Wednesday, December 30, 2009

there's a first time for everything

I feel quite seasoned when it comes to surgeries; I've had four of them up until this point in my life. My husband, on the other hand, had his very first today.

Several months ago the inside of his middle finger started hurting. Catching footballs, shoveling, and things like that caused him pain. Doing most other things didn't bother him. But it's grown - this mass - and we realized we should get it taken care of before our healthcare system goes completely down the toilet. And, before the end of the year. :)

As if he wasn't nervous enough about being put under and cut into, we got to the surgery center today to see that they had the wrong finger down for surgery! I found it all quite humorous, more than Spencer found it. They took him back to prep him and just as I was mulling over leaving to hit the mall and then coming back before they knew what had happened to me, the nurse came to get me. I was expecting him to be a little loopy and out of sorts but he was awake and totally alert.

I'm not much of a compassionate soul but he'll need me to be for exactly 48 hours and then he should be good as new. In the meantime he has this cool foam block to keep his arm above his heart. I hope he can sleep with that thing.

Other than that, Christmas was wonderful as usual. I am really soaking in my kids (BOTH of them) still finding every aspect of the holiday perfectly magical. I know that will only last another year or two so it is still magical for me too. For the first time since I can remember, two traditions in my family came to a halt, but will surely resume one day. I must say, it was kind of nice! I did catch a cold on Christmas day. I'm glad all the hype is over, and am happy with the thought of a new start and, hopefully, a much slower paced January.

Friday, December 18, 2009

a few of my favorite things

(I still don't get why that is considered a Christmas song...)

I thought I'd showcase some of my favorite things from the last month or two. First, our neighbors gave us a little shelf. It was plain and unfinished but well made and Tyler needed just the thing in his room. Here it is.

Well, I had to spiff it up a little and I'm always up for a craft so I used paint, paper, and mod podge - you know, the essentials - and came up with this. I added some banana-leaf containers for toys and it's just perfect. Can't beat free! (I know it's kinda hard to see, but use your imaginations... the paint is brown and the paper is blue with brown stars.)

After getting all your input on a color for our door...6 months ago, we finally got that done. And sticking to our previous theme of "hiring out," we had a friend's painter come and paint it for us. It took 2 days but looks incredible. We are thrilled with how it turned out. It almost looks too nice for our house. (Picture is a little cloudy.)

My aunt makes these cute beaded watch bracelets. As is natural for me, I have to discover how to do all things "cute" myself. So, I did. We did an Enrichment night making them and I have lots of extras that I can use as gifts or use for myself. In fact, I think I'll do a giveaway sometime soon (like, in the next week) so be sure to check back. Does that sound fun?

Lastly, I decided to do a "cookie swap" at my house this year. I feel like December is CRAZY (and if you saw my schedule for this week you would be as tired as me) every year but I think it's a great idea to have an excuse for a girls' night out. And, what husband would object to his wife making cookies, leaving for an hour, and then bringing home tons of different kinds?! Win-win if you ask me. Yum. We had about 30 people, tons of different cookies, and lots of fun. No pictures though.

Now I can relax a little. I love Christmastime!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Here I go again, being all cliche-ish, but this really was such a fun vacation for us...and I don't think I have been told off so many times in a two-day period. Last year when we went to Disneyland it was an unexpected quick thing and I was 7 1/2 months pregnant which equalled not much fun for me. This time was quite different.

We decided to line up our trip with Spencer's birthday AND with Veteran's Day so Emma only missed 2 days of school and Tyler only missed 1. And Spencer got in for free one day. I have never gone to Disneyland for more than one day - we usually rush and squeeze it all in, exhausted and all, because 1) it's expensive and 2) I'm usually too tired to even want to go again. But we had some serious Disney gift cards we had to use up, so two full days it was. It made me tired even thinking about it.

Day 1 turned out to be one of their lowest attendance days. We knew this because they were filming ABC's Christmas Day parade as we walked down Main Street (don't feel bad for those teeny bopper singers for having to work on Christmas Day - they don't work on Christmas Day). We saw Ryan Seacrest and didn't hang around for Demi Lovato. Instead, we hopped onto Nemo and got that out of the way.

