Saturday, December 26, 2009

Moving

We had a great Christmas. We hauled all of our christmas stuff to the new house on Christmas eve. Claire slept. She's the only one. Christmas was amazing.

Now we're packing up and moving today. We'll be without the internet for possibly months. Wish us luck.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lucky number seven

So today was our seventh anniversary as Taylor noted.

Here is our first picture as a married couple:And here is one of my favorites of the day:
To celebrate today we went to dinner at Chili's with a promise to go to Maddox after the holidays (I've been thinking about their rolls, raspberry butter, and buffalo burgers for weeks now). We meant to see a movie but nothing (at the dollar theater) fit our time frame. So we did what we normally do, peruse Home Depot for things we didn't know we needed until we knew they existed. We also hit the Dollar Tree for stocking stuffers for the kids.

We didn't close on our house today---the computers were down, or so we're told. Our appointment is for 8:30 tomorrow morning. We'll see how we do with the expected weather.

Seven years has been awesome---we've actually had a lot of life struggles, but no relationship struggles. I was certain of my decision when I married Taylor, and I continue to affirm that feeling daily. Taylor began great, and improves as a husband and father with each passing year. He loads and empties the dishwasher, starts and folds laundry, helps put the kids down at night, gets them ready for church every sunday, is excellent at picking up around the house, and can cook anything from a box. He's even learning to be a handy-man with the house and car. I may get him his own tools one day (until then I keep a good eye on mine when he wants them). He's a wonderful life-partner, and even though he got me a repeat (semi-obscene) anniversary card, I am so grateful to have found him.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Still no news

So we were really planning on moving tomorrow. We were really planning on moving on 12/5 too. The panic I feel today at possibly not moving is significantly less than I felt on the 4th.

We obviously have the wrong underwriter. At this point where we keep getting told "any day now" we feel like switching lenders would take just as long. There have been a few snags along the way, but this is getting ridiculous. Taylor took a day off for swine flu and thus they panicked that he didn't work full time. Somewhere a social security number got rearranged and caused havoc. We originally were going to do a UHA loan, then switched to FHA. Then found out that FHA frowns upon a home owner doing work on the house (oops). Taylor graduated and our student loans showed up on our credit, and even though we don't have to make payments on them for two more years, the underwriter panicked again. Have I mentioned that our credit score is classified as excellent? Taylor is employed full time and on salary. I didn't know that anything else really mattered.

So we, like Mary and Joseph of long ago, continue to search out for our own home for Christmas. (Not to discount the ample, warm, and otherwise desirable and free home provided by our generous sister and brother-in-law, we just would like to move into our own currently empty house). Every time I hear "I'll be home for Christmas if only in my dreams" on the radio I feel as though it's taunting me.

And Kyle gave all of us colds. Nasty ones. My mom got it too (sorry, mom). So that's us. And yet it could be worse. At least we know that at some point we'll move in. At least we're not renting and getting kicked out with each passing deadline. At least, and most importantly, Taylor has a job. It's rare in this economy for interns in his field to be hired, so we are really grateful for that. And we'll be home for Christmas in our dreams.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Grateful

No we haven't moved. I don't want to talk about it...

I've been indexing the 1910 census today. It has a place where the women list how many living and how many dead children they have. On just one page I have the numbers are 7 living and 4 dead, 6 and 4, 12 and 8; and most astounding, one woman had 14 living and 11 dead.

And while I've had two documented miscarriages, I'm assuming that those aren't what is counted in this census. I can't imagine losing a child. A baby or any age child. Let alone multiple children. I'm so grateful for modern medicine and that both of my children were delivered healthy and remain quite healthy. They are truly my greatest blessing.

Last night Taylor spent the night in Logan, so Claire slept in my bed with me. It was a rather cold night, so she just snuggled up to me all night. I loved it. We are so blessed. Even if we haven't moved. Cross your fingers (and pray) for this Saturday.

Monday, December 7, 2009

If I had neighbors...

Since we're moving so close to Christmas, we may be forgoing neighbor gifts this year. However, if I were giving this year, this is what it would be:
For instructions click here. So beautiful and simple. And I bet it's tasty.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

You have to go

Tonight we had a great experience at a live Nativity. Taylor's parents told us about it, and we met them there, but none of us had any idea what we were getting into. We thought we'd walk up, have a look and leave. Instead we waiting in line for over an hour (with some admitted serious line cutting, if you don't fill the gap---we will!). It was FREEZING. Especially since we don't really know where our winter coats and gloves are. But they had fire pits all along the way, so we had a chance to thaw out here and there.

If you go:
It's open from 6-10 nightly until this Saturday (12/5)
I don't know the address, but take 12300 south west to 700 west and go north. The chapel is in a few blocks. Arrive early or maybe go late. We got there around 6:30 and the line was crazy.

I'll give you the mini tour. But you should go. Even you Logan friends, drive down. You shouldn't miss it. And I guess they only do it every other year.

Each little post is amazing. It's like the best movie set you've seen. The accessories, the clothing, the furniture and fabric, all so ancient looking. This it the first stop. He's a prophet writing down the prophesies of Christ.
This is the camel (Yes, a real camel!). The kids could pet all of the animals. The camel was next to the Wise Men, but we skipped them to get around the crowd:) The camel was amazing soft. Kyle LOVED it. Couldn't get enough camel, couldn't take his eyes off of it for the picture.

This is one smart dog all curled up in the hay!
This is at the "gate" of the little city (which thankfully is indoors!). Look how real everything is!
Once we were indoors we couldn't use a flash (It scared the chickens who were wandering around), and it was really dark (candlelit, to be true to the times). I had to use my night vision on my camera. It actually did quite decent. This man was the carpenter. There were many little corners and nooks with people doing back-in-the-day things. Most poignant to me was a man who simply opened a door, looked you in the eye and said "No room." It was crowded there as I'm sure Jerusalem was, I could imagine their plight.
Here are a few more scenes. There were 6-7 that I didn't get.



I loved this. These women were just chatting by a well with running water. Many of the scenes were those described in scripture. Not sure what that streak of light is in that picture.
Look at all the props above this woman. Look at the chicken :)

There was little announcing that the Christ Child was coming up around the corner. They did have some beautiful music as you approached, but it came up so suddenly that I was very touched to see the scene. I must say I teared up, which is unusual for me. I didn't want to leave. It was such a great emotion to see this with live people and imagine how it would have been.
I turned my night vision off and just got what I could get without a flash. I think they turned out well.
I especially love this picture and how white the swaddling turned out.
Anyway, you have to go if you can. Bundle up the kids and go early. Both of my kids understood what they saw and loved petting the animals. When we got home we had a quick talk about how Christmas really is about Jesus and how it's his birthday. I think seeing the real thing instead of pictures helped Claire understand a lot more. We hope to make this a tradition (every other year, of course) for our family.

And dress warm!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Love Craig's List

My friend Shannon has a rocking chair/recliner that would go perfect with our couch. (Remember this beauty? $50 at the DI and I was in love.) She got it in a round-about-way. She'll be the first to say it's seen better days, but every time I see it I think how I need one to go with the couch. Today I once again noticed it. She mentioned that it's a La-Z-Boy. So I came home and searched Craigslist for vintage recliners (not chairs as I previously have), and Ta-Da! This little baby popped up:

She's in pretty great condition, but obviously in need of a complete upholstery makeover even though the upholstery itself is complete and intact. And I'm pretty sure I'm going to go without ruffles when the time comes. I went to pick it up with only $19 in my purse (it was listed at $25). I think I could have done it for ten, but whatever. It was at the office for 1-800-got-junk. Apparently this is a perfect example of one man's trash being another's treasure. MY treasure that I've been searching for. On the way out of the office I noticed a cool box of white and blue and silver sparkling ornaments. I offered as many quarters as were in my car. It turned out to be 8 quarters, and I left with the ornaments too. I'm going to make a BYU wreath.

