Tuesday, July 31, 2012

London 2012

I'm an Olympics sap. I've been a London sap since my amazing honeymoon in 2004.

Ultimately, I'm a double sap this time!

I cried over gymnastics.  I learned the results on facebook (stupid spoilers!) earlier in the day but it didn't stop me from watching with rapt attention and crying at the end.

I have two Olympics babies.  I nursed a newborn Megan through the winter Olympics in 2006.  We watched the closing ceremonies in Beijing from my labor room while we waited for Lulu to make her debut.  I love the Olympics!

Tonight, we got the girls hooked on diving before bedtime.  Miss M was sure that every diver was going to pull a Greg Louganis and crack their head open!

I like that a few other swimmers are getting the spotlight finally.
And yes, watching Michael Phelps talk makes my speech therapist eyes and ears shudder!
I am sad that Jordyn Weiber doesn't get to do the all-around.
I love the mom beach volleyball super-champs.
I feel so sad for the men's gymnastics and their team finals night.  It was so sad.
I have slowed way down on my reading.
We are glued to the TV.
I love it!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bentonville with Grandma Betty!

My Grandma came to town last week! She's STILL a missionary at the Family History Center in Salt Lake City.  We only get to see her about once a year, so we try to make the most of it! 

We headed up to Bentonville in NorthWest Arkansas on Saturday to visit the brand new Crystal Bridges Museum!
It is so beautiful! The museum itself is beautiful!
The girls were troopers for the six hours we drove that day there and back. 
In front is a beautiful silver tree sculpture.  It reminds me of my brother's sculptures!
We got to see an unsigned copy of the actual Declaration of Independence!! It was awesome.  My kiddies were not impressed though.  They kind of demanded the speed tour through the museum and so I missed a lot.  But the museum is definitely worth a second trip-and I'll leave the kids with my cousin next time! :) Right, Emmy?
The museum surrounds a lake, and I've heard that there are beautiful trails all around that we will have explore on a non-triple digit day!

Once the girls got bored, we went with my cousin Emily and her boy to the kids' art room.  It was awesome.  Tons of art supplies, free reign, and a great teacher who gave great ideas and loved whatever the kids made! 

This is where my girls let loose, get the three hours of driving out, and just dance!

I love that they remember my grandma and love to be with her, even when they don't see her that often.  It's a blessing.  She is their last great-grandparent and I hope they recognize how wonderful she is!

We then headed to the Bentonville town square.  We made a few wishes in the fountain.

We explored the original Walton's five-n-dime, where I got some yummy taffy and the girls had moon pies.  They thought it was funny that there was an actual treat that is the same as their aunt's name! ;)

After a yummy dinner with my cousin's family, we headed home and they conked out for the ride home!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Nineteen Minutes

I have been trying to go to the other area book club here for over three years. Something has always come up, and the one time I made it, they had changed the location without letting me know. I haven't made a priority to go since.

But this month they were discussing a book I had read several years ago (bonus!), W was done with school and therefore no longer busy EVERY stinkin' Thursday evening (double bonus!!) and I had had a horrible day with the girls so I was desperate to get a night away!

The discussion was about "Nineteen Minutes" by Jodi Picoult.  (which her name is pronounce pI-ko, surprisingly) I have read several of her books.  I enjoy them and usually end up quite mad at them as well.  One or two have been over the top, but in general, as long as I don't read too many in a row, they are good, if formulaic reads.

Nineteen Minutes was a tough read, dealing with a Columbine-like high school shooting (and she always throws a twist in at the end!) The discussion was excellent, with differing viewpoints on realism, bullying, parenting, and high school experiences.  It was a great evening despite the discussion topic. I tend to think the that the cute new girl who doesn't remember bullying at her school obviously didn't go to the same "high school" I went to.  It's my opinion that she obviously wasn't aware but it was definitely there.  I was bullied over several occasions and I don't think many are aware unless they are the target or the instigator.  I still remember watching coverage of Columbine in the dorm lobby at Utah State.  Feeling how real and scary it was, but also feeling so disconnected and naive and protected in my dorm away from home.

And then I woke up this morning, and things got a little too real.  The Colorado shooting at a movie theater was the worst form of irony and the harshest wake up call to how fragile life is.  My heart and prayers are with all those affected and with my family who is mourning over their community.

good morning, sunshine!