I'm convinced that Disneyland is a magical place. But I've come to realize that what is really magical is when you have no babies, no diapers, no nappers and your kids are over 40" tall. We ditched our stroller (we only even had a stroller to carry junk around) so many times to all go on rides together, and that was way more fun than any other time we've gone. We took the kids on Space Mountain - I haven't been on that one since high school. I don't remember much about it because Tyler was next to me bawling his eyes out and I was trying to comfort him the whole time. The ride picture is awesome. He was pretty mad at me afterward.
Some of our friends from home were there too and it was fun to run into them and go on a few rides. The lines were the shortest I've ever seen them so we went on 3 rides in the first hour. (It doesn't ever happen that way.) Then we headed over to California Adventure. I really wanted to go on Tower of Terror (I had never been.) So, I was honest when Emma asked me if it was scary and told her I didn't know. Holy cow, I got chewed out by my 5-year old when that ride was over. You should have seen her shaking her finger at me, telling me I had "lied" to her. I told her I didn't realize it was going to be that scary. Boy, that one took my breath (and stomach) away a FEW times... Some spectators even pulled up a chair and watched me get chewed out. She was mad for a few hours. Even now she'll say, "Why do they tell you to say goodbye to your old self??!! What does that mean??"We got to meet up with my very best friend from high school. She and her husband have a cute baby who kept Emma entertained during dinner and the Pixar parade.

The next day was the big birthday! Spencer got a button he was so incredibly proud to wear (ha), and we took the day pretty easy. I did make the kids go on Splash Mountain, and once again they weren't happy with me. But it was totally worth it. (I say that now, but I don't know if they'll ever trust me again.) We let the kids repeat the rides they really liked from the day before, and I even stood in line outside Pixie Hollow for a whole hour (!!) so Emma could meet Tinkerbell. The boys went on Buzz Lightyear and Star Tours two times each while they waited.

Jedi Training was the only frustrating part of the day... our kids weren't picked by the Jedi Master so there were tears, and then we had to go back for the next showing to try again. Spencer learned quickly that he had to act crazy to help them get picked so he did a good job jumping around and making a scene, and he didn't let them down again (though I did move away so as not to suffer the embarrassment). What a good dad. I was missing my nice camera with a great zoom at this point.

We went home at 4:30 so we could have Spencer's birthday party, complete with that massive Costco chocolate cake. Quite possibly 10 pounds. Yumm.

We had to drive home the next day so Spencer could fly to Utah for work and so Emma could go back to school. I have decided the best time to go to Disney is between Halloween and when they start the Christmas stuff (2 week window). We loved it and went on all the rides we wanted to, usually more than once. I think Tyler rode Astro Blasters (Buzz Lightyear) 5 times.

And there's our trip. Fun stuff.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I am thankful for my parents and my sister, and am thankful they're not too far away to join us for our first Thanksgiving in our house.

I am thankful I have an awesome little brother on a mission in a really cool place, and hope some of the blessings are filtering up to me.

I am thankful for little Macie, and that I get to think of her often. I am thankful that she makes me be a better person, in a way no one else could. I am thankful for everything she reminds me of. I am thankful for the rest of my family that I get to live with: Tyler, who is a ray of sunshine, Emma, who is wise beyond her years, and Spencer, who totally balances me out.

I am thankful for heaters, washing machines, garbage disposals and hand sanitizer. For Cadbury chocolate, goldfish, homemade pizza, paint, crafts, and cute Christmas cards.

And...he's baaaack! I am thankful for Hermey, who makes my kids just a smidge more pleasant. Now if he can get on the ball and remember to hide every night. So far I'm (I mean, he's) 0 for 3 and I need to do a better job at helping him or at making up excuses for him...

And I really want to find my favorite flip flops (2 1/2 years old) because I would really like to be thankful for them again.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ringin' in the 80s

Spencer and Hyrum were both born at the very end of the 70s, which means they both have 30th birthdays this November. Spencer's was a few weeks ago, while we were on vacation (more on that in the future), and Hyrum's is on Tuesday.

Ashley, Candice and I organized a surprise party for these two old men. It was last night at Ashley's house. SO FUN. Both the guys were told it was a surprise party for the other. I had a hard time keeping my story straight and not ruining the surprise.

Anyway, it was an 80s theme party. I walked into my first thrift store EVER this week and didn't have much success. I was super grossed out by the smell. I was worried I was becoming a snob but Candice thankfully accompanied me to another "nicer" thrift store and helped me find some clothes. I had to get a little creative. All our friends dressed up, and we even decorated to fit the theme!

I did have one realization: I'd better save some of my clothes so that in 10-15 years Emma can dress up in them and make fun of us and what we wore in the 2000s.

Enjoy the pictures!


The wives of the old men (don't worry, we're both a couple years away from being as old as our men). And I love that Candice is on her tip toes.


The girls. I'm aware that I look totally ridiculous.

The boys.

no 7-year itch

What I have learned these past 7 years:

*Both of us are incredibly stubborn. And we're both always right.
*If MASH is anywhere on TV, Spencer will find it and he WILL watch it.
*If at a loss for what to make for dinner, spaghetti will always win out.
*Spencer totally has the dominant genes when it comes to our kids.

