes across "Are we even going to be able to have a conversation tomorrow?" I have allowed my heart to carry a constant pain and anger of not being able to have a meaningful conversation with my husband. So I have come up with some ideas of how to make Deployment communication a little easier.

1) Make a list of important things you need talk about with your love. As you talk about them, check them off and write the answer down. So if the conversation becomes unexpectedly/expectedly cut off at least you know what you have left and have your answer nice and handy. I have learned this the hard way. I become so frustrated that the conversation ended that I forget what I needed to ask the next time which just made me more frazzled.

2) Sending cards of encouragement. With the stress of him working 24/7 confined to a ship, I always try to make sure that I avoid the talking of stress to him about my day. No need to add his plate when there is nothing he can do. I always want to make sure he knows he can do it! Whatever it is! And sometimes when all there is, is time to say I love you and goodnight, I always like to find a way to tell him how proud I am of him or to give him words of encouragement. I just sent him this card so he can hang in his bunk! He loves them and it's a more personal way to say it especially when we can't talk on the phone.

Want to make something similar click here



3) Just breathe. I have had to remind myself of this one many times. If whatever form of communication we are using decides to crash, I have to count to ten and breath. Chances are he is just as upset about it and when 250+ other men and women are trying to use the same wifi single there is absolutely nothing he can do. I was and sometimes still do use up pointless energy on something that just can't be helped.

4) Don't compare what other wives are posting about on FB about the call they received, but you didn't. It only causes  worry, thinking is your husband is ignoring you?, or any other unnecessary thought that you just don't need to add to your plate. If your loved one is like my husband he isn't too thrilled about it either. My husband has had duty, no connection or a MASSIVE line for the phone putting any hope of calling/skyping that day at a halt. He will call you when he can. I promise.



Maybe more experienced military wives have more to add to this, but over the last couple weeks, these are just things I have had to remind myself to do to avoid hurt feelings. Deployment isn't easy on either end, but I have felt these four tips have made it more of a smooth sailing for us then when we first started out on this adventure. If you have any more tips I would love to hear from you!





                                                         
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Inspirational Sunday

This week has been a tough one. A lot of emotions with this Christmas season. This quote has been my motivation to try to stay positive. Though it doesn't always happen. There has been many tears shed that's for sure. There has also a lot of laughs with my family  and from miles and miles away my husband still manages to put butterflies into my stomach. Staying positive I definitely notice a difference in my life. So if your having a down week. Tomorrow is a new day and I hope this quote inspires you! 


Thursday, December 11, 2014

All aboard the Polar Express!


                                      


For the first time in a couple years I have been knee deep in Christmas. Celebrations! Not because I didn't want to but because of different circumstances  for example work, a new area and being pregnant. So when my family started listing off different events we would be attending; basically up until Christmas, I couldn't help but feel giddy inside! Like I was my twelve year old self waiting up for Santa!


                                     

Our first event was our church Christmas breakfast. The theme was polar express! Which next to "Christmas with the Kranks" "Polar Express" is my next favorite Christmas movie. I was asked to manage the photo booth section with my iPad. I found this super cool app called Instabooth, that allowed me to Snapp away photos that turned into photo strips to email to the families!



We arrived in our pjs which little miss was thrilled about. I'm pretty sure she would prefer to stay in her jammies all day. The decor was so cute with snowflakes and ornaments hanging above our heads, twinkling in the lights. We lined up for delicious buttermilk pancakes, eggs, and sausage and of course hot chocolate! Mmmmm white hot chocolate with peppermint. It was so popular that they ran out.



The turn out was so big they had to find more room for more tables! In the center was a set up of the nativity with a projector. To tell the story of the birth of Christ through the polar express. It truly was awesome! Though the party was only two hours it had everyone grinning from ear to ear heading home with full bellies and remembering the true meaning of Christmas!





                                  

I can't wait to see what our other christmas events have in store! We will be driving down to San Diego this weekend to hear a christmas choir, a Christmas festival and I know we will be heading down to Newport Beach to see the boat parade that I absolutely loved as child! I love the Christmas season! What do you guys have planned? 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Coke Bottle Reindeer!

With the season of giving upon us I wanted to make a cute little thank you gift for my family. They have done so much for little miss and I since we got here. They have made us feel so welcomed and loved and  gave us a room to call our own. They have been heaven sent that is for sure. Especially during this Christmas season, I just couldn't imagine being alone. I wanted to make something cute and fun, but something that also didn't break the bank.

Then I saw this post over at He & I. It was perfect! I changed mine up a bit but the concept came from Alexa! Walmart is literally down the street from me and I knew they would have all the supplies. So I set to work on making my family their very own coke bottle reindeer! Aren't they so cute?! I have gotten plenty of "Oh my gosh! They are so cute! I don't want to drink em'" Since I presented them to the fam!

