Saturday, January 29, 2011

Wyatt, Wyatt What Can I Say

Today is your birthday. You are the embodiment of perfection most of the time. You are so sweet and kind. You are lovable and affectionate, quick with a hug or a kiss. Yet, you are enthusiastic and hop around excitedly when watching TV or playing video games. You are one heck of a wrestler even just this past week pinning each of your three opponents.

You seem to be amazing at most everything you do. You are special, that's for sure. You aren't afraid to conquer the world. You can't wait to go on a mission for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and you spin the globe in the living room and put your finger down and say that is where you will go. But secretly you want to go to China. You want to be the first missionary allowed in the country to proselytize and I think you would be so good at that. And when I hear how hard Asian languages are to speak I think that suits you too since you are so smart.

You love to imagine all the possibilities of your future and one day you want to be a rocket scientist and the next an inventor. Other days you want to be the one to cure diseases, a chemist, and still others you want to be something totally different still. I love that your imagination goes on forever.

And you know what I love most about you? It is how much you love daddy and me. Each night when I tell you I love you more than anyone in the world, you either say or ask, not as much as daddy. I love that my love for you means so much. I hope that I am always worthy of your love because it is some of the strongest I know. You are growing up so fast and soon you will be smarter, stronger, quicker, funnier, kinder and better than me in a million ways and I can't wait to watch it happen. You give me confidence that this next generation of my family will be even better than the last. I love you!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Husband, the Mad Scientist

santa replaced my malfunctioning digital cameratravis wanted to figure out how digital cameras work
isn't he cute?

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Am Officially A Girl

I know this is shocking news. Bella with some frequency asks, "Am I a girly girl or a tomboy?" She has surmised that she is a little bit of both. My whole life till recently I would have said I was a tomboy. Predominantly raised with boys, friends with boys, boy hobbies and interests there were few areas where I felt girly. My college goal was to wear some kind of makeup everyday. With each passing year I develop more of my girly side. Some of it comes naturally and some of it I have to work at. Well a little while back some friends invited me to go shopping with them and then out to lunch. I decided to do it and {gasp} this was my first time ever. Previously I have not been a fan of shopping partly because I'm very practical [need something, find where it is cheapest, go buy it, and done] and second because I am very cheap why tempt myself with things I may potentially want when I know I don't want to end up buying them anyway. But I was up for the social part of it and we intended to hit a store that I knew I needed stuff from.

So we met up at 9:30 in the morning. We shopped and shopped wondering what appeared to be aimlessly up and down aisles for hours. Then we went to another store next door. I didn't need stuff there, but ended up buying stuff. :( Then we went to lunch. Yummo! I can always get behind going out to eat. And then we decided we hadn't shopped enough and found everything we needed so we made a somewhat impromptu stop at Target on the way home, where we wondered even more aimlessly. We arrived back at my friends and I took a friend towards her home, and eventually I got home at 6:30. I just spent 9 hours, count them nine [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 9] hours shopping. Holy crap. It's official with this trip I have entered the realm of girl or girly. How do I feel about this - admittedly undecided. But for those friends who are reading this, I had a great time - the social aspect was very pleasant and I can't wait to try it again.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Addendum to Post About Feminism 1.18.11

Today while at the church library, I walked in to have some copies of choir music made. {No worries I have all the appropriate copyright documentation.} The man behind the counter asked me how many copies I needed made. I told him 16. I asked if he wouldn't mind bringing them to me in the chapel when he was done since it would take some time and I was directing the choir. He said no problem and asked since they were multipaged copies, "Would you like me to staple them for you?" I hmmed for a moment pondering the benefits of stapling vs. loose leaf when he quickly replied "Or not, I know how women now days don't like men to do for them what they can do for themselves."

This just further lends support to my argument that the feminist woman has confused the men around us. And just let me clarify that I would love for a man to do for me what I can do for myself in the name of offering up help or service. Yes Mr. Librarian Man or Resource Center Worker I would love for you to staple my copies [add charming smile and lots of praise]. To which he happily smiled. Men want to help women. It's innate, biologically caveman days driven. And guess what, I want that help. I want to be taken care of, call me a kept woman - I'll take it as a compliment.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Brain Fart