Now I need reupholstering lessons, but I know a great seamstress, so I think I'm in luck. I can't wait to see how they turned out. I've decided that my personal style is kind of a transitional modern vintage/retro. I'm going to use this fabric for the recliner, window valence, and some pillows on the couch:
I'm yet to find what I'm going to use for the couch. Probably something neutral. I'm deciding whether I'm going to be brave and paint the wood on the chair or couch a color other than dark brown. I'm thinking some of that green from the pillow for the chair in a nice glossy finish, what do you think?

Monday, November 30, 2009

Loving this blog

As we are about to become home owners (closing any second now), I have loved thinking about projects for our home. I especially love cheap/thrifty/free ideas. I have spent an hour reading and loving this blog:

http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/

During that hour Kyle put about 9 CDs in our VCR. And Taylor wonders why it doesn't work. Sorry Sweetheart.

I have so many pages bookmarked and can't wait to get started.

Friday, November 20, 2009

It's been a fun few days

On Wednesday I woke up with pain in my seeing eye. This was new, as everything has always been the other eye. I tried to ignore it for the day, but by that evening I knew I had to go to the doctor.

So I tried to make an appointment. The doctor that I love who has been my doctor since I was 3 is in Iran doing some sort of goodwill stuff or whatever (doesn't he know when I need him?). So they told me to go to Triage, a sort of ER for eye problems at the Moran Center. My mom came to sit with the kids, and I headed up around 2 (missing a really important Days of Our Lives, so you know I was pretty worried). I was behind a few people, so I got my glasses adjusted. That was the high point of the day.

The tech took me back for the paperwork. He started flipping through my file. I noticed that they put the 6-page-long letter of complaint I wrote about my bad experience with one of their doctors. Suddenly I was panicked wondering who knew that I had sent that and what they thought and what was said (I know they have millions of patients, but I'm somewhat of a celebrity there. I've been there since I was 2 weeks old in a clinic that is more than 90% geriatric, so I stand out. Then I was Miss Utah and had lots of problems that year. Everyone loved it. They had my poster in their break room. Really.) At one point one doctor started reading it and I just said, "That has nothing to do with this eye. Nothing in that chart has anything to do with this eye."

Anyway, that was a tangent. To make a long story longer I saw three doctors. All of which agreed that my eye looked completely normal. My only symptom was pain when it moved. And it seemed swollen in a way I couldn't describe. For FOUR hours I sat there with lights and people in my eyes with no results. They flipped my eyelid inside out a hundred times, each time managing to rip out eyelashes and somehow getting them to land in my eye. I left with a recommendation to take a steroid drop and use a warm compress and come back Monday to see another trio of doctors. They said it was likely swelling behind the optic nerve. I looked that up on the internet. I shouldn't have. It's a sign of MS. Lovely.

I didn't like their diagnosis. And it seemed like they had no idea what they were doing. So I called around and found another doctor to see me. While my mom and I waited in the room for the doctor I looked at an eye chart, pointed to a blob on it, and told my mom that was the problem. The new doctor flipped my eyelid, numbed my eye, pushed my eyeball down with a long q-tip and poked around behind my brow bone. (ouch!) He found the spot that hurt. I jumped and hollered a bit. The diagnosis: infection of the lacrimal gland (it makes tears then sends them to your tear ducts). It's very rare. He's only seen it two other times. It's not dangerous. I just have to take a ton of ibuprofen and see him Monday.

That's what I do. Anytime I see a doctor it seems I hear "This is unusual." "This happens like 3% of the time." or "I just don't know what's going on."

Anyway, the point in all of this was that for two days I had convinced myself that something terrible was happening. This pain is very similar to glaucoma. I was almost certain that I had glaucoma in my good eye. I thought of all the things I wouldn't be able to do without vision (everything), and I'm so grateful that it turned out well. And I'm so grateful for the vision I do have and what it allows me to do. I have been blessed in simple but amazing things.

And our house is done! We had our walk-through today. There were about 300 places that the paint needed to be touched up, but other than that we're just waiting to close---and thanksgiving is making that hard, but we'll close on the 30th most likely. Exactly they day we've always planned on. I can't wait to move in. The house is so beautiful, and we are so ready to have our own place.

And if you read that whole long post you must really care about me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

We have it easy

Today we were at my mom's house and needed a diaper for kyle. I went to the car to realize that I had none. We usually keep a good amount in there, looks like it's time to restock. Fortunately for all of us, Mom had an extra one lying around.

The experience gave me something to think about though. We're at a good stage in life. We can leave home as long as everyone has a jacket and shoes. That's it. No toting a diaper bag. No blankets to bundle. No toys to entertain. No extra food to pack. No potty trainer to worry about. Claire can buckle herself into her car seat, Kyle's learning to dress himself. Our hands-on parenting is slowly reducing as our kids become more self-sufficient.

Then I realized this is why my paternal grandmother firmly believed in reproducing every 18 months. That way you wouldn't know how easy it could be. If you're always in infant mode you don't realize how much your life will change with a new infant.

I'm certainly going through a need-a-new-baby stage (mostly thanks to my many friends who are now cooking/raising baby #3). But are we ready to go back to diaper bag toting and all of the accessories that come with a baby? Am I ready to go through 22 weeks of extreme morning sickness? No. No, I'm not. Is that selfish?

One thing we really enjoyed in Logan and would like to continue was family bike rides. We borrowed bikes and trailer from friends, and it was SO much fun to haul the kids around. If I were pregnant I'd have a hard time with that this summer (maybe?). What a funny reason.

Anyway, we have enough on our plate right now, so I'm just going to sit back and enjoy the goodness of having two independent children. Selfish as it feels.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Update

Here are a few updates on things in our life:
Swine Flu: We are still recovering. I'm 15 days into this thing. I still cough uncontrollably at night. I have never taken medicine with such abandon. I usually carefully consider each chemical I put into my body. Now I practically chug the robitussin at night with little regard for amount or last dose. I try to be somewhat accurate, but that's about it. Kyle got Tamiflu and seems to the best of all of us. He coughs occassionally, but that's about it. He sleeps all night and is back to dancing whenever he hears TV theme songs. A sure sign of recovery. Claire is the worst off of all of us, but she's 6 days behind me and 3 days behind Kyle. She still coughs a lot, is ghost-pale, and is currently at InstaCare complaining of an earache and strange noises in her ear. She says a bug is in there breathing. Taylor thankfully took her. I've been twice since this started, and that should be my quota. I don't love having swine flu at a doctor's office. And FYI we are at InstaCare because we don't have a doctor down here on our insurance plan.

The House: Mom and I ran up yesterday to see things. It looks like all that needs to be done is stove installation and paint touch ups. Oh, and they put the wrong counter top in two bathrooms, so they have to switch those out. We should close sometime this coming week and move in the next. We noticed that they have some pretty severe scratches in our brand new wood floor thanks to the workers and moving appliances. I'm not too happy. They'll hear about it from me. The baby potty is in and SO cute! It's so tiny. I'll post pictures sometime.

So things are moving along. Whitney and Rob should return to their now germ-free home tonight. We're excited to have them back in their own house. We've felt terrible that our sickness forced them out for a week.

Claire just got back from the doctor and does have an ear infection. Hopefully it explains her orneryness and sensitivity. Now we just need to get the prescription. My goal is to be all well by Thanksgiving. Pray for us!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Swine Flu Fun

Last Sunday I started to feel a weird cough. I wasn't thrilled about it. By Monday I had an awful sore throat and headache to add to the vicious cough. Taylor came home from work, I took nyquil and slept about 14 hours. When I woke up it was worse. The same thing happened on Tuesday expect for Taylor stayed the night in Ogden and I practically passed out trying to get the kids to sleep. I had lost my stern voice and my patience.