7 years, 10 houses and 3 kids just keeps getting better!

Our wedding day was an unusually warm, sunny day. It feels like we've been married for a long time but I guess that's not long when you consider forever!!

(Check back later to see how we celebrated--in color and in style!)

Monday, November 16, 2009


Spencer and I met in Econ 110. I don't remember meeting him, but he swears he remembers seeing me for the first time. He had some sneaky friends who eventually positioned themselves by me and my friends, and I quickly realized that this newly returned missionary was smart. I needed someone like that. Spencer became my "dating counselor" and I would always ask his advice about this boy I liked in my building. Well, imagine my shock when in the midst of the counseling, he asked me out! I remember how hot my face felt, how low my jaw dropped. I remember that he didn't laugh or scoff or make fun of me in my shocked state.

8 years ago today, Spencer and I went on our first date. I was usually quite a basketcase with first dates (aren't they the worst!?) but going out with Spencer was like going out with a friend. We went to The Pie in Salt Lake, and then to see Warren Miller's extreme skiing show at the Capitol Theater. (I still have the program from that show!)

I had a diamond ring from another boy (on a mission) at that point. I had it with me in my pocket. (So judge me all you want, but just know that that ring came in handy quite a bit at BYU with pushy fact, some of my friends used it to freak out their moms/friends.) Anyway, Spencer saw some old mission friends and I decided to put it on to see if they would notice. We got a good laugh the next day when he got an email from the friend asking if we were engaged. :)

But back to the story...

Spencer took his parents' Suburban that night because I think he was embarrassed about his car that was nicknamed "Lipstick."

I love remembering that first date because it was so fun and not awkward. Believe me, the awkward points came later. We had plenty of them. But about a year after our first date we were married. That year was emotional and a little crazy but I'm so glad I made that decision! I love how every November 16th I think of our first date, that pesky ring, and some seriously yummy pizza.

More to come...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

the wasteland

Our house is on a big lot. Well, "big" is relative, but I really do think our yard is extraordinarily large. The problem is, ever since we moved back in in April, it's looked like this.

A wasteland. Awful. Ugly. As one of our friends said, there should be a malnourished goat tied to a stake in the middle of all the dirt. Our Stake President is our neighbor and gave a talk in Stake Conference a couple months ago about how his lawn is greener than everyone else's. We got the hint! I guess the point of his talk was to make the grass green where we are, figuratively speaking. But perhaps he also thought we were bringing down the neighborhood...

On the side of our house were these trees. Beautiful birch trees. But, covered in ivy. Therefore, ugly. I could even hear the bees swarming from inside my bedroom.
Spencer and are both bigtime "do it yourself" types of people. Especially me. I hate spending money. But we wanted these trees out, and we wanted the stumps out (remember our root system from a few months ago?? That took us 3 weeks?), and we wanted it done quickly and nicely.
So, Spencer rocked it at work and got a bonus (have I mentioned I love being married to a super smartie pants?) And we hired out for the first time ever! You know, I really liked the whole concept of having workers. It was so nice to say "The workers are coming today." Way better than the alternative! And in just 3 1/2 days, our front yard (and side yard) was completely transformed! They took those trees down so fast, they added a new concrete walkway out to the sidewalk, they laid sod and even added a new and improved sprinkler system! Emma was really good at inspecting from the sidelines.
The workers finished here, and we were left to spread the mulch (we didn't want the yard to be entirely grass). The mulch ended up being a huge project so once again, we hired out--2 young men. I love watching rather than working. I really could get used to this. (The trees were on the side of the house, by where the truck is. I love how having them gone has opened up our house/lot so much.)

What do you think? Awesome, right? This walkway border was my doing, and it took a lot longer than I thought it would. But I love how it looks. We have two trees to plant still (in the mulch area), and solar ground lights to put in on the sides of the walkway. I'd like to plant a money tree too.
And our workers? Worth every single penny!

Friday, October 30, 2009

last year

This is where we were one year ago today. When one of my friends saw this, months ago, she said, "This picture breaks my heart."

Mine too. I guess it always will.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

our little corner of heaven

Thank you to everyone for your comments and notes. I had a really hard week - I was so emotional and was so worried about how I would feel today. But I felt fine. I felt a lot of peace, and I think I only got slightly teary one time. I guess the lead-up to today was way worse than the actual day.

After church we started on dinner and got everything ready to go to the cemetery. We had to get balloons last night and they were getting a little...sad. Emma wrote notes all over them. Spencer and Tyler did the traditional pumpkin-carving with an "M" for Macie.

