Sunday, June 24, 2007


Since this is my official first posting as a woman in her thirties, I hope you all are braced for a mature, organized, well-thought-out post. Yah right! I think I will have to opt for a list of things I have going on in my mind, that I have thought, "I should blog about that," as this will probably be my last post before heading off to girls' camp tomorrow morning at 6am. Now that I am old and everything, that seems too early, but nonetheless I am excited! And speaking of exciting. Talk about your good weekend, oh yeah, that's what I am going to do, in list form, right. Organized. Right?

1. This is me and my baby brother circa 1991. (Gotta love my mom's purple sweats and my KO Knudson Pep Club T-shirt I am sportin'). I stayed home from school on this particular day with a killer headache and ended up babysitting Michael while Mom finished her bus runs in the afternoon. Why am I showing you this? Because that little cutie pie is now grown up enough to be headed to the West Virginia, Charleston mission for our church. Yup, he opened his call last night with lots of friends and family surrounding him. I took pics, but they are still on the camera, and I have been thinking about how crazy fast time flies, so I thought this would be a good picture. He'll be all on his own for two years and I am so proud of him for striving to become THE best man he can be. Lucky for me time DOES fly and he'll be home before I know it cuz I am gonna miss the stinker!

2. I still need to finish the stake skit that I have been bragging about. Ever get ahead of yourself and say how great something is gonna be, cuz in your brain it's FABULOUS, and then you realize you've just put a lot of pressure on yourself cuz now people have expectations? Yeah, that's me about right now with the stake skit. It's all Broadway show tunes, so hopefully it will really go over well.

3. Had a real good spiritual moment in sacrament meeting today, which is a small miracle in and of itself considering the foul mood Brock was in. The speakers were talking about conversion and the impact of Joseph Smith on the world, or, more specifically, on each of us. I thought for a minute about how, yeah, it's been a major force in my life since so much has encircled and enveloped the church. Then, the closing song was called "Praise to the Man," which I have always enjoyed and which I have always found very powerful. But today, reading the lyrics, I got really overwhelmed by the words and the spirit surrounding them. ESPECIALLY because they were written by William Phelps, who lived and worked and served with Joseph Smith. So I am singing these words and thinking about how heartfelt they are, written by a man who wasn't writing a song for a bunch of people who'd never know Joseph Smith. Instead, William Phelps was writing this song about his friend, his leader, and our prophet. Anyway, it was really confirmed in my heart that the impact has been permanent on my life.

4. Our missionaries challenged us to share this with friends and family who have questions about what we believe. I am much more of a passive aggressive missionary, but check it out if you have any questions. In light of Mike's mission call and all, I have really found it interesting.

5. I have a billion things to do, and yet I am feeling crafty enough to procrastinate my ongoing list and decorate some clipboards for some of the stake gals at camp. We'll see how that works out.

6. Still don't have my computer printer or new scanner set up. Seriously, I am gonna buck up and do it since it's crunch time and I can't make many more excuses . . . except maybe a clipboard craft project. See, I told you, it's a thing I do.

7. Mackenzie played a violin duet with her teacher today in sacrament. I am SO impressed with her musical talent. She has such an ear! Cami Austin, her teacher has been such a great influence on Mackenzie and we will miss her and her family when they leave next month. Since Tyler and I will be gone all next month, Kenzie practiced for only five days! and she had it all memorized and everything. She didn't mess up at all. I am so proud of her! Thanks, too, to my mom who missed CJ's mission farewell so she could hear Kenzie, that meant a lot to her (and me.)

8. AND, Finally, The big 3-0 Report! As my good friends Terry and Matt wrote in their birthday card to me, "Thirty is flirty . . . dirty . . . sturdy . . . " etc. So far it has proven all that, and I just want to give a real quick thanks to EVERYONE who sent birthday wishes and happy thoughts. Really, I just wanted it to be a day that I would have good memories of and June 22, 2007 is nothin' but a lot of warm fuzzies goin' on. THANK YOU to everyone who came to my party and to those who didn't make it, know you were missed and I pretended you were sad not to have been there (so fake some serious regret when I see you next; JUST KIDDING!) There are a lot of pictures of my birfday that I took, and my super-uber-talented friend Chris took some shots, too, at the party [Seriously, check out her link to her photography website, she's hot stuff], so when camp is over, I'll make a video or something to get them all online. But before I go on about the party, let me "back that train up" (again, from Terry) to this photo:

This is me and my parents 30 years ago. Haven't I gotten better looking? I don't say that to be vain, but it couldn't have gotten much worse. I looked like a bird (trust me it's not just this picture, there are MANY others that are the same or worse). Really, an ugly baby. My parents (don't they look hot in this picture?) never admitted until I was MUCH older that I wasn't a good-looking baby. I like to think they were blinded by their love, but I gotta think they prayed I would grow into a better looking person. Anyhow, when I woke up Friday morning, I checked my blogs (as I do every morning routinely) and found that my sister had put some serious time into a montage/video thingy of the two of us. You can check it out here when you have a few to fifteen minutes to spare. It totally made my birthday morning special and emotional. It added to my friend Jenn's shout out on her blog from the night before, which was TOO sweet of Jenn, ESPECIALLY the picture of my face all taped up with scotch tape from when we were in college. She's far too generous, too, saying I was trying to stay awake while studying. Jenn, I think I was trying NOT to study by doing stupid things to occupy myself and distract you guys! Love ya, girl! Anyway, after I watched the video and got the kiddos breakfast, my mom stopped by with tulips (my fave) and we watched the video again. Less crying this time, more analyzation of my hiked-high pants and HUGE glasses. Tyler came home early and I went and got my nails done for camp. Then, we had our weekly(-ish) brothers/sisters lunch at Zabbas, YUM. Tyler kept the kids AND my sister's boys at home (wrap that present with a bow) and my cousin, Jerolyn, met us with a couple of her daughters, my neices Brooklyn and Zoee were there, and since it was Mom's day off, she came. It was the first time in a LONG time all five of us kids have made the lunch, and even though it wasn't FOR my birthday, it was SO great to have it fall on that day. Part of the warm fuzzies. A couple pics for your viewing enjoyment:

My Garrard Sisters
Stacy and Erin

All of Us
Standing: Erin, Stacy, Zoee (hidden), and Mom
Sitting: Nate, Dave, Me, Mike, Jerolyn, Maggie, and Ellie
Again, good lunch, good company, good times. I love eating places where you run into people you know, too, so it was a bonus to see the Neels and Robin and her son. In my mind they showed up to make my day even better. When we got home Tyler left to set up for the par-tay and Erin and I watched her video again. I got the girls ready for the party, cleaned up a bit, and we headed to the shindig. I don't know what more I can say about how great my husband is, but he is freakin' THE BEST MAN EVER! It meant so much that he put so much effort into the night just to end up at home, that night, with an old lady! He played party planner, invite-maker, roadie, band manager of "The Janers," drummer, host, and SO MUCH MORE. Here's some pics:
Caylee and Mackenzie were the opening act (since, as Tyler explained, all big bands need opening acts), and they did SO WELL! I am hoping I can download the video one of these days so y'all who weren't there can hear them. They've been practicing with Tyler for a couple weeks, and, while Kenzie worked hard on the lyrics, Caylee practiced her performance moves. It was so stinkin' cute. They did really well. They sang some Hannah Montana and Dixie Chicks. Can you get a better set list?

So many great friends came to the party, old ones, new ones, from church and from work. Here's the Hulls. Stephanie and I serve in Young Women together and she had a baby, like, two weeks ago. I KNOW! Doesn't she look great. The Hulls are (supposedly) moving to Utah (they have to sell their house, so if you're lookin' . . .), but I'd keep up here for as long as I could (. . .call THEM if you want to buy their house, but then don't tell me you're aiding thier move. The thought make me sad. Sniff.)

Matt and Terry. They're newlyweds and marriage is treating them well. Thanks for asking :) Really, they said they had a good time. I think something was frightening Terry in this picture. There's others where they looked like they were having more fun.

Cousin Jerolyn and Friend Daniel
Two of the funniest people in my life!

Me and the Luceros. Tyler and I have made friends with them since Tyler and Ray work together at Silver State. I am so glad they (and the Halls and Thompsons) were able to make it too! They are part of the reason Tyler likes his job as much as he does.

L-R: Dominique and Samantha (students I used to teach), Dave and Mike (my brothers)
Thanks for slumming it with the old lady, kids! Not really their style of party, but they were troopers and credit to Dom and Sam for THE most disturbing birthday card I received this year.

Me, Lexi (my SIL who is due ANY minute)
You know she loves me since she came to an outdoor Las Vegas (106 degrees!) party even though she is going to have her baby girl ANY day. It's gonna happen while I am at camp and I am having to restrain my hopes that somehow she'll last until next Saturday when I get home. Love ya! And, too, to all the family who came and hung out. I love that you'll still put up with me and my antics (like birthday parties, etc.) Too, my cousins who came from across town. I love all my family!