In college Travis had a roommate who coined for me the term brain fart. It is the absolute lack of thought. It occurred when on a fourish hour drive from Rexburg to Provo he was largely silent. I asked him what he was thinking about. He said nothing. Of course I didn't believe him and further harassed him about the train of his thoughts teasing him with guesses of girls and other secret worthy type thoughts. But he assured me that indeed it was nothing and asked me didn't I ever just sit and stare without thinking. To which I promptly replied no. I was shocked and astounded to realize that some people are capable of this absence of thought. We discussed what is was like and he said it's just empty air in my brain. Like a fart. Hence brain fart. Still to date I don't know if I have ever experienced this absolute lack of thought. My brain runs at a hundred miles an hour till the moment I fall asleep. What types of things do I think about largely useless, but still...they are there.
For instance on my mind right now:
  • How do parents without a belief in God survive the death of a child?
  • Why does Kody have a fever, but no physical pain anywhere?
  • Will the Amazon seller I am in contact with offer me a suitable concession?
  • What type of grass seed should I buy?
  • I need to print off ten copies of a paper for a church thing.
  • I need to buy a present for a b-day party for Bella tomorrow, get more painters tape, and buy seed.
  • What type of grass seed should I buy?
  • Will I ever know if my parenting efforts are the best way until it is too late?
  • I can't wait to eat at PF Chang's tonight.
  • Will the kids ever be able to play the Wii without it ending in fights?
  • How long will it be fun for me to play Wii with the kids?
  • I/Santa probably just should have gotten a Wii for the kids for Christmas instead of all the other stuff. I think they would have been happy and I could have saved tons of money.
  • Should I paint the picture frame red or leave it white. And if I leave it white should I fill it with a picture that is predominantly red?
  • Why is my computer running so slow?
  • I wonder if Travis will know how to fix it.
  • I need to stop blogging and get back to work.

So you see nothing exciting. But I assumed everyone worked like this! Am I wrong? Have any of you ever just sat and not thought?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Trying To See It From Every Side

the opinions expressed herein are based on my own experiences and things I have heard. by no means is this a scientific study.

Have you ever encountered a foreign male? If the answer is yes than I am pretty sure you have experienced the same things I have. For the most part no matter which European country they are from any foreign male seems to more freely flatter women with their words. Italians are known for their charming men and other European countries seem to top the charts in their smooth talking approach to women, minus the British who seem to be some exclusion of this rule and more closely mirroring the behaviors of American men. Their love of women is so barely concealed it seems as though they must spew forth these words of rapture lest they implode with the effort of containing them. Now meet the American man. The man who outside of the work arena seems barely able to string a sentence filled with eloquent praises together. (Enlightened males being the exception of course.) It leads me to wonder, what makes the difference. I went round and round and came to several assumptions:

  1. Foreign men really do love women more.
  2. Foreign men are better with words, language, and grammatical context.
  3. Foreign women more freely accept, respond to and encourage these words.
  4. The dissolving traditional gender roles of Americans make flirting and courtship harder than ever.

I have a hard time believing assumptions one and two. My own personal opinion is that four is the most likely candidate leaving me to wonder about the reality of the feminist movement and all of its long term implications. As anyone who studies feminism knows it has had three main waves. The initial wave was to combat physical domination of men to women namely sexual and domestic violence as well as giving women a forum in which they could express their voice ending with their right to vote. Kudos I get all this and am behind it. But it seems there is where you have lost me. After that feminism feels largely to me like ingratitude. From there in my eyes it became less about equality and more about sameness, a classic case of anything you can do I can do better. And anything you have I want too. And after all this I think men don't know what women want or expect. And they don't know what defines a man or how to be a man when half the women walking around are trying to be men. It leaves me wanting to travel around and study different cultures to examine those cultures who have maintained more traditional gender roles and see if men are more flirtatious in these cultures, to see if marital satisfaction is any higher, and to see if we have progressed down a road we would rather not be.

It leaves me missing my major of Marriage and Family Therapy and contemplating my Thesis topic if I go back to get my Masters. But most of all it makes me grateful not to be in the dating world trying to navigate these challenges that we as a culture have self imposed.

Monday, January 17, 2011


  • being told I look like a naughtly librarian, when I have an eye infection and feel sick.
  • that my sister taught me her amazing curl technique while she was home for Christmas.
  • working out at the gym everyday again. Shout out to Work Zone Fitness in Manheim.
  • loose teeth and hysterics so ridiculous I can't help but laugh.

  • snow, snow, and more snow.
  • glazed cream filled doughnuts and wavy potatoe chips with Helluva Good French Onion Dip, no substitutions accepted.
  • our towns lit Christmas tree, and lights draping over the square to form a Christmas tree, I love that we raise a ball on New Years Eve and have our own celebration.

  • looking through my picture files.
  • seeing pictures of my parents when they were younger.
  • great books, great minds, great people.

Happy Martin Luther King Jr.'s Day!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Paying Tribute (Happy Birthday Travis!)