I must say that today is one of the most beautiful fall days, just like how it was one year ago. It was warm, the sky was blue, and the cemetery was so peaceful. Rarely are we the only ones there, but today we were. Imagine my surprise as we pulled up and there was a huge, gorgeous bouquet on her headstone. My sweet friends had left it there for me, and the tag even included what is on her headstone - "Our little angel Macie." The flowers reminded me of her casket flowers - just beautiful. I have such wonderful friends. There was also another basket of fall flowers, with the tag "Sunday Will Come." What precious words those are, for so many reasons (besides the fact that our Bishop used that talk for his talk at Macie's funeral last year).

Here are the balloons, which barely made it above the trees, and surely came down a block or two away. They needed some serious prodding. At least they made it out of sight. Wow, I am looking forward to being able to buy balloons on the actual day of her 2nd bday next year.

I love that Emma kicked off her shoes and made herself comfortable on the grass. Tyler asked if Macie was smiling. We sang her Happy Birthday and ate her pink cupcakes, then took some pictures. It was fun and simple and peaceful. And perfect.

365 days ago

A year ago this morning, I woke up with no clue I would hold a baby that afternoon. I also had no clue the baby inside would me wouldn't be a real living, breathing baby, but instead she would be an angel. I had no clue that the light contractions were in fact indicating the end of a life inside of me, trying to rid my body of something that was no longer kicking, moving, living. I had no idea I would have be admitted to the hospital, only to come home a few days later with no baby. I remember praying so hard that she would somehow be alive, even after they told me she wasn't.

When I hear of others who have had stillborns, for an instant I cringe and think, "I could never do that. I could never bear it." Oh, but I did. It almost feels like that 8 1/2 months of my life was more of a dream. But the real end hasn't come yet and I just have to be patient. I yearn for better technology, a machine that can show if there is something wrong with the umbilical cord. I am terrified of ever being pregnant again, if I get so lucky again someday.

Oh how thankful I am for our families, who helped us, and continue to help us deal with it. So many of them sent cards, emails, texts, gifts, and items for Macie's grave for this, her 1 year birthday.

Some random thoughts:

-It rained the day we buried her. It rained on the way to the cemetery. It stopped when we got out of the car, and bits of sun peeked out. It rained as we drove home.
-Someday I will get to be her mom again. I think we'll be friends, like equals. I know she still exists and I know she is happy. My soul is healing. But I still miss my baby.
-I drive past the hospital almost every day (not intentionally; it's just really close). But I have had a hard time driving past it the last few weeks. The leaves are changing colors, and the trees outside the hospital look just as they did when I was staying there. I don't like it.
-Spencer had to go see someone in the hospital a few weeks ago. He had a panic attack upon walking in the door. I think I would have too. That was his first time back. I haven't been back since I left almost one year ago.
-So, in her honor, we will be having a party today - eating cupcakes, letting balloons go, and singing her a song or two. Time is surely different where she is, and maybe this is more for us than for her, but I'm sure she'll enjoy it too. If you'd like to give your kids a squeeze at 4 pm local time, I think it would do us all some good.

Happy Birthday Macie!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

in her own words

You know, sometimes I have a really crappy day. Not often, but sometimes. Yesterday was one such day. But then something happened to turn it all around.

Emma has had a loose tooth for...a year? It sure feels like it's been that long. She finally was so over the loose tooth thing, and asked me to pull it out. Ew. But hey, taking out some frustration on another person's mouth didn't sound too bad. After a few tugs that weren't super successful (hey dad, I need you to teach me how to make that flexible knot out of dental floss), I stuck my fingers in and pretty much got it out. One more small tug later, and our family's (I mean, Emma's) first baby tooth was lost!

Well, Emma had a cute little container to stick that tiny tooth in. But - no joke - not 20 minutes later, the container was missing! We looked for it unsuccessfully. I wish I was quicker on my feet, but I did tell her we would write a note to the tooth fairy and ask her to still come and leave Emma some money, and we would find the tooth later for her. Emma seemed ok with that. I sent the kids to bed.

Before I went to bed I went in to, ya know, do the tooth fairy thing. There was the note from me, and then I saw one that Emma had written to her. And man oh man, seeing this note to the tooth fairy totally turned my day around.

Dear Tooth Fairy,

Find it.


Thanks for the laughs, Emma.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

crying it out

A couple weeks ago when I picked Emma up from school, she saw me and burst into tears. Shocked, I sat her down and asked what was wrong. She didn't really know and started rambling through her sobs. She never was able to verbalize what was wrong. That afternoon Tyler had a playdate and Emma asked if she and I could go on a "date." I was happy for the chance to talk to her and find out what had been going on. She requested a shake at McDonald's. As we sat and drank our shake she told me just how wonderful school is. I kept thinking about how upset she had been just an hour earlier. I was confused.