Wednesday Kyle woke up with a raging fever. I immediately took him to the doctor (InstaCare as we don't have a pediatrician in Sandy) following the HHS directions for children under 5. The lovely doctor told me I had a cold and Kyle had a slight virus. He did a strep test (negative) and said it wasn't swine. I was to sick to have the consciousness to ask why. I told him that it was the worst cold I had ever had. He didn't seem to care.

Kyle got worse on Thursday and so did I. At one point I texted Taylor and told him that since that was apparently not swine flu I had already determined that if swine did come along I would sit in the cold until I had to be hospitalized rather than have to be sicker than I was and still take care of the children.

Claire woke with a 99.9 fever Friday. After Kyle's nap, and 40 minutes after his ibuprofen his fever was 103.5. I decided to forget what the first doctor said and take him to another InstaCare clinic. After waiting 90 minutes to see a doctor---NO ONE else was even there---this one did a strep on Kyle (negative) then did a swine swab (up the nose, not pleasant) on Kyle. She prescribed Tamiflu even though it was most likely more than 36 hours since he got sick. I called Claire's Logan pediatrician would not prescribe Tamiflu for an unconfirmed case and as he foresees an upcoming shortage. He cited the fact that she was older than Kyle and would fight it better. I begged. I was denied. I was too sick myself to try another doctor. Taylor was still gone at this point---working on the house.

Whitney and Rob moved out (of their own house that we share with them) that night to avoid possible contamination. Good thing too, because on Saturday we found out that it was in face H1N1. I will be writing a very strong letter to the first doctor. Both of my kids could have had Tamilflu in plenty of time had he just listened to me and swabbed Kyle or me.

Today I'm finally not miserable. Kyle hasn't had a fever for two days. Claire is still burning. Taylor is still praying to not be infected. We decided that as long as we had to remain isolated we might as well isolate ourselves in our own house, so we drove up to Ogden and spent the day working on the shower. I was still in recovery, but it was nice to have the work to keep my mind off of my symptoms. And now today I have my sore, sore muscles to help me forget my lingering cough and sore throat.
Here is Taylor installing backerboard. He is an expert. Kind of. He rigs it together at least.


Kyle is becoming a wonderful helper. Miserable as he was, and scared of the drill as he was, he stood guard over the screws and handed one to Taylor whenever he needed them. You screw it in every 8 inches, so that was often.

Here I am swine flu and all. Taylor does the backerboard and cuts the tile. I do the mud and set the tile. It's a dirty job, but I love it. I'm not motivated enough to turn the picture. Sorry.

Our poor kids (who NEVER nap) napped most of the time we were there. Claire relaxed in "her" room for hours. Kyle took THREE naps that day tile saw, drill, hammer and all. He slept through it. Just so you don't worry, the heater was on, and the were bundled up good. They had all the comforts of home. Well, an empty one, but they were fine.

We returned to Whitney and Rob's (minus Whitney and Rob) to find a delicious dinner in the fridge and presents on the counter. My mom and Suzy brought dinner and bags of presents, three for each kid to open, one each for the next three days. She also packed in craft projects and other comfort food. (THANKS GUYS!). What a relief!

So this has been hard. I hope we never get anything like this again. It was so hard to be a mother and sick at the same time. Whitney helped out, and so did Taylor when he wasn't at work or working on the house, but it was so hard. I was sick 4 days before the kids were, that was the hardest because they were rambunctious as ever, and I was dead. My mom did come take them to dinner Tuesday night and I got a little rest (and thankfully she didn't get the flu from their evening out).

I'm looking forward to next week and when we can all be better. However my cousin Shayna tells me that she had it 3 weeks ago and is still coughing with a sore throat.

But I FINALLY found my camera charger. So that's happy. Wish us luck. Don't come over.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Halloween







So here are a bunch of pictures from Halloween. Claire was Snow White and Kyle was Dopey (Claire wanted him to be a dwarf, and all the rest have a beard, so Dopey wonThey'll make up for our lack of posting pictures for months. Thanks to Rob for the use of his camera. Can't wait to move and actually know where my stuff is again!

First we went to the ward party. As previously mentioned we're crashing with Whitney and Rob until the house is done. So we're crashing into their ward too.
With Rob & Whitney


Monday, October 26, 2009

Our life right now

Okay, so if I use internet explorer I can post a blog. I'm not about to attempt to put pictures on this ancient computer, so no pictures will be posted until our new hard drive arrives and is installed (hopefully it will be here in the next couple days.)

Kyle celebrated his 2nd birthday Saturday. We invited Ian and Shannon over to watch the BYU game that night, realizing only on Thursday that Saturday was also Kyle's birthday. So we had a little spontaneous party during half time. Kyle recieved dinosaurs and cars and clothes (also decorated with cars and dinosaurs) and is a happy man. I can't believe he's two. I can't believe I ever lived without him. He is my special boy. Holding him literally makes my heart thrill.

My younger siblings came up to celebrate with Kyle. Dan brought him an awesome car track (He always picks the best toys. He does personify the Toys R Us song "I don't wanna grow up..." He'll always be a kid at heart.) It was fun to hang out with Dan, Suz, and Meg as distance has separated all of us for the last few years.

The house is moving along. We were supposed to have all the flooring and tub and shower surrounds done on the 15-19th, but the cabinets weren't in and there was a wall in the wrong place, so we're doing the laminate downstairs on Wednesday, and trying to gear up for the shower surround. The tub surround was an all day event, so we're a little nervous to get into the shower. It just seems hard. But we're a little more experienced after doing three floors and a tub surround now. Carpet goes in on the 30th, so we're fastly nearing completion. I can hardly stand it. We have dreamed of having our own house for so long, and now to have a house that we have designed every little nook of seems so unbelieveable. That said we'll really miss catching up with Rob and Whitney ever night. It has been so great to see them daily.

Kyle spent the night before his birthday working on putting backerboard down with me and Taylor. Claire went to the BYU Spectacular with Gram and Tie Guy, and we thought Kyle might have fun with us. Although the house is mid-construction, Kyle didn't give us a moments trouble (okay, maybe a moment, like when he put a matchbox car in a drain pipe. Twice.) We brought a big dump truck for him and he just motored around for most of the time. He was helpful to run tools back and forth between Taylor and me, and super helpful to Taylor when he was screwing the board down and Kyle stood there with the next screw ready in-hand, "One more, Daddy? Here go, Daddy." It was so cute.

And that's about it. We are so grateful for all of the babysitters who have watched our kids while we've been working on the house. We've saved thousands of dollars and have some great up-grades to our home. We've enjoyed working together, and the results are actually astoundingly beautiful for our inexperience. As soon as it's all cleaned up we'll post pictures. Taylor's parents have taken the brunt of the childcare as my mom was sick and now on vacation (we wish we were too). We're so glad to have our family around.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Hobby

On Sunday my brother Jake introduced me to helping to index the US Census. Since it's hard for mothers to leave the home to do service (for people other than our immediate family), this is the perfect answer for me. I love to feel like I'm of service to others, and I can do this in my spare time. You just look at scanned forms and transfer the data into easy to use forms. The data will be used for people doing their family history, and make it more accessible for temple work to be done eventually. It's easy to stop and start when a kid wakes up or needs you or whatever. Check it out and see if it works for you:
http://www.familysearch.org/eng/indexing/frameset_indexing.asp

I've done over 300 names already. I have a goal of doing 100 a day. I like knowing that I'm helping in some small way to further the work.