A candid of the Irvines (in the background), Annilee, and of our Stewart friends (technically not related, I don't think, except through their frienship with us), Sherry (talking to Annilee) and her husband Derrick (in Orange), Duff and Leslie. Fun stuff. Derrick and Sherry's house was the hub of the activity, so special thanks to them and their cul-de-sac-itality. They let us use their street, garage, bathroom, power, coolers, pretty much anything we needed. They're awesome, and so are the Ballards who share the cul-de-sac and the Irvines, who's lot the band played in front of. Anyhow, they're all awesome and I love old friends and new friends meeting each other or reconnecting. Vegas really is a small world.

Finally, a good picture of the lead singer of Standard Deviation (Tyler's band) with his groupie wife, Ann. The Taylors are great friends and neighbors to us. We're thankful for all the band's help and their work. It took them all afternoon to move all the equipment and they all took time off from work, not to mention the practicing they have been doing. It was fun and the Bon Jovi number was awesome. You guys all sounded fabulous. Rock Stars!
So, pretty much 30 has started off pretty well. I have joked that this is the Year of the Sarah, but with such a great kick-off, Mike's call, girls' camp, Paris, etc. it's gonna rock. Thanks again for all the cards, gifts, emails, posts, etc. for my birthday. You made the decade transition SO much easier!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Technology Updates

Alright. I called on Cox and we're getting a service guy here Monday. The lady kept trying to get me to tell her all sorts of stuff and I basically told her I had no clue what she was talking about and to just send someone out to my house. So, hopefully Monday will be the day. I'll be at camp. We'll see.

And no. No printer and scanner. SO, Jill, you'll have to wait for your post :) maybe tomorrow.

BUT, the way I figure it, as long as I have techno-savvy people around me they can help me in a crunch. Like DANIEL, who totally cut some music after he converted it (yeah, I have no idea) and then is gonna save it on a CD-RW (apparantly there's a difference) for our stake skit. Anyway, he's a life saver and I guess gets all that stuff with the technology.

On a MUCH brighter note, tomorrow is THE big day. I turn 30! I know, it's amazing to me too?! So far I don't feel any different. Tyler's coming home early so I can have some me time, which is good since I was ready to pluck my hairs out one at a time this afternoon. I am having lunch with my brothers and sisters and mom (I think?!) which I totally look forward to and I am having my nails touched up before camp. I know, oxymoronic. I have forced Tyler to throw me a birthday party so that's the plan for tomorrow night. I am really excited, and can I say how great he is?! He really is an amazing husband, and without getting too mushy, I love that he'll throw me a party when I tell him four hundred times that I want a party when I turn 30. I probably should mention, too, that he is pretty understanding when I break news to him, like, "Babe, apparantly the garage door scraped down the backside of our car cuz I was trying to squeeze it in our too small garage." He did tell me I was dinging the car monthly, which was a little inaccurate. More like every three months. BUT, he did even let my testiness go when I debated it with him. Love him LOVE HIM! Anyhow, off for my last night in my 20's.

Technicallogically NOT inclined

So, this morning, I am trying to work up the courage to set up my printer and my scanner. Ever since I scanned the pics of Jerolyn my scanner has been jammed and I can't print, SO I used it as an excuse to finally invest in a wide capacity printer that I have wanted for my scrapbooking needs. It's a HP photosmart something or other, and I have had it for a week now and it still sits in it's box. Why, you ask? Well, other than the fact I can't find some kid-free time to figure it out, it stresses me out! Tyler's no better at this kind of thing, so in the box the brand new, cool printer sits with no hope of escaping the confines of the cardboard. BUT, today is the day. I really need to print some stuff, so I am going to brave the tangle of cords and wires. Yay me.

Along the same lines, I need to install some software from Tyler's computer and that, too, stresses me out. AND I need to call Cox because any time my home phone rings, our internet service is interrupted. So, if you call and I am trying to blog, I get cut off and can't do what I am trying to do until I hang up and the service reconnects. Kinda defeats the purpose of high-speed internet, right? So I am committing to finally call today. We have Cox phone, too, so I am sure that's the issue, but it wasn't always like that. I thought it was cuz I put another phone cord in the double jack that the computer runs through, but I finally unplugged that and I still get cut off. It's been like this for a couple months and it has taken me no less than four weeks to finally unplug the other phone to try and narrow down the problem. How simple is it? and yet I don't do it? Such is life, right.