Today is Travis's birthday.
He's rounding out his 30's which doesn't seem to bother him, although 25 was a month long crisis.
I think he's the perfect age. Our life is perfect.
When I contemplate heavens and the eternities I think how can it get any better than life now.
But I can't wait because I'll be with this man.
He never speaks an unkind word.
He spends his life looking to serve others.
His favorite time of the day is one on one time with each child as he puts them to bed.
His patiences is limitless.
He loves to laugh and be entertained by his family and friends.
He hates pictures and often looks totally unlike himself in the many I try to take.
He is the world's most handsome man, not because he is physically attractive although he is,
but because his heart is pure.
Words fail me; Pictures fail him!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Let It Snow More... Please


Maryland Science Center

The long awaited secret trip was to the Maryland Science Center. This was my personal favorite daycation of the Christmas break. This place is cool because it lies right on Inner Harbor, which I love, but is a Museum so big, 3 full stories, and diverse that it is truly fun for both adults (lie detector machines and lying on a bed of nails) and kids (a dinosaur dig and tornado simulation). We spent three hours there and could have easily spent another three that's how many exhibits there were. But alas naptime and toddler meltdown is always the constraint. I would absolutely encourage every family to go. It's not terribly expensive and it's a downright steal of a deal if you participate in the ASTC program.
sound makes water jump

digging up fossils

baby dinosaurs in the nest

bed of nails anyone?

fun filled days


I don't know who named it the Poconos,
but all I think of is Poco(yes) when we get to go.
We fill out days with:
creating snowball arsenals
fierce snowball fights (Issac informed me during this - "Men always win!")
Daddy taunting Issac
and then learning his lesson
and a whole lot of hot chocolate, movie watching and relaxing. See yes, yes, yes!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Oh Crap...I am in over my head!

Dear Blog Reader,

Everything I tell you must remain a secret in that it cannot get back to the source. Here is my dilemna. Bella has a boyfriend. I use this term only because it is the one she uses. It started all very benignly. But now she has asked Travis for a Book of Mormon to give to him. When he questioned her why she responded that it was because the prophets have told us to share the gospel. And quickly followed up with because also she won't marry someone who can't take her to the temple. Happy moment that she remembered that awesome principle and plans to live by it, but...wowzo scary serious and I just don't know what to say or do. HELP ME!

A Day With Me

Monday, January 10, 2011


For Christmas my sister got me a beloved movie of my early adolescent years. And let's be honest there was not a summer that went by that I didn't watch it all the way until I went to college, Shag the Movie. Apparently it referred to a style of dancing. But the bulk of the movie is about four girls who are about to leave for college but the summer before they do they all lie to their parents about their whereabouts and instead go to Myrtle Beach, aka land of sin in that time period the 60's, for their vacation. The girls starring Bridget Fonda of course engage in many pranks, scandalous activities, and crazy shenanigans. This movie only got 5.4 out of 10 stars from IMDB's website, but still I wanted it for nostalgia's sake. And as we watched it in the Christmas aftermath movie fest, I was horrified to realize how inappropriate this movie was for a preteen. Where were my parents? Neither here nor there I learned two big lessons. One, Bella is not watching that movie until she gets to college or much older. I don't need her getting any ideas

And two, aside from my now predominant and well intact maternal instincts I also realized that I miss this side of me. I may be a responsible and hopefully good parent, but I still like to have fun. Ridiculous, childish, immature fun. This part of me has never changed. And it is one of the main reasons I married my husband. While dating he bought gasoline and made a huge burning Z for Zorro in the snowy sand dunes of Idaho just because. Another time we bought a couch from DI(Deseret Industries - you have to be from the west to know about this place) to take to an old quarry where we lit it on fire and jumped over it with blaring music and a dozen other friends. Whereupon our night ended with the local sheriff's department descending upon our group with night vision goggles and ideas of apprehension. Now not all of my husband's Tom Foolery involves fire although he does have another story or two where it comes into play, but he was the man I knew I could marry because he could play with me. Even this past weekend as we frolicked through the Poconos he engaged in a raging snowball fight with me and Issac, drove crazy doughnuts round a deserted ice covered parking lot and he chased and tackled me to the ground numerous times tickle torturing me.
What's this mean for you my blogging audience? I need some chums with a bit of a wild streak. It can even be hidden in the deepest part of you, because believe you me I can and will find it and pull it out of you. I need ideas for fun pranks. I need someone who craves this kind of playing too, because also this year I am upping my playtime. I love parent/child play, but let's be honest it is no substitution for the real thing.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Takes Me Back

You know how every now and again you will be walking along and ka-pow you are hit with nostalgia so strong. For a lot of people it is a smell, sometimes a taste - hence the whole genre of comfort food, but for me it is typically through music. Music was a big part of my growing years and my mom used to sing in a group with her sisters semi professionally. They did McGuire Sister covers and I grew up not only knowing older bands and classic music but loving it. My mom used to drive me crazy as a kid, by using the last word of every sentence I said and segueing it into a song. She could find a song for every word I swear. And so for me certain songs can transfer me to a whole different time period. For every relationship I've ever had with a member of the opposite sex there was a song I associated with it. A lot of times the guys didn't even know and it was never so formal as this is "our" song, but it may have been popular at the time we were dating or something would remind me of that person.

