Sunday, August 30, 2009


there were never such devoted sisters. Truly this goes through my head when I think of Elizabeth. So since she flew here all the way from Utah to celebrate her b-day with us I thought I would make it special by taking her to the beach, throwing a raging party, and teasing her endlessly. Hey it's my love language. Leave me alone.Highlights of the beach included endless bathing suit bottoms, one for each day no repeats, pop culture magazines filled with useless information but so fun to read, and constant help with the kids and cooking.
Highlights of the party included necklaces and a crown that we made her wear, party blowers galore and 43 people, and a talent show put on by the neices and nephews as their present to her.What more could a girl ask for? Well according to her birthday wish this year "to get laid". I'll see what I can do. I have pulled off some stuff in my day.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Back to the Beach

Our Annual Beach Trip
554 pictures later
27 video clips
8 blogged pictures (a mere 1.4%)
and 1 great week filled with some of my favorite 13 people.
(the boys-issac and wyatt- commune with the ocean after church on sunday-getting wet was not an intended event but an accidental byproduct)
(me tackling the wave - surf's up!)
(blasted post-hurricane jelly fish sting on my inside elbow)
(golden goddesses-me and elizabeth-conquer the sun)
(seriously was too pretty a picture to pass up-clair and ashley)
(i might just still have a few skills - probably not)

(the world at it's most peaceful time and place - sunset on the beach)

( missing in action - kristy, college roommate and BFF, lainey and wrigley-her kids, kylie-ashley's child, kody, bella, and travis)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Keep This Moment

Although equal parts nervous and intrigued by the camera being brought out to tape him, this isn't Kody's best performance. But at least in fifty years when I'm old it'll jog the memory that right now feels too good to be real.

Kody sings each day and night before nap and bedtime. This is his song of choice right not. Thanks Nursery leaders for giving me such a good Mom moment. Because heaven knows it totally surprised me when he bust this out.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Name That Stain

It's time for another rousing game of name that stain. Although you don't get perspective from this picture, the big stain is 12 inches in length.
Is the stain:
a) water
b) pooh
c) maple syrup (1/2 a bottle no less)
d) pee
I look forward to your guesses.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sometimes You Just Get Lucky

Being the control freak kind of person I am, when something goes right I really love to take credit for it. And having Travis as a husband is one of those things. I like to tell people how I knew right away he was who I wanted to marry because I know people and I knew he would be a good match for me. But the older I get the more I realize that there is that element of luck and God's mighty hand intervening that brings two people into one another's lives. After that I can take all the credit I suppose but I sure feel lucky to have been able to meet Travis initially.

Our story of is one of tumult, drama (mainly on my part), and a long dating period (mainly on Travis's part). I met Travis in beginning of July of 1999 while at Ricks College. On my birthday July 27, 1999 we went out for our first official date since I was just turning 18. By the next day I was writing in my journal about "Travis, the most dreamy guy @ Ricks" and by then we were spending most days together at some point or another. By August I was writing in my journal about how much I loved him. By September we had broken up and by October I knew that we would be getting married and that I would just have to wait and do things on his time frame. By November 3, Travis had finally gone to the temple to do some major contemplating and come home apologizing and from there we started dating again. After a trip to Texas that Christmas to meet his family we both knew we would be getting married. And on Valentine's Day in 2000 Travis proposed to the backdrop of falling snow, the Taylor quad (the religion building), a waving American flag, and both of us in camo. By combining the things we love most he was making me the happiest girl ever. And then despite spending an entire summer apart in August of 2000 we were married in the D.C. Temple for time and all eternity.

Perhaps a lot of people would say their wedding day was the happiest day of their life, but for me it doesn't even come close. Most everyday since has been a happier day, and each time we enter a new phase of life we feel like now we are the happiest ever to only be surprised by our growing happiness. Sure I can still bring drama and tumult to our marriage, and still sometimes he can take forever to do things, but in the end we are both better people for having found one another. I think I may have gotten the better end of the stick as I think Travis is the epitome of perfection. Yet he never hesitates to tell me how amazing I am and how much he loves me and he never fails to show me that too by being perfectly patient with me. I know I'm a lot to handle but on this day above all others I am glad that Travis took the chance to try his luck on a girl like me proving that he is "Strong Enough to Be My Man". I love you Bear. Happy Anniversary.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Get With The Program

Some things in their raw form are magnificent: a slab of unhewn marble, a chunk of wood displaying a grain texture that makes you feel warmth just by looking at it, and even just a word especially if you are looking for the perfect one to describe exactly how you feel. But as remarkable as these things are, I can't help but always remember the church video "Touch of the Master's Hand". And I recall the beginning scenes as you watch hands working wood and eventually you realize that the wood will become a violin under the tutelage of the carpenter. I feel close to tears as I behold the beauty and transformation to be born over something so splendid already. Some people are good with wood and I envy them but others are good with words and I revere them.

I'll always know where these tender roots sprang forth from. Many memories of my life both in my childhood and adulthood come crashing to me as I think about the power of words in my life. I remember every day of my life before I started school falling asleep to the comforting words my mom's lips spilled forth before I would drop into nap time slumber. I recall shortly after my parents got divorced filling my summers with library trips pulling dozens of books off the shelf looking to escape to any reality other than my own not knowing if I would enjoy each book but knowing I was excited to have the chance to find out. I can't help but smirk as I recall my brother, Benj, throughout my reading career fabricating excerpts aloud to my mom trying to get her worked up at the thought that I was reading material of questionable content. I marvel at the chance that I had to find out about my high school's newspaper and join the staff my sophomore year. And I still feel proud to know that my junior year I became the first non-senior editor-in-chief ever in our school's history. And I cringe to think back at how poor a job I did at that and how the years of experience have refined my craft as well.