In other news our house is coming along well. We'll take more pictures tomorrow in our walk-through. After the walk-through they start the drywall. We are a little panicked because we are laying all of the tile and flooring on the bottom floor and we just found out that we have to do it between the 15th and 19th of this month. A lot sooner than we imagined. We're not really ready, but I guess we have to be. If you or anyone you know wants to volunteer to help lay tile or laminate, just let us know! (Please)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

No Pictures and other stuff

So I ever so carefully packed away my camera cords. For storage. Don't quite know why. Nevertheless I'm trying to capture our life on cell phone. And not that I'm great at posting pictures anyway, but that's what's going on.

Today Claire had her first ever part in a Primary program. She got up and chose her royal blue dress that she wore when she sang in church last year. "It's my program dress." I made the mistake of wearing tights, so she thought she needed to too. She kind of ruined the ensemble with light blue Christmas snowflake tights. However we all agreed to making her have a great morning no matter what, so we allowed it to happen. I attempted to curl her non-curling hair, and topped it off with a bow.

She was so cute up on the stand popping her little head up and down, and making cute faces at her cheering section (4 grandparents, 2 aunts, 1 uncle, 2 parents, and a brother). She raised her arm to sustain at the correct times, and was otherwise darling. She even tells us she helped a girl remember to cover her panties.

When it was her turn she got up, stepped up on the stool, leaned into the mic, composed herself, and said, "My family helps me to remember Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ helps me to choose the right. I help my family be getting Kyle his bink and hanging up my clothes." She decided on the last two parts. It was so cute. My mother heart has not thrilled more than at that moment. She was so happy and confident.

In sadder new my Paternal grandfather suffered a major heart attack yesterday morning. He's 83. My grandma died 4 years ago, and he has missed her desperately ever since. His body continues to fail him, much to his delight :) I wonder how it would be to stare death in the face---and welcome it. He's a great man, and I'm sure that having lived a good, faithful life gives him much belief and much promise in the world to come. We visited with him tonight. The next few days will reveal the damage done. A pacemaker is possible. Claire and I had a good talk about death while we painted our finger- and toenails. Regardless of what happens, he is prepared, and so are we. We know that there is life after death. We know that because of the Savior we will live again, that we will see him again. Of this I am sure.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lost: One set of keys


Taylor woke me up this morning to say he couldn't find his keys. He had about three minutes before he HAD to leave. We looked everywhere. I remembered seeing them on the table and thinking "Move them. That's a terrible place for keys." I didn't. I regret it. He had to take our SUV, and that leaves us housebound without car seats. We literally looked all day (okay, I took 25 minutes off for Days of Our Lives, and did 4 or 5 loads of laundry). Still no keys. I've checked the toy boxes, the laundry baskets, the shoes, the couch, the chair, the trash. Everywhere. No keys.

Last time this happened a lady literally took Taylor's keys off of the counter of his work. He called her on it; she denied it. He followed her out to see that she also drove a Jetta. We think she took it for the remote. They are super expensive. We had to have it towed, and then have a key made. Just the valet key, not even with a remote, and it was so expensive. That's why we (still) only have one key.

Pray for us.

**Edited to say Taylor texted around 9pm to say that he found the keys in the car he took. Maddening. Love that I spent the better part of 11 hours looking. At least the house is clean.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Inspiration

It's a hard time of year for everyone because of the events of eight years ago. I can't watch the coverage. It's not that I don't want to ignore it and pretend it never happened; it's that I can't bear the physical pain I feel for the people who lost their loved ones. You'll remember that I was at Miss America when this happened. (We wrote a book about it.)Being isolated from my loved ones made it a difficult thing for me. I take my kids to the Healing Fields every year. I talk to them about patriotism. This year's conversation began like this:

Me: Claire, this is a special day for our country...
Claire: Oh! Becky [her babysitter] likes country music and primary songs.

It got better after that.

9/11 is also my big brother Jake's birthday. We had fun at his school's carnival (way to celebrate the principal's birthday!) and teasing him about being 30.

Then today I saw this man's story of how being a 9/11 survivor has changed his life for the better. It still feels heavy to watch, but it's truly inspirational:


And to make things great I found Paul Cardall's blog. He's a well-known LDS musician who has been waiting for a heart transplant for over a year. You know that I'm a huge proponent of organ donation, so his blog was extremely touching. He got a new heart, and all signs are positive. His blog is so great. Check it out when you have an hour or so to browse through it.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Go Cougars!

We made a return-trip to Logan today to watch the BYU opener with the Ogden family as we had planned to for months. Of course we were able to return a library book that accidentally was packed, the garage remote control that left Logan before we realized it, and to pick up our deposit check from our old home (only lost $25 and a couple walls were in need of serious repair, so we're thrilled).

We had a great time, and we were obviously thrilled that the Cougs had such a great win. We left pretty late, and (naturally) the kids didn't fall asleep until we were practically home. Kyle was so out that he didn't even wake as I removed him from the car. His head was on my shoulder, and as we entered the house he shot up, rolled his arms, said, "Rah! Rah! Cougars!" in a sleepy voice, finished by throwing his arms up in touchdown fashion, and slammed his head right back down to sleep on my shoulder again. It was the cutest thing EVER.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Got Milk?

(Make sure to read the next two posts to see the rest of the family pictures.)

I have been absent from blogging while we packed and moved. We are successfully moved into Taylor's sister's house. I have four boxes left, and I'm leaving them for Taylor who has been absent for almost 48 hours, working for 24 of them. We fit well here. The kids are sharing a room, and surprisingly they like it. There are new hide and seek positions here, as well as a friend next door for Claire. This hasn't really happened before, and Kyle was very concerned today that I would just leave Claire with the neighbors.

We (obviously) cleaned out the fridge and freezer to make our move. I had hoped to take on that chore myself, but forgot about that hope. I was a little mortified to notice that my last bottle of breastmilk had made it from my own freezer and was now unfrozen and sitting in Whitney's fridge (sorry Rob, I know that must traumatize you to read that, if you read that). I had planned to sneakily stow it away. But there it sat in a baggy, separated and gross-looking. Kyle quit breastfeeding almost a year ago. I know for sure that milk of any sort doesn't last for a year (and really, I have no idea how old the bottle really was). I wasn't planning to use it. At this point I had no choice but to pour it down the drain, but it was a hard thing to do. As I stood there with it in my hand, contemplating it's future, I couldn't help but wonder why I had kept it in the first place.

That little bottle contained proof that I had an infant in my home. Letting go of it means that Kyle really isn't a baby anymore. He's practically two by all means!
I decided that it was my trophy---tactile evidence of nights and days spent suckling. I've read of the merits of breastfeeding dozens of times. I praise the act for the how it eats away at my fat cells while I eat away at cookies for a year. All of that nurturing brain cells and fat burning is well and good, but really, I choose to breastfeed because it makes me feel innately woman (and not because it increases my bra size substantially). I just like thinking that it's the way it's always been for women and their babies. It feels like a link to my past and a gift to my future. I like being pregnant for the same reason---it makes me feel there is an unbroken chain to the women who came before me.

Before we moved I had to tell Claire that our "home" is not walls and closets and counters; home is where our family is. I guess the same applies to me. The evidence of my "working breasts" (to quote Everybody Love Raymond) is not necessarily a half-full bottle in the freezer, it's in the thighs and chubby cheeks of my children.

And there will be more babies in good time. And more milk. I wonder how long I'll hold on to the last last one.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

10 Years...

I survived my 10 year high school reunion. It wasn't too bad; in fact, I don't know why people stress about them. I basically went with some friends, we sat with more friends, and people watched everyone else. It was funny to see how everyone was still grouped into the same groups. I noticed a few friends who had obviously had a falling out. It was interesting.