Today I was doing the car shuttle, that my sister teased me about while here for Christmas. I spend a lot of time in my car running here and there, when a song came on. Instantly I was nearing the square of Gettysburg in a Plymouth Voyager minivan with a faux wood stripe. My sister was driving and we had removed the center section of seats. Something we often did so we could fit more people in the car for our weekend going out sessions. We were stopped at a red light and I decided to get out and dance my heart out. Well in the hullabaloo of at least a half a dozen people in the back my sister hadn't noticed that I got out of the car. Therefore as the light turned green, she started to pull away sliding van door open and all. I knew she didn't see me and so instantly I took off after the car. I was chasing down an accelerating van. And that is when my friends started shouting jump in. And so I did with little thought. And although quick I somehow had not planned for the increasing momentum and although I cleared the opening and landed mostly in the van, the door and car continued forward slamming into my left thigh. It hurt but I was giddy with laughter of having chased our van through the square of Gettysburg and jumping in a moving vehicle a la Hollywood action movie style. It wasn't till the next day that the bruise covering half my leg appeared, but I still laughed it off. My sister didn't find it quite so comical as she thought what I had done was dangerous and she knew she would have been responsible had I gotten hurt. But so are the memories of my adolescent years filled with dangerous and thoughtless but fun filled actions. And so I present the song that night, "Ghetto Superstar".

What is a song that takes you back to a memorable occasion?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A New Level of Kindness

I have never thought of myself as unkind, yet if people were to describe me I doubt kind would come to the forefront of their brain either. Yet the older I get the more I treasure this virtue. So for the new year I have made goals to be more kind. One of them has been to limit my negative comments to 300 a year. That may seem like a ton, but that is less than one a day and for me it's a mighty goal I have ahead of me.

That being said two nights ago I watched The Bachelor, my very favorite and guiltiest pleasure. But oh was it excruciating. How can I watch this show and not say unkind things and Travis just laughed watching me struggle. And this is when I realized although called reality TV, this is not really reality. This is acting and since the characters are fictional, one can only hope, (was that waspish too?) I debated with Travis about whether negative comments directed towards the TV counted. What do you think?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Home Is Where?

Many people say home is where the heart is, but often there is a real address too. Based on my last month of travel, mainly day trips, I'm not sure I remember any kind of physical address. Here is where I, we have been, in no particular order.
Hershey's Chocolate Factory

Two Class Christmas Parties
The North Museum of Natural History and Science and the Planetarium
The Smithsonion (The National Museum of Natural History) and to see the Hope Diamond
To the Brick House for dinner with friends. I wouldn't recommend it, but hey, it was fun.
Manheim Auto Auction to sell cookies for Women's Club
To the Cabin
And last, but not least Chuck E' Cheese for some birthday celebrating.

And one last location that deserves it's own post. I bet your curious now!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mellow, Not Always

Everyone who knows Wyatt thinks he is super mellow. And he is...until he loses it. And then he loses it big time. This is him right after Travis pulled his tooth out. He had agreed to have the string tied on and pulled. But Travis without warning gave it a quick yank since he was losing his nerve and he came unhinged. Not because of pain, but just because sometimes he does. 

The video won't upload, but this is so worth recording for history's sake.

Crafty Madness

I don't think I am crafty. I can duplicate, but not create. And then it came to me that crafty and creative are different things. I'm not so sure now, but here are some things that have eaten large chunks of my time before the holidays and are to be resumed again now that the holidays are over.
The Christmas stockings idea I stole from my Mother In Law. I only got halfway done Issac's (the first one shown), finished Wyatt's and Bella's the second and third. Now I get to finish Issac's, start Dakota's, Travis's, and mine.

I made this book wreath for a super Saturday I planned for our ward and another ward's women. Along with this I made a couple of girly embellished headbands and some graphic tees for examples of the crafts and then I made some for the kids and me for fun.

Finally the curtains in this room are done only six months after painting. I searched in vain for months before and after to find something I liked. Finally I just went to and ordered some fabric that I loved. Two wrong orders later, their fault not mine, I finally got them right after Thanksgiving.

And here is the before and after of a dresser I got from my grandmother. Before no one could agree on the color. We had guesses of yellow, green, brown, tan, khaki, etc...I was pretty sure that if I couldn't name the color I didn't want it. So I redid it a cream color with a raw umber glaze. It turned out awesome and now I just need to finish the night table just like this one. And then I have another dresser and night table for Wyatt's room. I may do those in black though. And I also want to paint his room gray/silver. And I want to do a glazed texture on the family room, dining room, and kitchen.

Well the ideas and projects never end. But they are fun while I am doing them, well most of them!