But it is one of those icky things for me, like buying cars or servicing the car or buying furniture with Tyler. I am also hitting up Sam's Club this morning and the post office to mail off a deposit for France. I still need a hotel one night, and am thinking I should probably get on that, but again it's so simple and yet I haven't done it. But I did post, so that's something, right? Alrighty, off to grab the technology bull by the horns. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The motherload

I know! I know! I have been slacking in the blog department. I am so addicted to reading everyone else's blogs that I find when I do sit down to finally post I am too caught up in everyone else's lives. But, I promise, this is a doosey of a post. Long, wordy, pictures, and even a slideshow. Oh yes, fans, it's the motherload of a post. Feel free to skim, skip, or read in increments, because I am feeling blog-ful this afternoon. I have actually uploaded and planned this post for (going on) four or five days now. In fact, yesterday I had my afternoon all planned out to blog when my girlfriend called and we ended up having a playdate instead. Can't fault me for that one. Anyway, here's how I distract my kids so I can indulge in some play time on the computer:

My friend Angela (I think I have already mentioned this) has refinished our table. (We're picking it up tonight.) The space in the dining room has left a perfect tent spot and I decided Caylee and Brevin could entertain themselves while I got online. They did entertain themselves with the "compound," but I had to keep intervening since Caylee is, like, dictator-o-the-tent. Poor Brevin only got to pick where their patio furniture (a blow up chair) got to go, and even then Caylee was concerned he's picked a muddy spot. What? It's the entry way, and I know it needed to be mopped, but I am thinking her imagination is a little controlling and she was bugged he didn't put the chair in the living room like she suggested. Once they got to playing, I decided I would prep my floors to mop and finish all the laundry I had going on. That pretty much took up the afternoon, THUS no blog yesterday.

But, about the weekend. I would rank it as a successful one, as weekends go. Usually I panic and worry and fret over Father's Day, but by Saturday I was feeling confident it would be a decent one for my dad and for Tyler. (I know, kinda last minute to feel good about events happening the next day, but whatev.) Sunday morning I got up early and picked up the kitchen. Since Tyler's not a huge breakfast fan, we had scrambled eggs and peach and cherry danishes. I did splurge and buy a gallon of chocolate milk and some Naked Orange/Mango juice (two of his faves), but knew we needed to keep it simple for Sunday with church at 9am. And, we were actually on time. The kids were a huge help and Caylee had only one breakdown, so we were able to get a pew, not forget the church bag, and I had my hair AND make-up done before we got to church. AND, my kids were good (by my standards) in church. Brock didn't swing from the hymnal boxes, Brevin's car noises were minimal, and nobody screamed over coloring books and crayons. The secret? I packed the church bag with better snacks. Usually it's Tyler's job, but because of Father's Day I loaded it up and the kids spent sacrament meeting . . . listening? right. Because Brock is the only one young enough for treats (our cut off is Sunbeam entrance) the kids spent the 70 minutes convincing Brock to put the treats in their mouthes. That way they wouldn't be scolded because Brock was sharing. I think we looked like a row of guppies with our kids sending telepathic messages to Brock, who held the baggie, while their mouthes were open and their eyes were shifting from Brock to me to make sure they wouldn't get in trouble for his generosity. It was kinda funny, and not once did we look at each other and think, "Why are we here?" Such a great Father's Day gift to me! Here's breakfast:

Another bonus for me was Tyler actually liked his gift. This was actually gift #2 as Tyler gifted himself a new fishing rod from ebay earlier in the week. When he broke the "funny thing happened today" news to me on Monday, he explained he would use it as his Father's Day gift. I was kinda bugged and finally told him for once I had an idea for a gift and I was gonna buy it for him regardless and if he didn't like it I would give him the receipt. Woot Woot to my mamma for teaching me that gifts with receipts ROCK. The pressure is off on whether he'll like it or not, it is the thought and the action that counted, and if he doesn't like it he can take it back and use the credit for something else that he WOULD like. However, I was pleased that he liked the waterproof digital camera he got. I did my research and everything and he was pretty stoked to figure a way to attach it to his fishing vest. AND, David and I got my dad XM radio for his car. My dad is THE hardest person to shop for (actually tied with my mother-in-law) because if he wants it, he buys it for himself. So, I prepped him that he didn't know he wanted it yet, but when he got the gift he would all of a sudden maybe want it. Either way, I HAD THE RECEIPT. But, Dad actually said he would keep it and try it out. His beloved oldie station got changed to "The Party" and he's not a huge partier, so I am sure he can find something he'll like in the satellite world.

