Saturday, June 23

So long, farewell...

Even though our Internet connection wasn't set to be shut off until a day before we move, I finally got irritated with Comcast last night and am having them shut it off early. Their server has gone down repeatedly the last couple of days, and I'm tired of the frustrating hassle of calling their technicians, then waiting for them to fix it. Anyway, this means that I'll probably be missing for a while. We fly to Ohio on the 5th of July, so I'll update when I can, and in the meantime I might be able to borrow somebody else's connection to let you know how crazy things are. See you all on the flip side!!

Thursday, June 21


I thought I'd add an explanation of the picture I used yesterday, since it probably looks kind of odd if you don't know what's going on. Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about checking on my kids at night, and they were sleeping in the same bed? Well, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, namely the 'night portrait' function on my digital camera, I was able to capture a picture of it when it happened again the night before last. The kids had been in HUGE amounts of trouble, and got put to bed about 30 minutes early. Apparently they were killing time until they were tired enough to go to sleep, because when I checked on them just before eight I found them curled around each other in Jeremy's bed. This picture was taken a couple hours later, right before I went to bed. I figured after they'd been asleep for at least a couple hour the chances of waking them up were slimmer. Anyway, after I snapped this picture, I scooped Kadon up and deposited him on his bed, where he slept soundly for the rest of the night. Aren't they cute?!?!

Wednesday, June 20


I'm feeling gratitude today. The kind of gratitude that makes everything in life seem okay, and makes it possible to deal with pitfalls along the way with a smile. First off--I'm trying to show my gratitude for my children better. I know I'm oftentimes complaining about them, but I need to take more time out of every day to realize what incredible little spirits they are. They have brought such joy into our family--I can't imagine existing without either one of them. Lately, they have truly developed a friendship as brothers, and it's been an incredible thing to watch grow. They play together, inventing the most off-the-wall games and schemes to entertain each other, and it warms my heart to hear the sounds of their laughter coming from different parts of our apartment. I especially love checking on them when they're sleeping. Kissing their smooth cheeks, smoothing their hair, adjusting the blankets 'just right'.
I'm also feeling a special kind of gratitude for my husband. He finished his final project for school this work, and now just has to spend an hour submitting the final forms to have his diploma issued. After all the tears and sweat of the last two years, Ammon is a college graduate. Do you know how good it feels to be able to say that? I am so proud of him that I can hardly express in appropriate words what I think. He has worked so hard, and made so many sacrifices, all for the good of our little family. Those sacrifices, and that diploma with all the work that went behind it, mean more to me than a lot of things that he has done for me. This diploma, with luck, is going to make the rest of our lives easier, and that is no small thing.
Not to be forgotten is the gratitude I have for my friends and ward members. I asked for volunteers in Relief Society this week. I wanted to know if there was anybody that would volunteer to watch my children for a couple hours in the morning the next couple of weeks so that I can finish packing and cleaning our apartment. I have had two friends volunteer this week, and next week I have had two people volunteer three different days. Just knowing that I have six completely uninterrupted hours next week to focus on our move takes SUCH a load off my mind. I'm grateful for these people who are willing to make sacrifices and put themselves out to help me.
Sometimes it seems that life is too good. Life is too sweet, too wonderful to truly be believed. However, when I wake up each morning to the sound of my children crawling into bed with me, when I look to my left and see my husband sleeping soundly next to me, it's hard to contemplate how wonderful life can really be.
Lucky girl.
That's me.

Monday, June 18

Hogle Zoo

On Saturday Ammon and I drove down to Salt Lake with the kids. Ammon, to help my friend's husband remodel his deck, and the children and I to go to the zoo with Alisha. We left first thing in the morning, arriving in West Valley around 9:30 am. We made it to the zoo at about eleven, which luckily enough was just about the time it got scorching hot. Although the temperature hovered around 95 degrees all day, we still had a great time. I was grateful that I had taken about 10 bottles of water, because between the five children and two adults we drank every one of them, then refilled them on our way out to guzzle in the car. I'm glad that we were able to enjoy such a nice outing on a beautiful day, and the kids were even really well behaved in the crowds and heat.

Zoo Pictures

Jeremy and Kadon checking out 'The Ghost of the Bayou' white alligator.
Cleary, an elephant.
Jeremy and Kadon in front of the giant bronze Ape outside the Primate house.
What do you think crew, does Jeremy 'measure up'?

