Saturday, June 30, 2012

We ♥ New York!

This family reunion was relatively last-minute, but it ended up being my favorite one yet on this side of the family. I was "in charge" this time, so I heavily delegated to those who were willing and it all came together so nicely! I definitely couldn't have pulled it off if I was on my own.

We had lots of outdoor time. Because there are now 9 families and 25 kids (at this moment), I just couldn't find a house big enough for all of us that was even close to affordable. We all stayed in our own locations, which ended up being great! The kids were rested, there was minimal chaos, and our time together was that much more valuable.

We had a JDawg's bbq...

Minute to Win it games

 a hiking day (Tanner and I had to miss because he was throwing up)

 an outdoor game night up the canyon in an incredible park...with kick ball, volleyball, dancing, a campfire...

a program about Grandpa and Nana's lives, and a musical presentation by the grandkids

indoor swimming/watersliding

an adult temple session/Mission President setting apart/yummy Chinese dinner

and family pictures. It was a miracle everyone ended up being able to be there for some part of it, especially as we grow and spread even more across the country. Grandpa and Nana had to leave for the MTC at the end of our week and are now in NY for 3 whole years. So glad we got to do this!
(Emma is sentimental and sensitive...she made all the rest of us cry).

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Finally! Our turn after almost 10 long months in school!

Looking forward to lots more of this over the next few months!

Monday, June 4, 2012

and that is why i don't read books

The title of this is totally ironic, because I read hundreds of books in high school and college. I love to read. And that is exactly my problem. When I pick up a good book (and I don't waste my time unless I am certain it will be good), the only thing I do for a day or two is read that book. My kids somehow get by, my house is trashed, and then I suffer with extreme guilt after the fact. I want to be one of those people that takes a week to read a book, reading a few chapters every day, and savoring it all. But I am not that person...I just can't take my time (unless it's the Book of Mormon...)

I read The Help last summer when I flew out to see my sister. Two long plane rides made it possible, and I didn't have to live with guilt about anything (except for kinda ignoring Emma on the airplane...who was lost in her own book). I decided I would finally give in and read The Hunger Games on our cruise...afterall, I wasn't going to feel guilty about ANYTHING while I was on the cruise. I didn't love the book, but it was a captivating read and I was done in two days. I did take a pause from my book to watch the men's hairy chest competition - gross. I didn't have the rest of the books in the series so I started on Dan Brown's latest (The Lost Symbol). I didn't finish on the cruise so I had to finish it when I got home, ignoring the house and the kids for a day or two in order to just be done already. (I did like that book...but it was long.)

I realized that my kids will be out of school soon, and living with the guilt of ignoring 1 as opposed to 3 sounded like a good idea so I bought the other two Hunger Games books (on my phone) and read one at Gualala and then the last one after we got home. I didn't feel too guilty reading while camping but the last one I managed to finish on Memorial Day while Tanner was making it clear that he wasn't happy with me staring at my phone all day. But phew, I was done! And I am making a promise to myself to NOT read any books for a couple of months (except one book I read a bit of every day).

My thoughts on the Hunger Games? I hated the premise (seriously, how do people think these things up?), but loved that there were some redeeming characters. I didn't love the first book though I was interested, LOVED the second book, and really didn't enjoy the last one at all. So now I can be cool and know what all my younger, hipp-er friends are talking about. And maybe I can even go see the movie now.