All in all, it made me just that much gladder for the life I have. I think of the things I hoped for, the boys I worried so much about, and the girls I only dreamed of being friends with---and I see how things turned out so much better. It made me laugh to think how important some of those things seemed. My life during the last 10 years has been so blessed. My husband is wonderful---more than I could have asked for. And my kids were the cutest there by far (maybe I'm biased...). Garth Brooks's song "Unanswered Prayers" comes to mind. I am so grateful that God has a plan for us...and that he makes it happen no matter how hard we try to screw it up!

After the reunion I met up with three friends for ice cream at Los Hermanos (we ate there constantly in high school). We had a great time and laughed so much reminiscing. Nothing like looking back to see how far we've come.

Can't wait to see where we are in ten more years.

Here's the group (Claire wouldn't let go):

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

She does like me

I'm never sure how Claire really feels about me. Whenever I give her a decision to make she inevitably will choose the option I would not have chosen. "She hates me" often runs through my head at times like that.

Well, Taylors WONDERFUL parents took our kids from last Friday night to Sunday afternoon. (Thanks again!). We met up with them at Rob and Whitney's church. Claire bounced in happily aiming her smiles and hugs at her dad, but was sidelined when she crossed me path. In one movement she planted her self on me, sobbing the word "Momma!" over and over. I honestly thought she was disappointed to see me because I would take her home (She had actually expressed this exact sentiment that morning to her grandparents). After calming her down a few minutes later (and after Sacrament meeting started) she was able to choke out that she was crying because she missed ME! This is new to me. She wouldn't leave my lap for the remainder of the meeting. And although she bravely attended a new Sunbeam class, the same thing happened again as soon as I picked her up from Primary. "Momma!" and more tears. It was wonderful. I am loved.

Puppy, by the way, didn't seem to care either way. And to think that he was the one I was worried about!

We did have a great time without kids though. We went to a movie (Angels and Demons), a first for our time in Logan. We went furniture shopping. We hit a record amount of stores without having to chase children and strap them in and out at every stop. We went to a few jewelry stores looking to get our rings dipped and cleaned (7 years later, I think it's time!). We decided it was time to upgrade my diamond (something that was always in the plans as soon as school was over), so that's always good news! Pictures will certainly follow as soon as it is returned.

We also slept in (oh the peace of waking at your own time---for me it was 10:30). We borrowed a couple bikes and had a great ride. I was surprised that my legs didn't hurt the next day---but in other news I haven't been able to sit comfortably since then. If I ever ride a bike again I'm getting a fancy gel seat for sure.

Big thanks again to Taylor's parents for taking our kids. We loved the time off. Let's do it more often :)

Oh, and expect big news to be coming soon. Maybe as early as tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Puppy

Kyle is the most wonderful little boy. I'm sure I've mentioned this. I think the two of us have a special little bond. We need each other to exist. He's my Pup. He's always following me around and give me random hugs and kisses. I like him. He likes me.

I was released from being Primary Secretary on Sunday. (The president moved.) But I still had one obligation to follow in doing music time in nursery. I'd never done it before, so I didn't know how Kyle would react. He was excited to see me, and I even convinced him to stay in his little chair. I had little boxes that had names of songs into them. I chose children to pick a box, and then we'd sing the designated song.

Ater four songs I happened to glance at Kyle. He was sitting there in his chair with huge tears in his eyes and running down his cheeks. I could just hear him thinking, "I KNOW Mom loves me, but why won't she pick me to pick a box?" His little heart was just breaking. So I asked him if he'd like to pick a box. With a little relief, and a voice that gave way to a little sob he ran up to the front, "Yeessss!" And then he stood next to me for the rest of the time: This is my mom. She loves me. She asked me to pick a box.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy (late) Pioneer Day!

I've already admitted to being a strong patriot, a true lover of the United States, but have I said how much I love Utah? I love Utah. I like the gathering of the Saints. I like the seasons. I like the scenery. I feel at home surrounded by mountains. I love the beauty of the red rocks almost as much as I like to see the jagged mountain tops of the Rockies. Best of all, I love that the 24th is a repeat of the 4th of July celebrations with fireworks and all.

We wanted to see the fireworks last night. Kyle was ornery so he went to sleep and Taylor graciously offered to stay home with him. I think I'm more of a celebrator anyways... Claire and I arrived at our chosen destination just before 9pm. We had some treats and generally hung out for an hour. We loved it. I love just being alone with Claire with nothing else to do. She has great stories and an even better imagination. We picked the PERFECT spot. The fireworks were huge and right above us. We made it to our car in about 3 minutes and waited less than five to travel at a normal rate of speed. We arrived home at around 10:40, so it was a great night.

We spent Thursday and Friday at Bear Lake (my first trip ever) with my family. We went 4-wheeling, our first time since we got married. We loved it. Even more we love that my father and siblings all love 4-wheeling, so we hope to continue to tag along in future years with their toys. We went to the lake Friday afternoon. It was super windy and cold. Not fun. But it looks like it would be fun if the weather was optimal. One of these days we'll head back.

We spent this morning wondering what was wrong with Taylor's car and why it wouldn't start. We just replaced the engine Wednesday, so naturally we're thrilled that it won't start. This afternoon we loaded up the kids and headed down to the Ogden area to check out some neighborhoods for possible home searching.

Kyle is turning out to be like me in the sleeping department (8pm-10am) and like Taylor in the playing department. Apparently this was a childhood favorite for Taylor:
Claire, on the other hand, has her father's sleeping habits (down anytime between 8pm and 2am and then up around 7:30am no matter what) and my playing habits (books, books, books, and babies).

Monday, July 20, 2009

More on motherhood and contentment

The moment I became a mother to Kyle, Claire also became a mother. I think the instinct is that strong. Something weak and helpless was placed before her, and even though she was just a little less weak and a little less helpless than he, she felt bound to nurture him as best she could.

I've been thinking about this part of the book Contentment by Maria Covey Cole. I wanted to share it:

"I sometimes wonder if my children know from my example and expressions that it is such a joy to be a mother. Or, rather, do they view motherhood as difficult and mundane? What attitudes about motherhood am I creating in my home? If my children observe my selfless actions and attitude, it is likely that they too will become selfless. Conversely, if they observe selfishness, then they too may become selfish. What will be the legacy that I bequeath to my children?

"In a recent conversation I had with Lynn, a mother of eleven grown children, she expressed regret that while raising her children she ahd not articulated her feelings about motherhood often enough. She told me that she had loved being a mother and had always felt happy and fulfilled in her role, yet she was so busy keeping up with life and getting through the years that she had never really taken the time to make a point of it. She now feels distressed that her daughters, who have recently become mothers themselves, seem unhappy and discontent. She wishes that when her girls were younger she had been more verbal in expressing to them the significance of motherhood and the joy she experienced in being a mother.

"We...find comfort in a statement made by Dag Hammarskjold, an international diplomat who served for eight years as the secretary-general of the United Nations. At the conclusion of a lifetime of service to his fellow men, he shared this profound insight: "It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses."

I like that idea. Ever since I read it I have tried to not only tell Claire and Kyle that I love them, but that I love being their Mommy. I gauge my efforts in mothering by what Claire responds when asked what she'd like to be when she grows up. If "A Mommy!" is her first answer in her list, I feel like I'm doing my job.

I also like the last paragraph. It reminds me of an article in last month's (I think last month's) Ensign. A woman stated how she felt overwhelmed by the scripture that we should feed the hungry, comfort the sick, clothe the naked, etc. She was upset that with her busy life as a mother of young children she had no time to serve her fellowmen. Then she realized that in that day alone she had fed her hungry children, clothed her naked children, and taken care of one that was sick. She realized that what God asked of her in service to her fellowmen was in actuality the work she did every day as a mother.