I came to a conclusion: Emma is just a girl. I can't count the number of times I've cried for no real reason. Sometimes it just feels so good to get it out, and sometimes a bunch of gibberish comes out in the process of "crying it out." When I told Spencer what had happened, and then told him the conclusion I had come to hours later, he looked at me with a "duh" look. I guess he's put up with me and my emotions for 8 years so of course he gets it.

Now I can't stop wondering what it will be like when she's a teenager.

But for now, Emma, thanks for validating me.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


With the train of life starting to pick up speed now that I have kids in school (room rep!) and am gaining more commitments, I've been feeling a little overwhelmed. I've had to find little ways to save time, de-stress, and be more productive. And by little, I do mean little. I want to maximize time with my kids and I want to be a happy mom and not a crazy stressy mom. (Sidenote: Last night Emma was sitting with me and asked me if I was "stressed.") So here are some things I've done/am doing:

*I unsubscribed from almost all the "junk" emails I receive. I mean, received (past tense). Every morning when I would check email, I would have between 15 and 20 emails, about half being "junk." My Blackberry's battery would be almost dead from receiving emails all night long. I've now gotten my overnight emails down to 8-10. Less time deleting, less time reading, more time for...something else. In theory.

*I unsubscribed from unnecessary blogs. This one was hard for me to give up. I actually unsubscribed from PW! She is just fantastic but reading and envying her every morning was just cutting out more time that I needed. Now I can go to her site when I have the time, hopefully much less frequently than every day. I didn't go far enough to give up personal blogs of friends and family, but I was subscribed to 110 of them in total and had to lose the unnecessary ones.

*Laundry. I still hate it, but now I use that time more efficiently. I put most of it away right when it's done and then do some of the folding in my room while I have the scriptures (audio) playing on my computer. (I was under a Bishop-imposed deadline to have the BoM done by tomorrow!) That has made the time more enjoyable, though all the multi-tasking makes my head spin sometimes.

*Dinner lists - I plan ahead. This is probably a big no-brainer, but I would stress out every day around 3:00 as I couldn't figure out what to make, or if I had decided to make something but didn't have all the ingredients. I used to plan out dinners for the week but it just wasn't enough. I started planning 3-4 weeks out and it has completely simplified my life! I ask Spencer what he'd like me to make, then I fill in the rest based on what I have stocked or our plans for the month. I keep updated shopping lists on my phone and have a list on the fridge of what is on the menu for the near future. No more calling Spencer frantically, asking him what he wants for dinner, just to shoot down all his suggestions because we don't have the stuff to make it!

I'm not simplified out yet, so tell me: How do you simplify?

Friday, September 25, 2009

just thinking

I've been thinking about what to blog about. I have lots of things in my head right now I guess. My kids have been doing some funny things. Spencer got a bonus at work. But I feel the need to blog about my 3rd child, the one who I won't get to post first-day-of-school pictures of....the one I won't get to see eat her first birthday cake next month...The one I I had to say goodbye to before I ever really got to say hello.

I love that when Emma draws pictures of our family or writes all our names, she includes Macie. I love that we don't feel the need to go to the cemetery every week anymore, as we know she isn't actually there. I love that every helium balloon {still} goes straight to her in heaven. Life does go on, but it's different. And, as I recently heard, "Grief looks different on everyone."

I wish I'd soaked up that pregnancy more. I wish I hadn't complained about my swollen ankles. I wish I'd had just a little more time.

Anyway, on her 11 month birthday/angel-versary I just thought I should remind myself - physically - of her. We have plenty of reminders of our little angel in other ways.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I experienced a new sense of freedom yesterday. At the same time I experienced (a tiny amount of) loneliness! After dropping Tyler off at preschool I went to Michael's and the grocery store. Alone! In one hour I got all my shopping done, and still had an hour at home. (Aren't you feeling so sorry for me?) Yes, I had every reason to be productive and clean my house or something...but didn't.

I picked up Emma and she was excited to come get Tyler with me. When he ran out, he said, "Mom! I didn't even cry!" My little sweet homebody actually enjoyed it. That's what I call success. And go figure, I was asked to be the room rep for Emma's class. There goes most of my freedom.


*If you're thinking he wears this shirt a lot, you're right.

In his prayers last night, he prayed that "mommy won't be wonwee (lonely)." I'm thinking I'll be just fine.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


We had a bunch of people over for ice cream a few weeks ago. One of our friends commented on a picture of Tyler I had taken, and said how much he liked it. Spencer jumped in with, "She has a nice camera." And I do have a nice camera. But that picture in particular is one I am very proud of. Lately I've been realizing more and more that it is about the person behind the camera--as well as other factors--more than the actual camera.