You still can't find me without a book in my hand, my purse, my car, and on my dresser beside my bed these days but I have realized that for some it is a talent to be the craftsman and for others it is a talent to be able to enjoy the beauty of that craft. The older I get the more I sense I fall into this second group. There is a part of me who would love to be the next great novelist bending the word to my command, molding each word into a larger piece of art. But without resentment I content myself to enjoy looking at each creation, unique and different. I love to immerse myself in the luxury of words and love sharing that luxury with my children as I read to them before nap time and as we read the scriptures before nighttime lulling them to sleep with the cadence and rhythm of words. I love that Bella climbs in bed with me some days after school to read her own book beside me as I read. I love that my kids now love to read, the idea of reading, and the joy they feel when they find the perfect word to finish the mental picture they intend to paint in the minds of those they are talking to. I love the word.

And so it should come as no surprise that each year, each of my kids and myself included engage in the summer reading program at our local library. We revel the fact that reading has become a responsibility and therefore we must find time for it everyday. And we love all the activities the library comes up with throughout the summer to encourage that love of the written word. And so with sadness I took the kids to the end of summer reading program party this week. I couldn't stay sad for very long as we engaged in carnival games and prizes, all of this for free, but I couldn't help but hope that these memories will burn themselves into the minds of my children and to them I can pass on an infinite love too. What they do with that love remains unknown but perhaps my greatest joy will be to find out what they do with the ending of their own story.
(My kids overwhelmed with happiness.)
(Wyatt picks out a fake moustache for a prize.)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday to Me

Kebobs of filet tips, peppers, and onion +
Packages stuffed with crab, leeks, and cheese lightly fried +
Mixed greens with oranges, walnuts, and other stuff I can't remember +
Pan seared divers scallops with meunier sauce
(these were the size of thick hockey pucks and totally amazing) =
My Belated Birthday Dinner at Culturas.

And the day before at Roots Market I totally got myself one more gift. Check these babies out, I negotiated these down to $1.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fiercely Happy

How can I be so fiercely happy about something so silly!
What does this to a grown women?
Dance classes
What kind?
Belly dancing
How does this happen?
You take your daughter to enroll for the new year of ballet at their open house and see a performance of their brand new belly dancing class.
What would possess you to do this?
A secret life long fantasy to be a belly dancer.

Yes you heard it right. I have always wanted to take dance.
And belly dancing is fierce.
I already paid for the year, so I'm committed baby.
See the blog for future installments of my dance career.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I Learn...

as Bella plays. Today the kids were playing "hobo". They run away and start a new life somewhere else. (I attribute this game to our endless moving practices, which will hopefully be abated.) Typically they set up their new life and home in one of the walk in closets in our home. This time Bella left me a note when she ran away.
I scanned it but it wasn't a good image so I'll give you the verbatim copy.
"Mom, I moving mom. I love you but you push me to much. Heart Love Bella." Ouch I saw the truth in that even though this was pretend play.
Still I don't have the answer to the question that has perplexed me since receiving this note? How do you teach your kids to do their best and work really hard, but not push them. Any ideas?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Isn't She Pretty???

I love that my kids play well together. And occasionally Bella gets to play something she wants amidst all the boys, this particular day dress up.
And Wyatt obeys getting all dolled up in Bella's clothes. Issac and Kody had lip gloss on but I missed the pictures of that.
And this week's favorite desserts: a new cracked out brownie and popcorn balls. I don't know why this is only a holiday treat, because everytime I eat them I am in heaven.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What the Numbers Mean

Lately I have been hearing a lot about how much it costs to raise a child, some numbers reported as much as 220,000 for a child up to 18. After doing my own research I found that in the end multiple factors play into it like whether you are a single or dual parent family, your race, and your socioeconomic status or income. Really a nice median number of 160,000 for most people is accurate. It seems like a huge amount of money, at least to me, at first but then I broke it down.
Here's what I came up with:
$160,000 for 18 years,
$8,889 a year,
$740 a month,
$24 a day
and just about $1 an hour.
This is what less than a dollar costs you considering these are just moments and not hours.
(Being a hero to a sick child at 3am)

(Experiencing God's greatest miracle: LIFE)

(Watching a child learn something new)

(Being overcome with love) Doesn't seem like such a bad deal after all. Actually the best investment I've ever made.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

He Is...

(Issac gets in bed with Wyatt so Wyatt won't be afraid)
He may be a little louder, rougher, and crazier but...he is always tougher, sweeter, and braver.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I'm Free

So it may not be a flattering picture.
I may have quadruple chins.
You may be able to look up my nose. may also see that I am totally happy playing with Issac, my kids.
This kind of love is freeing.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

It's Gonna Cost You

I love my four kids. I love my family.
But there are some things I don't love.
I don't love spending $30 on bread for two weeks!
I don't love spending $50 for cereal for two weeks.
Don't believe me check my receipt from last night's Wal-Mart trip.
$80 and I still don't have real food.
Sometimes having four kids really does cost you.