I may complain a little (and sometimes a lot), but I am grateful to be a mother, and to serve my family. I still have a lot to learn, but I think we are slowly becoming what we ought to be. Claire is playing right now, mothering her babies. And my kitchen is clean, so I guess we're doing okay.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Thanks...and random musings.

I've had a good amount of you offer to accept the sister position. I'm thrilled with the response. The best part is that as soon as we move a little closer to civilization, I'll be able to take you all up on it. I definitely intend to do more things with my "sisters" as soon as we move.

In a way it seems like so many of the things that I deem to be the "problems" in my life will be solved when we move. I wonder if this is really the case, or if I'm just putting a bunch of "I'll be happy whens..." to the test. But really, closer to friends and family, a full-time salary, and a home with space to store things and a place to put my sewing machine. These are all on my "when" list. And matching nightstands...but who knows when that will happen.

Really, though, Cache Valley has been a blessing. Cache literally means "hiding place," and it has really been that for me. These last two years have been unbelievably painful for me. I've been on an emotional roller coaster since we moved here. In our first few months here we lost a great salary, lost great insurance benefits, started a Master's program, had a baby, I had my eye removed, and got the devastating news that it didn't go as planned. It was all a little overwhelming for me. And to do it all with pregnancy hormones and postpartum hormones topped it all off.

It's been nice to be able to hide our here while I put myself back together. I think I'll be leaving here the "self" that most of you know me as. (And for those of you who know me only as my Cache Valley self: I'm sorry. I'm usually a lot more fun, put together, helpful, useful, happy, intelligent, etc.) My 6 months of daily migraines caused by eye inflamation only added to my weirdness. I'm just starting to finally feel life flowing through me again (and no, that's not a way of saying I'm pregnant. I won't be for a while!)

It's been a rough road. After I got my first horrible prosthetic I spent days (okay, weeks) feeling sorry for myself on the couch, pausing only to nurse and change diapers. I am so grateful to my husband who did laundry, cooked, cleaned, shopped, and took on childcare in addition to his demanding school and work schedule. The migraines have been gone for a year now, and I am grateful every day to have my life back. Although I still get them once or twice a month, they are just a reminder of how much better my life is now.

And we survived. We even made some great memories and great friends. I'll always be grateful that we were here and had the experiences we did. We have learned so much and grown immensely as a family and as individuals. We will leave here stronger,with more faith, and with more conviction to our beliefs that ever before. And we'll leave here with Kyle and with a bigger better version of Claire. Even though Kyle continues to yell all day, and Claire started spitting on the floor at Joann the other day, they are the biggest and most wonderful blessings of all. My cup overfloweth.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Kyle is crazy

We took kyle to the doctor yesterday. He could find no physical reason for the food crankiness. I'm glad that Taylor's a family therapist so we could just point to that and stop the talk about "Have you tried..." and "Maybe it's a power thing..." Because it's not a lack of our trying things, and it's not him being a bum. Anyway, we thought we'd try something for acid reflux to see if that makes him happier.

And of course the second we got home he drank an entire cup of milk and ate tons of mac and cheese. It was kind of a, "Gosh, guys. If it matters to you so much that you take me to the doctor, I guess I'll eat."

And he's back to the screaming today. It's so fun. The medicine takes a week to work; I'm counting the days.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

On the verge of losing it

Kyle has been ornery since April. Before April he was 95% happy. Now every time we sit down to eat a meal he screams. For an hour. No Mommy! No Mommy! This is breakfast:

Me (as pleasantly as possible): "Kyle, should we go have some food?"
Kyle: Yeah!
Then I carry him to his chair and it starts. "No Mommy! No Mommy!"
I strap him and show him a banana. He says "Yeah!"
I start to cut the banana on his tray. "No Mommy! No Mommy!"
He throws it off the tray. I pick it up.
I show him a box of cereal. "Want this buddy?"
"Yeah!"
I walk toward him, box in hand.
"No Mommy! No Mommy!"
Repeat with three boxes.
Dump whatever the last box was despite protests.
Kyle: "Ba ba!"
I show him a number of sippy cups before he settles on one.
I get the milk out, he shouts, "Yeah!"
I bring him the cup.
"No Mommy! No Mommy!"
He throws it on the floor.
I get frustrated. "What do you want bud?"
"I need a cracker!"

So this happens at every meal for once. We don't always give in to the graham cracker asking, but we do before bed because we don't want to send him to bed hungry. Kyle has always been a perfect eater. He even tries all new things, just refuses them after the first bite.

I called the doctor to complain about this only eating graham cracker stuff. The nurse told me to try withholding graham crackers. Um, gee, she obviously went to school to come up with that answer. I think he has acid reflux. He did as an infant terribly. He freaks out about eating lately, and that used to be his favorite thing. So he has an appointment tomorrow, because if we don't figure this out I will lose my sanity. After three months of yelling at every meal (and withholding graham crackers), I hope we get some answers tomorrow.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Real World

Before I start the Real World story, here's Claire doing sparklers for the first time ever. Ghostly picture of her; cool picture of the sparklers.

And now for why I sat down to blog:
We just had a really nice evening with our neighbors to the south watching fireworks and chatting while the kids played on the swingset (We always make friends just as we're going to move; we need to make more of an effort next time). Anyway, it was a fun night (except for the mosquitoes), but when we got in and were getting Claire ready for bed she was insistent on changing her underwear (she's a morning changer). When we asked why she said it was because the 7-year-old neighbor boy "said I smelled bad and pooped my pants." Poor girl! She started crying, and the poor thing was checking her pants! She has never had anyone say anything mean to her, and try as we could we couldn't convince her that he was teasing or that her panties were fine. She believed what he said over her own knowledge that it hadn't happened. To make matters worse, Claire has NEVER ONCE pooped her pants. She's a perfect potty trained girl and has had no more than ten accidents ever, maybe 13 at the most. And she smells fine. Nice even. Her hair has a way of keeping the scent of conditioner for days. She smells great. Stupid boys.

And so we enter parenthood where we cannot protect our children from the cruel, cruel world. I don't like that. Claire has such a sensitive heart. I hope that she can stay that way in spite of boys who claim poopy pants.

Oh, and the thing that makes it worst of all was that she was wearing new Dora Princess panties today! He claimed that about her Princess Panties! In fact, this morning Taylor took Claire to the resthome for Sacrament Services, and one of the old ladies asked her how she was and her response was, "Great! I'm wearing new princess panties!" Stupid boys.

On a related note, and cause for repentance for us, the reason we haven't been as friendly as we should have to our neighbors is as follows: We moved here on August 25, 2007. We parked our moving truck in their parking lot. There was nowhere else to put it. About an hour into our move, the dad came out in a wife-beater and jeans and kind of rudely announced that the owners called and wanted the truck moved. We were offended at his "welcome" to the neighborhood and totally didn't believe that the owners even knew our truck was there. Come to find out (last month), the owners of his building live across the street. Oops. They probably did call. Our HUGE bad. We were upset for almost 2 years because of that. Lesson learned. Hopefully. On a side note, they had their Christmas tree up and lit on Easter. Is that weird? I totally took pictures. One with the normal setting, and one with a night setting. Christmas tree. On Easter. Oh, and all you who probably can figure out who I'm talking about---you better not rat me out. I'm sharing because I want to confess: to the hard feelings and the sneaky picture taking.That's all for now.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, America! (And Whitney)

I'm a patriot. I love America. If you know me, you know this. Here is a little lovely number that expresses how I feel:



This is the last number I played on the stage of Miss Utah. Ironically when I searched for it on YouTube the first one that showed up was in Dr. Hatch's studio (my teacher at the time), and then I noticed that the two girls on the far piano are the girls who learned it to play with me. How about that? I played the part that the boy nearest the camera is playing. It brought back fun memories to see the studio, Dr. Hatch in the front row, and my two friends from class. One day I'll get the video of me playing. I'll have to learn how to do that someday.