My other camera is a Canon point and shoot and we've had it for years. It's a nice point and shoot. I love it! Some of my favorite, most crisp photos have come out of that camera! It's 10 megapixels, has a great zoom, and I set the ISO to 100 or 200 so that my pictures look pretty darn amazing. Nowadays I see pictures taken with camera phones and they look as good as pictures from actual cameras!

I have a friend who bought a Canon DSLR but after a few days realized it was too much for her. She took it back and got a slightly easier to use camera, that was a little cheaper but is still very nice. And it fits her. She knew she would never use the different settings and would probably just shoot on Auto, so I think she made a wise choice. And the camera she uses now (also a Canon) takes amazing pictures! Ahem, she takes amazing pictures. She didn't need the SLR to get what she wanted out of photography.

Sometimes I take crappy pictures. Sometimes the lighting is awful and there isn't much I can do about it. This happened a lot this past weekend. I think my point and shoot would have taken equally as good (or, equally as crappy) pictures. Thank goodness for Photoshop, so I can at least do a little color correcting.

Anyway, my main point is that it isn't the camera but the person and the lighting. I guess it's been on my mind the last few days since I have a bunch of pictures that need serious re-touching. Don't waste your money on a serious camera hoping for instant amazing pictures - it doesn't work that way. Sometimes I even prefer my little point and shoot. And Spencer no longer credits my camera when I happen to get a great photo. I'm not aspiring to be a professional photographer, but I do still have a lot to learn.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

mixed emotions

I don't remember much about my first day of school. I don't know if I cried. Probably not. I do remember my first day of high school. In fact, for the first TWO days I thought I was going to puke. I was terrified.

I will always remember THIS first day of school. Emma's first day. I've been dreading it for weeks. Maybe because it means that in 12 days Tyler starts preschool and that means I have 8 hours a week ALONE. I still can't fathom that. It wasn't in the plans for me to be alone during the day at all, at least not for a few more years.

Back to Emma. I just have such mixed emotions about sending my sweetest little oldest child off to school. I am excited for her. I know there is a reason why kids go to school at age 5 - I know it's important for her to be there. But I can't shake the desire to keep her with me forever! Spencer gave her a blessing on Sunday night, which probably helped me more than her. She woke up this morning with a big grin on her face. I helped her get dressed today, she insisted on her hair in ponytail, and then we took the obligatory pictures outside the front door. The neighbor even noticed and came over to fawn over Emma.




At the school I made a mental note that perhaps Spencer should take work off to join me at the school next time, as it seems like that's what EVERY other family was doing (is it me, or is that weird?). Then Tyler and I walked home. On the walk to school this morning Emma asked me if I was going to cry. That little girl is so keen and smart...and sensitive. I am proud to say that I didn't cry until I got home.

When I picked her up she didn't have much to say, other than she loved it. I kept asking "what else??" to be met with blank stares. She did tell me one boy's name is "poop." (She really thought that was weird.) I sure hope she got that wrong...

Our first-day-of-school tradition, we decided, will be making chocolate chip cookies. Usually it's Spencer who makes cookies - he makes the best ones - but someone has to be at work so it fell on me. Yum!


Friday, August 28, 2009

Happy Birthday to the Best Wife!

I don't contribute enough to the blog as it is. It is probably better that way, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity to wish the most wonderful wife, best friend, and mom a Happy Birthday today.

Cheri doesn't get enough credit for all that she does and is. With each passing year and birthday, I can't help but think about how wonderful Cheri is and how lucky I am because she is part of my life. She is the best wife a guy could have. She is supportive of me in everything I do. She is a great friend. She makes me a better person with each passing day. Each time I see my wonderful children, I see so many of the incredible qualities they have and realize they come from her and not from me.

This past year further told me how amazing Cheri is and how strong she is as I watched her go through so many trials and still see her smile despite the trials. I wish Cheri a very happy birthday today with all of my love!

Your loving Husband - Spencer

p.s. Emma, Tyler, and Macie wish you a happy birthday too

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Do you blog-lurk? I sure do. Spencer likes to tell me I "blog-stalk," but I don't like that word as I don't like to think of myself as any type of stalker.

There are six or seven people whose blogs I "lurk" on. I don't know if any of them knows I even check their blogs. The first girl I know quite a bit about. I know she's an amazing scrapbooker and photographer. She's a darling mother of 3 who is incredibly talented in so many different areas, all areas I am interested in. I guess that's more like "blog-envying."