What you need: 

Pipe cleaners (any color) I chose white {.99 cents}
Googly eyes {.99 cents}
Red puffies {$1.25}
Glass coke bottles {$4.95 pack of 6}
Hot glue gun!

I was able to complete all six of them in 30 minutes! Definitely something you can do while your little ones are taking a snooze! 

Steps: 
1} With a hot glue gun, Glue goggly eyes in the center of your bottle. 
2} Glue on nose
3} Wrap pipe cleaner from front to back around the top lip of the bottle. Twist together the ends and bend outward to form the antlers. 
4} Cut two smaller pieces of pipe cleaner and wrap around each antler
5} Take a step back and admire your work! 

Presto you now you have very own reindeer to spread around holiday cheer! I placed them on the kitchen table so as my family walked in it was the first thing they saw. It was such a perfect gift to say thank you and put a smile on their faces. Next year I definitely want to make these to pass out as visiting teaching gifts or it may just be the reason I need to throw a christmas party! 





We had some left over pipe cleaner so I took the liberty of making my baby girl a crown. She walked around for hours with it on her head! Stock pile on pipe cleaners when we move home is now a must! 




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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Looking in the mirror

I don't know about you but I struggle with mirrors. Sometimes they are my best friends and sometimes they are my sworn enemy. Since little miss has been born it's been more towards the latter. I saw a girl who had gained 30 lbs since her marriage and pregnancy, her hair was darkening in the most hideous color, acne had spread across her face and her makeup was never perfect; that is if she even had time to put any on.

After little miss was born I had this new energy. I dropped all my pregnancy weight and then a little more and was more determined then ever to get back to my "old" body while Mr. Sailor and I had been dating. Then All of it was gone. I was tired all the time. Taking care of a new born, on top of the house work and full time school I was going no where fast. I would lose 3 lbs then gain 5. It was a never ending back and forth. Then it slowly spiraled into I was feeling depressed about my weight and lost all self control. I would make cookies swearing myself to only eating 2 in a 24 hour period, and then before I knew it I would eat 3 then 4 then 5.

Every morning I would cry. I hated how I looked. My loving husband would always reassure me I was beautiful and that he still loved me no matter what. If I were to stay that size forever he would still love me for all eternity. I was content knowing that but it just didn't seem enough. I would promise myself to do better and that I was the one in control of my life but I wouldn't do anything about it. I just wasn't taking the steps to getting there because I was in a state of depression and sadness of how I "needed to look"

Then I made a recent realization. I will never have my "old" body back. My 19/20 year old self didn't stretch and grow to help carry a baby for 9 months. My old body was on a budget where buying the essentials for meals was all I could afford and snacks came at a scarcity. My old body was 19 years old. My old body was just that. Old. It was in the past. That body was never coming back. Not EVER. It will however take a new form and shape. A shape that helps me carry my daughter on my new found hips. Breasts that aren't as "perky" as they use to be but helped nourish my daughter. Stretch marks that now hug my tummy and sides that allowed my body to carry my daughter for 9 months, healthily.

As I have made these realization I have found I am not so afraid of mirror's any more. I am finding a new confidence in myself.  Yes I may be considered "over weight" but I am actually doing something about it, loosing 11 lbs so far. I was TOO superficial, holding myself to unrealistic standards. I needed to find out how to love myself. Looks are going to fade, but it's what we do in our life that counts. I have (in a non braggy way) written down all of my accomplishments in life. Though it may not be great to others, it is great to me and my family. That is what makes me ME. Not my pant size, not how flawless my skin is. I have a daughter who I love unconditionally. I am married to the man of my dreams. I have a family who supports and cheers me on and friends who are by my side through thick and thin. So now I look in the mirror and see a girl who is cared for, loved and has goals she is reaching just a little bit more each day.

So next time you are afraid of the mirror I want you to look yourself in the eye and list 5 little things you have accomplished that day and then pat yourself on the back. As those days past you will start to notice what an amazing and beautiful person you are and I guarantee over time the mirror won't be to bad after all.


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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

#ShareTheGift

Since I forgot to post an inspirational quote on Sunday I figured I would share this short video. I cried watching this. Why? Within three minutes it perfectly showed the true meaning of christmas without a single word. It has helped my line of sight shift back toward the savior's birth and away from the commercialism and gifts. Don't get me wrong that stuff is great, but sometimes I lose focus and get caught up on finding the best deals and getting the "perfect" gift for everyone. If anything I hope you just feel the spirit of Christmas watching this!




             
if you would like to know more about what I believe click here

Take to your social media accounts and share why Christmas is important to you with hashtag #ShareTheGift .

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