And it's Whitney's birthday lest we forget. Happy birthday, Whitney!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Last week

Last week was busy for us. Taylor's car broke down on Tuesday, so that's always fun. We had one of Taylor's professors and her husband over for dinner on Wednesday. we made our famous sweet pork and I made these beautiful cupcakes from the book Hello, Cupcake!On Thursday we headed down to Lehi early. When we arrived we went outback at my parent's house to find that their tree had one huge branch breaking, and it was leaning on their fence and swing. Worst of all it was pulling on their telephone wire and threatening to pull down a large power pole. Their wonderful neighbor came over with a chainsaw and it was mostly resolved by the time my dad made it home from work early.


I helped Taylor's sister Whitney clean out her old house and move into her fun, huge new house (we're so excited for them, and so excited to use their ample storage space. My pageant dresses may have a new home!). Then we went to the horse parade and Lehi rodeo on Thursday. We caught up with Brittany Tait, a brand-new Lehite, at the parade (Brittany--did we not take a picture of Kyle and Gracie together?). My kids got to hang out with their cousins, Gavin and Whitney who are respectively 4 months older than each of mine. They had a great time, and we continue to wish we lived closer to them (they don't hit and neither do my kids, so it's a good, rare match).

On Friday my dad and Taylor drove up to Logan to get the car towed to Transwest in Ogdent where it put on a truck to Transwest in Lehi (it's a salvage car, and that the place we got it. We figured they'd be best and cheapest it fix it). The kids and I stayed with Mom. We went to visit Grandma-Great and hung out at her house for a bit. We walked back to my parent's house and my mom and Claire went to get some Arby's. Grandma and I hung out with Kyle in the backyard. He was playing in my parent's waterfall/river. He thought it was fun to lay in it (fully clothed) and even more fun to dip the top of his head in the side. Funny little man. Grandma and I were very entertained.

As soon as they got back we went to the miniature parade and after dinner we left for the Cameron (Taylor's mom's side) Family Reunion in Alton, Utah. We arrived around midnight. Kyle decided he slept enough in the car, so it was fun night. We spent Saturday at Bryce Canyon and watching the kids in a kiddie pool. That night was also not great with Kyle (apparently it is too fun to sleep in the same room with everyone. He kept calling out all of our names, just wanting to play.)

We went to the Alton ward on Sunday. I must say it was the most delightful Sacrament meeting I have ever attended. The Bishop was such a cute good old boy, and everyone there was just so small town good, we started wondering whether we should have accepted the job in the similarly small town of Loa. Really, we're still wondering about it. Everyone was just so happy and cute and welcoming. There must be so much good in small towns as they are so cut off from worldly thing. And although I did cry for a couple months after moving to this little small town we're in now, I have to wonder how I'd do in a real small town away from everything. It was charming--but maybe only from the outside.
Oh, and Saturday night we laughed our heads off over and over to this movie. Click it, it's the funniest thing I've seen in years. Really. The stars there were more beautiful than I have ever seen, and the moon just hung on the horizon forever. It was gorgeous.

We drove to Lehi Sunday night arriving again near midnight. Taylor had to be to work in Ogden (Yeah, Work!) early Monday morning, so he took one of my parent's cars, and we hung out for a bit. For dinner we went up the canyon with Jake, Britt, and Bailey. We met Taylor in Salt Lake and finally made it home by 9pm. It was a long, fun weekend.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

2009 Miss Utah Pageant

First things first, I found the DVD with my pageant clips on it. I had to upload the crowning to YouTube (1st for me), so here it is for all of you who have waited these 4 days to see it:


Yesterday was fun. It started with a breakfast for the contestants, their parents, and the former queens. There were about 12 people formers there. I think. Here's a picture with most of us who were there:














My favorite part was hearing Kayla and her parents speak. It brought back so many memories. She's from a small town too (Manti), so it her stories seemed so like my own. I'm sure we and our parents could be best friends. Renita, the director, spoke shortly but said something I liked. She said something like this, "We are not looking for a Miss Utah who fits the mold of what the Miss America Organization [aka Hollywood/the world] thinks Miss America should be. We're looking for someone who represents Utah and is true to herself. And if Miss America picks her, then good for them." Miss America is having an identity crisis lately (see my post about swimsuit legs), and a good Miss Utah would do them well.

I got to go up on stage with a number of the past Miss Utahs. Of course our camera was on a weird mode, so Taylor didn't get any great shots, but here's what we have:


















Notice how I'm wearing the gown I gave my crown up in. I figured that the fact that it fits outweighed the fact that it was 8 years old.

They gave me a rose, and Claire immediately stole it. She says her favorite part of the night was seeing me up on stage. Maybe because I got a cool light-up rose; maybe because I gave her thumbs up.

The best part of pageants is always catching up with old friends. Kelly and I each have a bad eye and noticed that while we were talking to Francine she was staring at our bad eyes (his right eye is bad too). So we took a step back and stared at her from our weird eye side. I don't know that she noticed, but I was in good company. It made me feel better about a day I was pretty nervous about because of my eye.

I was thrilled to catch of with Brittany Wiscombe. I hadn't seen her since I was pregnant with Claire. Miss Utah gets a CAR this year. Lucky, Lucky girl. Here Brittany and I are pretending it is ours.















Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Congratulations are in order

For me! It's my 8 year anniversary of winning Miss Utah. It really was a cross-road in my life. The person I became after that day varies drastically from the person I would have been had I not won. Because of that day I have so many wonderful things in my life...free education, my husband, kids, my exceptional speaking abilities :) Lots of good stuff. It was the hardest year of my life...wait, just the hardest up until that point...but I grew and became so much more than I could have without that experience---the good and the bad.

So, let's all sit back and enjoy a few of those great memories:

Okay, so you can't. My video DVD won't work on my computer today. Maybe some other time. I know you're sad. Me too.

Oh, and I guess congratulations are in order for Taylor too. He has a job offer! Celebrate! We'll fill in the details later, but it's possible that we won't be leaving our current home for a while now.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

This week

So we did the stomach flu this week. Kyle started it on Monday night and Claire started it (in the car with my parents) Thursday night. Needless to say we kept our germs home from church today---just in case there is anyone in the ward who hasn't had it. From what I hear few families have not. Because my parents were in the car with Claire when hers started, they got her a big 44 oz Carl's Junior cup after they got her cleaned up from the first unexpected bout. That cup has been glued to her chin ever since. She's sleeping with it right now. It's annoying but cute and funny. She says it makes her feel better, so we allow it.

As I stayed home from church I felt it my duty to read church-related material. I finished the book "Contentment: Inspiring Insights for LDS Mothers" by Maria Covey Cole. I'd highly recommend it to all of you mothers, especially young mothers. I'll quote a little from it now:
It seems to be the lot of mankind that we fail to recognize the beauty and worth inherent within each phase of life we pass through. It was M. Scott Peck, in The Road Less Traveled, who stated, "life is difficult. . . . Once we truly know that life is difficult---once we truly understand and accept it---then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters."

Elder Henry B. Eyring said, "On many days, doing what matters most will not be easy. It is not supposed to be. God's purpose in creation was to let us prove ourselves. . . .'And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them' (Abraham 3:25).

As daughters of God, when we acknowledge His goodness and mercy in our lives, accept that life is not meant to be easy, and learn that motherhood is, by divine design, difficult and testing, we will truly be content with the things the Lord has allotted us.

I'll quote more later, as I thought it was a book worth quoting, but I like that part. I especially like the scripture from Abraham in context with the rest of what was said. That we are here to prove ourselves. Not to take it easy, but to show God that we're worth it. If that means taking on difficult trials, or the stomach flu, I'm up for it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I won!