I read a couple of blogs involving those who have had difficult tragedies involving stillborn children. I don't even know how I found some of them. A couple know of me but the majority don't. It's a little bit of a support group, and they often have great ideas of things that apply directly to me. So, instead of "blog stalking," I think I'll call this "blog-supporting." Much better.

There are another two blogs I read because the bloggers are incredible writers. They can turn ordinary - or even boring - situations into something hilarious, interesting, or insightful. I like their perspectives and how they make me feel happy. This could be called "blog-pick-me-up'ing."

Do you lurk? (I don't mean reading a famous blog like PW or Hostess.) What would make you de-lurk? I often wonder if I should de-lurk on one or two of these but have a hard time finding a good reason to do so. Are comments from lurkers ever un-welcome?

P.S. What constitutes a lurker?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

These are just 4 of my favorite things...

...about my little guy! He turned 4 this week and I'm admittedly a little sad as I see that my kids are getting so big, and I'm trying so hard to hold on to every little detail!

  • This kid loves to sleep. He's even been known to ask for permission to take a nap. He wasn't always this way - just the last 18 months or so. He even sleeps through Sacrament Meeting every Sunday. I love it!

  • On the topic of sleeping, he always has at least one of his eyes slightly open while he's asleep. It's a little creepy. He also sleeps with his mouth wide open.

  • He is an incredible athlete. He's a killer fast runner, he learned how to ride a 2-wheeler in about 90 seconds (before his older sister, mind you), and he can hit a baseball across the yard.
  • I hope there are Goldfish in heaven, just for him. An unlimited supply.

Happy Birthday, my boy. I hope the next 4 years are just as picture-perfect. P.S. Thanks for asking me if we could go to the cemetery so you could show Macie all your birthday presents. You made my day. And you surely made hers.

I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with this kid. Spencer was at work and it was the beginning of December. I took two pregnancy tests (I think I always do this - I never believe the first one), and then I wrapped them in a Christmas box (yes, gross). I could barely wait until he got home and I made him open it right when he walked in the door. Neither of us was really surprised, but it was a crazy month anyway with the holidays and with Spencer in his very last semester of grad school. We had to move out of our house, and we all got hit with a nasty stomach bug. Aside from throwing up a few times from that, I wasn't sick one day during this pregnancy with Tyler. I was really tired though, and would nap every day during Emma's naptime, but it was smooth sailing.

Then Tyler was born... and the smooth sailing was over. He either enjoyed crying or hated life his first few months. That first year of his life was so hard on me with two tiny ones, but Emma was so easy going that I was able to (or had to) spend that extra time with Tyler. They are the best of friends these days and he's just the most pleasant person to be around, especially for a 4-year old!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

the consequences of family videos

I must say that I have an extraordinary husband.

Aside from that...I felt a lot of things come full circle this week. My daughter is very much into watching old family videos (DVDs) of me as a child. She knows so much about me. Both kids have seen me run races, boogie board, go on vacations, act in roadshows (I use the term "act" loosely), etc. They recognize when I should be utterly embarrassed (which I am) on video.

This week they got to do many of those things themselves. We flew to visit my parents while Spencer worked his tail off at Disney World (really, he did!). On the first day, my dad took the kids boogie-boarding. The next day we did it all again. I loved seeing Tyler roll around, get buried by waves, and then exclaim, "I saved myself!" My dad even spoiled them and let them buy candy at the store near the beach. And Tyler had his first Snickers bar ever. If he's like me, his life will never be the same again.

We got to pay a visit to the Dodger game on Mormon night, which I did on several occasions as a child. However, this time we all got spoiled and had box suite (yes! our own room!) with free dinner (wow, "dinner" is such an understatement) included. As my mom so simply put it, "I can never watch a game like a regular person again!"

One of the things I hated most as a child was having to go running. I ran lots of 5k's and 10k's as a kid, and my parents have saved all our old racing numbers. One morning we took the kids (per their request) over to the track, pinned numbers on their shirts, and let them loose. Emma liked it about as much as I did 20 years ago (love that girl!) but Tyler really enjoyed himself. In fact, my favorite part was watching him sprint, with a grin on his face, past all the sloooowww middle-aged women. No, I take that back. My favorite part was watching the faces of those he was passing - being passed up by a little 3-almost-4-year old! Awesome. He ran a mile and a quarter. Emma had to be bribed to run a mile. I ran a lap and couldn't be bribed to go further (I was on vacation after all!). [love that lady's face]

Next on the "tradition" list was Newport Beach. It was just fantastic to be there this week. The beach is gorgeous, the jetties supply endless treasure-hunting fun, and I guess it's fun to ride the merry go round and ferris wheel (though I sorta wanted to puke). We even visited the shell shop where I used to love to spend my money. I let the kids spend a few dollars each. That's one tradition I want to remember better--Newport Beach--and the beach house tradition is one I'd love to keep up with my kids...if we can ever afford it.