Sunday, June 17

My Grandfather

I've been pondering a lot lately, my most cherished memories of my grandfather. I have thought of many things, but want to expound upon a few. I can remember as a young child, the excitement of going to Grandpa's house. We would all pile into the car on a Sunday afternoon and make the trek to Lewiston, where Grandma and Grandpa would be sitting in the living room waiting for us. I remember especially the genuine delight on my grandfather's face when we walked into the door. There were always kisses and hugs to be had, even if that kiss involved a very whiskery burn. I also remember grandpa's woodshop. Rare was the occasion that us grandkids would be allowed in there, but it was always something to look forward to. The smell of wood, the beautiful furniture, shelves, and knick-knacks that he would create-all of these things hold a special place in my heart. I still have several things that my grandfather made for me. A bookcase, a set of shelves I hang on the wall. These things remind me of how much Grandpa loves me, shown through the hours he spends molding the wood to make something beautiful.
Another forbidden, occasionally glimpsed area of Grandpa's house was his gun room. As a young child, we were NEVER allowed up there, even though we all knew it was there and knew the rules surrounding the room. There was always a padlock on the door, which was tightly sealed fully 100% of the time-a testament of a grandfathers love for the children in his life, by his desire to keep them safe. As I got older, I can remember occasionally being allowed to enter the gun room, always with grandpa close by my side. There he would show me his most recently acquired firearm, and describe to me how it worked, what kind of bullets it took, and how it felt to shoot it. Although I mostly found his guns distasteful and the idea of shooting them frightening, I appreciated then, as I do now, the time that he took to show them to me. I know he took several of the male grandchildren and uncles shooting, and that such an invitation would have been open to me any time I would choose to ask.
One of my most prominent and cherished memories of my grandfather is an Easter egg hunt when I was very young. I could only have been 7 or 8 years old, but I remember driving somewhere in Idaho with my grandfather to attend the festivities. I have no recollection of who else was there that day, although I am pretty sure that my brother and one of my parents went with me. To this day, that Easter egg hunt stands out in my memory as the holy grail of Easter egg hunts. No hunt since has held the same wonder, or the same fabulous prizes.
Later in life, I remember Grandpa's pride when my older brother joined the Navy, following in his footsteps. I remember hearing stories about the 'Sea-Bee's' and their 'can-do' attitude. I remember in the days following my oldest son's birth, when Grandma and Grandpa came to visit us in the hospital. I have a photo of my grandfather holding his newest grandson in his arms, no more than two days old. His arms and body dwarfed the tiny infant he held, but I can remember looking at them that day and feeling as though some sort of circle had been completed. The man whose firstborn was MY father, was now holding MY firstborn, MY son. I still look at that picture often, and remember the family circle that was made that day.
Today, I take special joy in watching my children interact with 'New Pa'. I see the same whiskery burns, the same jokes, the same affection that I experienced as a child, and I know these things are things that my children will carry with them throughout their lives, just as I have. I love that he teases them in the same way that he teased me. But, as always, the great love he has is lingering, and apparent in the special relationship he has with the children that come into his home. I love that Jeremy told me recently, on the way to New Pa's house that "Grandpa teases me because he loves me, and I tease him because I love him too." Just as I tried to as a child, my children try to get New Pa's goat by teasing right back. Rarely did I manage to ruffle him as a child, and rarely do my children succeed today, but it gives me a warm feeling in my heart to watch them try. I hope that if I can imprint something of my grandfather on my children, it is the unfailing love that he has shown, and will continue to show, and that it can impact their lives as much as it has mine over the years.

Thursday, June 14

My Favorite Things

A few of the things in this world that bring me joy:

Mexican food. Even when I'm not creating another human being, I crave this food on a regular basis. However, as I've possibly mentioned before, my craving has reached new heights in the last five months. So far I have not been afflicted with the heartburn that plagues so many pregnancies (not mine, thankfully) so Mexican food still brings me joy.

The color purple. Seriously, I would paint at least two rooms in my house purple, given the opportunity. I would love nothing more than to own a purple van, purple toothbrush, and purple pen all at the same time. Purple can be found in abundance among my personal possessions, and it has become a source of affection between Ammon and I. He is always willing to get a purple something0-or-other for me. I'm not sure if this is because he thinks my purple addiction is somewhat endearing, or because he knows it brings me joy to have him bring me a purple binder, but I appreciate it nonetheless.

Sunny days. I love it when the sun is shining, even though it makes my apartment an oven. We temped our living room the other day, and between the hours of 4:30-about 9 pm it hovers around 80 degrees. It's miserable and the air conditioning unit is useless, so much so that we never even both to turn it on. That being said, however, I still love bright sunny days. The kind of days where we get out the wading pools, and the children run around barefoot in the grass. The kind where they come inside at the end of the day, exhausted and tan, and we all sleep the sleep of the just.

Tuesday, June 12


Do any of you have any idea how exhausting it is to chase two rambunctious little boys when you're five months pregnant? I mean, I'm sure some of you do, at least one that I know of for sure. This is what I see far too often--my children sprinting away from me, oblivious to my calls to 'slow down, wait for Mommy, please be good'. They're wonderful children, don't get me wrong, but some days I wish that I could bottle just a tenth of the energy they display every day. I would sell it at an exorbitant profit, buy a house, a second car, and take everybody in my family on a cruise. Then I would retire, and Ammon would never have to work again.

Monday, June 11

Boxes, boxes, and more boxes!