I've entered a few contests online, but never won. Until last night. Thanks to Brittany posting her family pictures online, I saw a little contest to get a free photo session with your family. I just sent in a few lines on why our family needs it (beyond our financial situation of just having finished grad school, I entered my whole sad eye story including how I've never really been in a picture with my big boy Kyle---last one was when he was 4 weeks old.). And we won. Nine photographers participated and here's ours: http://www.sweetyesterdaysphotos.blogspot.com/

Yeah! I'll certainly be posting them a soon as we have them.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Interesting Church Today

Church was interesting today. Two members of our bishopric were out sick, so Taylor was on the stand as EQ Pres. This has happened once before. He looks good up there.

So I was a lone woman. I respect anyone who has more than one kid and goes to church without a partner. First the Sacrament was coming around. Kyle always needs to partake. I tried to help him drink from the little plastic cup. He wanted to do it on his own. I whispered to the man holding the tray, "This can only end badly." Sure enough Kyle managed to suction the cup to his tongue. It was hilarious---his whole tongue was stuck inside. He choked a little, but I managed to remove the sucker pretty quick. On the plus side he didn't spill.

Next the meeting was almost over and Claire started to unbutton my shirt. I reprimanded her. It's a policy of mine not to undress in public, especially in church. She pulled at my shirt and got a glance down my top. "Mom! Your boobies have a cheeser!" She yelled it. It was heard at least three rows up and back. Awesome. We (perhaps irresponsibly) taught her how her underwear causes a wedgie/cheeser/whatever-you-call-it, and she has used the language frequently in the last few weeks. I never imagined it would show up in church in reference to my cleavage and garments. I know a lot of people went home with a good story today.

Best of all was when the police man showed up in Primary. Our president is out on maternity leave, the 1st councilor wasn't there, and the other councilor was doing sharing time. Although I am Secretary and last in charge, I was summoned to speak with the officer. Apparently a child called 911 twice and officers rushed to the church. I had to check every class. It was funny but odd. I knew the entire time whom the culprits were, and that everything was fine, but had to check anyway. I was also conducting, so during the closing excersises it was my responsiblity to remind the children that the church phone was not for children, and especially not for children who are prank-calling 911. A teacher volunteered that she saw two certain boys playing with the phone. One adamently denies it; no news on the other. I know they did it. I could have told you without a witness to confirm it.

That was interesting. Probably not as interesting as when someone had a heart attack and was unconscious during Taylor's home ward's sacrament meeting. The paramedics came. Probably the primary secretary didn't have to deal with that.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Funny

Two things. First: Taylor and I always say dumb, untrue things about things that aren't/haven't happened. We talk about how we made out on our first date (not true, didn't kiss for 3 months!). Stuff like that. So today he went upstairs then promptly hollered my name. I thought he just needed a diaper or something, so I said, "Crap. Did I leave porn up on the computer again?" [So obviously not true.] I came around the corner to find him holding the phone out to me and giggling. To make it worse it was my visiting teaching supervisor. She swears she didn't hear, but who knows. Lovely. And even worse I didn't do my VT this month. First time this year. First time this year she's called me... What are the chances?

Second: The other day we saw a pregnant lady. From a distance I pointed her out to Claire. This is what Claire said, "Oh. I didn't know she was going to have a baby because her bum is big too. And Mom---you do not have a big bum or a big tummy." Too funny. And the lady did have a big bum. And I do not. But I am not pregnant.

Just thought those were funny moments to share.

Monday, June 1, 2009

A lot about Kyle

Because we have lived so far away since Kyle was born, a lot of you don't know Kyle like you know Claire. It's unfortunate, so I want to talk about him a little. I'll post on Claire later, so you don't have to read through this thinking, "what about Claire?"

To know Kyle you'd have to spend at least a week observing him. At first glance he seems very random. He goes with the flow. He doesn't seem to care what's going on around him, at least he's never bugged by what's happening; he's just is along for the ride. He spaces out here and there; he can play on his own for a long time; he's happy about 95% of the time. Once you get to know him though, you realize how cool all of these qualities are, and then you realize it's not random: it's Kyle. Taylor just got a taste of this after my last surgery. He had both the kids for a few days, and then just Kyle for a few more. I kept getting these texts from him, "Kyle is so cool." "This kid is awesome." "I'm so glad that I get to be with my boy." When you really spend time with him though, you find that his randomness is remarkably fine-tuned. He's just so broad in his behavior that you can't put it together without an attentive study. Here's what you'd notice if you had the chance:

Kyle thinks everything is funny. He even knows when things are ironic funny and says this funny, "haaaa-haaa." His laugh is awesome. It comes out in a loud burst, like he cannot help but laugh and can't hold it in any longer. I dance; he laughs. A toy car drives on his leg; he laughs. He throws his bottle and it spills; he laughs. I run; he laughs (okay, anyone would if they saw me).

Kyle loves his toy cars. Since he was tiny, like 5 months old, he's been able to do this funny motor sound. I don't know how he does it. He did it everywhere he crawled. Now his toy cars do it everywhere they go. He inspects their parts. He'll sit and spin the wheels, examine the windows, taste them, and vroom them all over the house and all over us. He announces most cars that we pass on the road. "Car. Car. Car. Car. Car." If there are no cars on the side of the road we hear, "Where Car?!?"

Kyle's equally number one love is for balls, specifically basketball ("ball-ball"). If he sees a basketball standard on the side of the road he announces it too. He likes to play any game that involves a ball.

He is SO sweet. Even when he was tiny he was so good and tried so hard to be good. He likes to cuddle. He likes to hold my hand. Last month I told him Claire was sick. He climbed up on the couch and gave her about 15 kisses. He blows kisses to everyone when we say goodbye. Big MMMMMWWWAAA! kisses for everyone.

Kyle is having a language explosion at the moment. I can't even keep up with the new words he uses daily. His latest sentence is, "I need a cracker!" Only it comes out in a yelling voice and all one word. He's a fast talker whenever it's more than one word.

Kyle loves his sister. If Claire does something, Kyle will try to do it too. Every time he comes down the stairs after his nap he yells, "Claire! Claire!" He'll even call to her to come to his room in the mornings---she doesn't get him out, she just gets in with him. He wears her necklaces and her shoes---anything to be more like her. All of his intonations in his speech come from her. You can't tell their "hi" apart if you are on the phone.

He's the best sleeping baby you will ever find. We struggled with him for maybe 3 weeks. After that he just would go to sleep when we laid him down. No fuss whatsoever. We joke that you could just throw him in and toss a pillow in and that's all he'd need. If he's not tired he just plays and talks until he is. We get up with him at night maybe once every six weeks. Other than that he sleeps from 8pm to 9:30 or 10am. It's awesome. He even naps from 1-3. Such a treat!

Kyle is special. He was sent to us at such a strange time. I originally planned to have my eye removed in March of 2007. We did it with the intent of wanting another baby, but not wanting to deal with pregnancy and what it did to my eye. When I showed up for the surgery I found out that I was pregnant. I was shocked. Let me just say we don't know where he came from. I had had a miscarriage a month or so before I found out I was pregnant with Kyle. Two weeks before the planned surgery I had a ultrasound to make sure everything passed from the pregnancy. Britten was there with me, she can attest to the fact that they said everything was great and there was no baby. I had an ultrasound two days after I found out I was pregnant with Kyle. He was 7 weeks old. He should have been there in the first ultrasound. And he was born 10 days early (according to that ultrasound) and was over 8 pounds. He was meant to be. He's our little miracle. My heart thrills every time I hold him. He has been such a joy and such a blessing during this difficult time in my life. I am so grateful for him and can't wait to see what he will accomplish in life. Because of the circumstances surrounding his birth, I know his purpose is great.