Moral of the story: Let your kids watch your family videos, and then do it all over again...with them. It would have been icing on the cake if Spencer could have been here. He was helping put on a global intern training for his firm...and playing with Mickey and Donald. Like I said, he's pretty great to let us have so much fun without him. We are so lucky.

And me...I'm trying to carefully stack all the little details in my memory; things like Emma developing a love (obsession?) for Uncrustables, like the charming and thought-provoking book I read this week (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) that really makes me want to be a writer, like how my kids exclaimed they were "on top of the world!" not only on the airplane but also on the ferris wheel, like Tyler getting to blow out a candle on a piece of cake a couple different times, just for the heck of it, like how my dad came to the beach on his lunch breaks so my mom and I could get a break and he could take over in the water with the kids, and like how Spencer's phone calls were few and far between but were still extra special, especially when the kids got to talk. I know just how much absence makes the heart grow fonder and can't wait to see him at the airport.

Friday, July 24, 2009


So I got this email from one of my friends this morning:
(Dylan is one of Emma's friends and Katie is one of his friends)

I just got off the phone with my cool neighbor (Katie's mom). Anyway, she had the funniest thing to tell me. Katie was with Dylan and Emma at the pool when you first got there. Dylan asked Emma if she could get in the water and she said that you told her to wait a couple minutes because she had just gotten sunblock put on. Dylan asked why (which is silly because I make him wait too! So he knew the reason) and Emma said, "Our family doesn't do 'why' questions!" She said it so matter-of-fact. So my neighbor wants to meet you and get to know the coolest mom she's ever heard about.

Perhaps I should be concerned about possibly suppressing my children and their oh-so-thoughtful questions, but really, I'm a little busy being the "coolest mom she's ever heard about."

I've had a smile on my face all day. Love that girl of mine.

Friday, July 17, 2009

in such total detestation...

I may not have the cleanest house in the world, but I don't have the dirtiest either. I like my counters clean and free of clutter, the dishes get done a few times a day, I like beds to be made and toys to be put away. I really don't like dirty bathrooms, and don't mind cleaning them myself in order for them to stay presentable.

But I really struggle with one area of chores. LAUNDRY!! There is nothing I despise more than that. Let me clarify; I don't despise it in its entirety. I have two laundry days, and I stick to them pretty darn faithfully: Monday and Thursday. I don't mind putting the laundry in and changing it out. My problem is getting it sorted and back where it belongs. Sometimes I have a giant pile on my laundry room floor (perhaps the one downside of having a nice, big, indoor laundry room).
Other times, I get really motivated and it makes it down the hall and onto my bed. Then it all gets pushed onto the floor that night, or, again, if I'm really motivated, it actually makes it into the laundry basket (still unsorted). Sometimes I'll put it back up on the bed, determined to fold it that day. But it's just never my priority. In fact, I'd rather go scrub down the toilets and sinks before I finish my laundry. Shoot, I'd rather sit in the dentist chair for an hour or two before doing the laundry. It sounds perfect to, in theory, do it all right as it comes out of the dryer. Doesn't happen.

It's becoming quite a joke between Spencer and me. We'll sometimes have a marathon laundry folding night where we catch up on two weeks of clothes. I even agree that it's slightly ridiculous that Emma sometimes goes right to the laundry room floor to find underwear or anything else to wear, rather than to her dresser.

How do I get over this problem? Should I go for broke and hire a laundry lady (yes, please)? Perhaps I should just buck up and give myself a good kick in the rear. Is it normal to totally slack off with one chore, and detest it above all else?

(surely you understand why there is no picture)

Monday, July 13, 2009

a visit

Sometimes I become a zombie mom. This happens a lot in the summer. Sometimes I just want to sit on my bed and do nothing. But...that doesn't fly for very long. Sometimes I am lame and boring and run out of fun things for us to do.

Thankfully, some great people came and rescued my kids from boredom for a couple days.

Tyler had someone else to sword-fight with (ok, so I've never actually played swords with him), and I heard "on guard" and "I killed you dead" at least 85 times.

Emma had someone to read a new Fancy Nancy book (among tons of other books) to her. Her nose in a book...that's Emma's happy place.

They left this morning.

Today the kids and I went to the park and to Target. They ran in the sprinklers and helped me do some stuff outside. We went to a friends' house and did their pool and slip 'n slide. And the stinkers still complained they were bored.

I can't compete with Papa and Grandma. Mom and Dad...when can you come back?!

(Can you believe they're grandparents??!)