If there were an 'eek!' emoticon on blogger, I would use it. A cute little smiley face with hair standing on end, perhaps with both hands on either side of the face. It occurred to me last Thursday when I went to an enrichment activity that there are only four weeks left until our move. Actually, less than four weeks because the third is our anniversary, the fourth will be spent with friends celebrating, and we leave early, early in the morning of the fifth. So actually...that makes it barely more than three weeks from today. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm panicking--just a little bit. I keep trying to set aside days to pack, but it seems like at least half the time things come up. After my rude awakening on Thursday evening, I did get quite a bit done on Friday, but then nothing over the weekend. This morning I jumped back on the bandwagon, and attacked our bedroom with fervor. It's a pain because I'm trying not only to pack the things that we're taking with us, but I'm trying to sort out the things we no longer need into a yard sale/garbage pile. I feel accomplished at the end of the day. Very, very tired; but accomplished. I swear, we are moving to Ohio, moving from Russ and Mary's house into our own home, AND I AM NEVER MOVING AGAIN.

Wednesday, June 6

Wear Sunscreen

Some of you may remember a song that came out toward the end of of the 1990's, it was by a gentleman named Baz Luhrmann (did I spell that right?), but the original lyrics came from a newspaper column written by Mary Schmich. At the time, it was a very touching song, which discussed life plans, ambitions, and dreams in a way that a high school senior can understand. At any rate, the first part of the song goes like this:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '00: Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I am wishing, right this moment as I sit gingerly on my high back computer chair, that I had taken this advice to heart. Yesterday Laura and I took our children to the Logan Aquatic Center, and as the day was fairly overcast and windy, I decided it would be a good opportunity to work on my tan. I bravely dispensed with the sunscreen, choosing instead to take my chances with the sun. Last evening, as I inspected the scarlet skin on my back, this song came to mind. Even later in the evening, as I tossed and turned in my bed, unable to find a position that was comfortable, I regretted my lack of foresight. This morning, as I listen to this song yet again (you can find it here) I am vowing that next time, I will remember the sunscreen.

Tuesday, June 5

Ambition found!

Well, for at least a day, anyway. I officially started packing up our apartment yesterday. I got most of our books, and a large portion of our knick-knacks and pictures packed into two large boxes, and then I went into the back bedroom (which is being used for storage right now) and sorted out all the baby toys that we have at this point, trying to decide what is worth keeping. I was surprised that even after sorting through all the toys that my boys are too old for, and keeping only the really good stuff, I still have one large box and one small box! It's amazing how much stuff you amass when you have children. Part of me is looking forward to being done having babies so that I can start getting rid of all these things that we've acquired over the last five years. We could fill a small storage shed with only baby paraphernalia, so it's definitely refreshing to think about getting rid of these things! I'm also trying to sort things to get ready for a yard sale we're having at the end of the month, and I'm also finding a fair amount of items that simply need to be tossed into the dumpster. It's funny, I manage to keep our possessions to a minimum when we move at least every couple years. However, the plan once we get to Ohio is to buy a fair sized house and stay there for the next several years. How do I stay motivated to sort and prioritize all the stuff we have when I'm not faced with the imminent prospect of having to pack it all into boxes and move it somewhere? I'm beginning to understand why attics, basements, and under-the-stair closets become such black holes of 'stuff'.

Monday, June 4

Belly Shot

Well, here it is. My 20+ week belly, in all it's glory. I have vowed that I'm going to be more diligent about marking this pregnancy with photos. In the past, I have seen pictures of other pregnant women, and they always look sweaty, huge, and miserable. Because of that, the last two times I have been pregnant I have avoided the camera for nine months like the proverbial plague. At this point in my life, midway through what will most likely be my last pregnancy, I'm regretting the lack of tangible evidence of my pregnancies. Even if I look bloated and miserable, it is still a special chapter in my life that I wouldn't give up for anything in the world.

Friday, June 1

Summer Fun

Yesterday was the last day of school around here, and already the feel of true summer is in the air. There are teenagers EVERYWHERE, wandering the streets, shopping at the store, even taking over the playland at McDonalds. This morning the kids and I went with a friend to an indoor playland in Logan, and we had a blast, but it was much more crowded than it was three months ago when we went. After the playland we went to Arby's to get lunch, and there were so many people between the normal lunch crowd and the added teenager crowd that it was difficult to find a place to sit! On Monday we have our first trip to the pool planned, the first of what I am sure will be many cool dips this summer as my girth gets wider and wider. It also seems as though the summer lazies have set in as well. Every year during the hottest months I seem to lose some drive and ambition to get things done. I suppose it's a carryover from the days when the months between June and September were full of hours and hours of unspoken for time, but I always have a hard time motivating myself during those months. Every day this week I have gotten up with every intent of beginning the long process of packing up our apartment to get ready to move, and every day I talk myself out of it for some reason or another. Do you think if I let it go long enough the packing faeries will come get it done for me? I think not. Looks like I better go off in search of my lost ambition. Wish me luck.