I am so thankful that each morning starts off fresh!
 That I can remember my girls being sweet to their cousins and introducing baby Eden to forever friends Ernie, Abby Cadabby and Elmo.
 That waking up with curly hair post-twisty buns is a great morning surprise!
 That swimming makes almost any day more fun!
 And that learning to swim is powerful and magical.
 That laying in the shade after swimming even feels good in Arkansas heat and humidity.
 And that acting out the Barbie Mermaid Tale 2 movie in the pool is fun!
That lunch dates with mommy are fun.
 And even running errands like getting the oil changed can be fun. 
 Believe it or not, somewhere there is a picture proving that I wore the headband. In public. To Christian Brothers Automotive.
And that hopefully we will still all love each other today.  
And forget about the misery that was yesterdays behavior and parenting! (see below post for all the fun!)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

the second phase of summer

I just loaded the girls' toys into garbage bags while they sat in time out crying.
Lu has no clue how to clean up and unless I sit and hold her hand through every step of the process, she just wanders around the room aimlessly.
Miss M however has the fear of Mom in her, and just returned to her room to finish the job so the bags don't go out with the trash.
I have watched my fellow moms all fall victim to the mid-summer blues lately and today, I joined them.
I'm so sick of the bickering, the fighting, the whining!! The field trips no longer help, they just put our pitifulness and my lack of control on public display!

And after coaching them through cleaning their room for two hours, they get to do it alone while I listen to Mindy Gledhill and fold laundry.

To save their toys from the dumpster!

Monday, July 16, 2012

I just don't get...

-washi tape. I don't see the allure in decorating and creating with it.  Do people make cute stuff with it? sure, but I'm not running out to get some. yet.

-"prove you're not a robot".  Really blogger? You can't think of a nicer way to say that? I had mine taken off and it's been over a year since I had spammer comments.  So even without robot-guard, I'm doing just fine.  knock on wood.

-The Glass House, Big Brother, Bachelor Pad. Those are the first ones I can think of.  For full disclosure, I admit to watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette.  So maybe that's a double standard, but the others are trashier.  That's my opinion.

-bacon bouquets, cookies, ice cream, or cupcakes. I love bacon. I love foods that are really just a vehicle for bacon. green bean bundles or rumaki, anyone? but I don't have any desire to even TRY bacon-flavored ice cream!

Sunday, July 15, 2012


As usual, I was a bad photographer for our holiday.
We swam, bbq'ed, relaxed, ate a TON, and went to see the fireworks over Lake Willastein.
 Our girls have never really seen fireworks.  They waffled between amazement and fear but mostly they loved it!
 Saturday, we went to see Brave as a family.

 We were surprised by the intense bear action, but we all enjoyed it!
We are liking Dad being done with school! :)

Friday, July 13, 2012


I held a brand new baby, fresh from heaven, this morning.
What a sweet, handsome boy born to dear friends.

My emotions are very close to the surface right now.
I gave myself the month of June off of my diet and exercise, which was a big mistake. While I maintained, my habits were so easily broken! I took a medicine to try and get my cycle back to normal and with the start of summer, visitors, and a change in routine, I gave myself a break, with the delusional thoughts that the medicine might work right away.

It didn't.  They want me to take more of the medicine. I am struggling getting back into my routine, it's been a daunting week.  

I held this baby, struggling with my absolute joy for my dear friend and self pity for myself, wishing I had all the answers.
Praying that I can get back on track.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


On my way to book club Thursday night, I got a text from my husband.
"Grades were posted. I just checked."

That's it?? No, I passed honey! No, I got ____!

So I immediately called him, called him a butt head for his vague texting, and demanded his grade.

He got a B! After all our worry that he might not even pass the class-it was a really rough five weeks and he was really worried for a bit-he not only passed but did it nicely!

W is done with his MBA! After three years, he is finished! (He will walk in December)

Congratulations to my sweet husband! I cannot tell you how hard he has worked.
A normal work day is 11 hours. Then he either goes straight to school or he comes home and after dinner spends the entire evening either working on auto claims for work or doing school work.   He has regularly "worked" for 15+ hours a day for three years.

We are both tired!

I have been preparing really hard to not be let down though-thinking everything will change and be fixed immediately with him being done.

And so I've been so pleasantly surprised this week.  He did dishes! He put kids to bed!  It was delightful!  Don't get me wrong, he's still on his GEICO computer all the time, but he's HERE!

A few things I'm looking forward to?

No more studying by the pool!
No more twice weekly night classes.
No more Sunday group meetings.
No more tuition!!! (we completely wiped out our savings putting him through school, now we can start saving again!)
I get my laptop back-he had a knack of needing it every time my paperwork was due at work!

The most frequently asked question?
What now?
He did his MBA while working full-time so he will continue at his current job.  It was the MBA that led him to GEICO and he has found it to be a fulfilling and good job for him.  We hope and pray that the MBA helps whenever he decides to move on or is up for promotion/raise/etc.

and we're gonna celebrate! not sure how yet, but we are!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

our missionary

Sam has been in the MTC (Missionary Training Center-where he will be learning how to be a missionary) for over a week now.
We got an email from him on Tuesday and he's doing great! 
He will be there for two more weeks and then he will fly to Reno for the next two years!
My girls are so proud of our missionary! They pray for him every night and are so excited when we hear news!
Here he is in Provo at my uncle's house, about ready to leave.
When we went to the MTC to drop off my brother fifteen years ago, you went inside, watched a video about missionary life and said goodbye. You basically cried through the video, said goodbye, and you went out one door and they went out another.  It was very emotional.

After the bird flu scares several years ago, they changed the drop off. You say your goodbyes elsewhere and then you drop off your missionary at the door.  Mom said it was great-it was efficient and they didn't feel rushed, and it was still emotional, they had just said their goodbyes before going there.  Each new missionary had an escort missionary to help him with his luggage and guide him through the beginning (see the guy in the background?) My Grandma, who is a missionary herself at the Family History Center got to go with Mom.
My sister's mother-in-law has a friend who serves at the MTC (follow that? :) and she said she pinned Sam's name tag as a missionary on him and that he looked great!  Our family friends here have a son who teaches classes at the MTC who tracked Sam down on Saturday while he was working.  He said he was overwhelmed at first but doing better.  Last night we had our Little Rock missionaries over for dinner and they both said the same.  So overwhelming at first but if you can get through the first Sunday, you'll be fine!  It's such a blessing to have so many watching over our Sam!

We are so proud of him! We can't wait to see what he'll do next!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sewing Avoidance

I have a very long sewing to-do list! But yesterday I broke out all the supplies to catch up on my quilting group!

Here's July.  We were given templates to create neopolitan ice cream cones. It was so fun to make! In my nerviness, I even picked out ice cream flavors for all my fabrics.
 Here is June. This is for my sister in law, Teriney.  We were given white and told to make little peeks of green in each square.  I apparently only like BIG peeks of green. :)
Now, on to diaper bags, skirts, headbands, oh my!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Summer Reading

Soooo, I haven't been blogging much. But I have been reading.

I started the summer with this YA book. It was a lovely read.  Every chapter highlighted a bird drawing by Audobon and I loved how it tied into this story of a tween age boy figuring himself out.  
My MOTHER recommended this one.  
It was totally not what I expected! I was expecting something, I don't know, fantastical like City of Bones, but it read like McCullough's "1776", straight up history but then wait, Abe Lincoln is wielding an axe and chopping off vampire heads! It was fascinating and a lot of fun!
On my way to Minnesota for Memorial Day, I got totally sucked into The Night Circus.  What a delightful read, full of amazing imagery and characters.  It reminded me of the movie, The Prestige. A fantastic circus that is the setting of two magicians who are in a competition to create the best illusion! It was so beautiful!
 So, I didn't love Austenland. It was so hard for me to buy a girl diving into Austen world and then breaking all the rules and thinking her romance was real? Nah! But this one included a murder mystery and real characters! I really enjoyed it! 
 This one came to me via a goodreads friend and I was sucked in by the Jane Eyre parallels.  It is retold in Scotland in the 1960's. I loved the difference, the update and I loved the ending! Ah! All is well in the world when Jane, or in this case Gemma, gets her man! 
 What should I read next????