Before we did the Grandpa tour, we had lunch and naps after church. Tyler had to cook his own steak, because, well he's better at it. Another thing he's better at . . . picking the steaks. I have to say I loved the flavor of the steaks Tyler seasoned and cooked so well, but not so much the non-stop chewing because they were so bad. We tossed one complete steak, and ate half of the other three. Oh well, the corn on the cob and potatoes were yummy. Tyler got his dad a cow-hide double gun holster. Oh yeah, I can feel the jealousy oozing through the moniters now. Actually, Bruce has been looking for something like that for a while now, so Tyler gave it to him a couple weeks ago. Luckily Bruce liked it. No receipt for that baby.
Of course, the weekend was ALSO fabulous because Nate and Stacy were sealed (with Zoee) in the temple Saturday afternoon. It was just beautiful and I boobed through the whole thing. I think it's neat to be a witness to something like that when the ones you love are getting something they have waited for, and have wanted, and makes them happy regardless of the situation. I believe families ARE forever and that sealing solidifies that bond of marriage and families and we get Stacy and their kids forever in our family and to her family, too, and it's just wonderful. We did pictures after, here's some of the photos I took:

(L-R: me, Nate (really happy about the picture thing), Erin (REALLY happy about the picture thing, and Mike)

Alright. I love this one because the girl is letting it go. No, she does not want to pose for one more picture and if someone else takes her bink one more time she's really gonna let it fly! Zoee was darling in the dress me mom and mom-in-law made for her. She's so stinkin' sweet anyway, but she was pert-near angelic in the white. I love her to pieces.

And the happy family. You can't really see, but there are actually 3.5 of them. Stacy's having another baby and I am so excited. Babies, babies, babies, and none of them are mine. Love it!
Anyhow, so that was the weekend. In other news, I am prepping for the big 3-0 this Friday. I don't know I thought 30 would feel like, but I still feel 20-ish. The math isn't adding up the older my kids get and other relatives, so I know I am older. I asked my girls if they thought 30 was old and Kenzie told me I didn't look old and I didn't have wrinkles, so 30 must not be that bad. Yeah, she's my favorite right now. JUST KIDDING (sorta) I don't have a favorite (usually).
I leave for girl's camp this coming Monday and am gradually starting to wrap my brain around that. I am starting to cross of my list the things I have procrastinated, and, of course, get wild hairs to start other projects . . .like defrost the outside freezer and finish our ward scrapbook project, etc. I have been out of the loop this year, so I am not even sure what to totally expect. Youth conference was my assignment this year, so I am figuring I'll just show up and do what they ask. I love Kolob (where we camp) and look forward to the week. Did I mention no kids? Kinda looking forward to that too. My mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and mom are lifesavers for watching the kids while Tyler works. I can't say how much I appreciate them helping out year after year when Tyler realizes he can't take off the time due to all his fishing expeditions. And, this year, we're leaving for two weeks to France, so he REALLY needs to work. Anyway, they're great and I appreciate them stepping in to play mom.
Alrighty, gonna post now. Thanks for all the great comments, by the way. They're such a bonus and I appreciate the love, advice, laughter, etc. Phew, hope you got your fill. OH! One more thing. Here's the montage I made for Tyler for Father's Day. Yes, I know it's long, but it's not like there's super good TV on this summer. Enjoy!

Friday, June 15, 2007

It's a good week when

1) I added three more blogger friends to my (already long) list. Shout out to Tiffany, and my cousins Tyler and Kourtney. I will be linking them all soon so you can lurk and view them and their cute families. They're helping my addictions. Bless 'em.

2) I didn't get picked for a trial at jury duty. Yes, I know it's an honor to serve my country, but one babysitter for the 6 hours I was "honored" to read a book cost me more than it was worth. However I did get past the two hundred hard pages of the novel my sister hand-me-downed, so supposedly I am getting to the good part. And the lady who was running the jury room SERIOUSLY was Mrs. McKlusky from Desperate Housewives, I swear. She had the same kind of attitude and looked just like her.

3) I bamboozled a date night with my husband even though we're going out tomorrow, too. In my defense I had intentions of staying in tonight, I even have groceries to feed us (unlike other weeks when I purposely don't have much to make dinner with so we HAVE to go out), but really hanging out with Derrick and Sherry sounded WAY better than what I had planned for dinner. What's a girl to do? I think we're gonna try the restaurant where my brother works.

4) scrapbook paper is 50% off at a local store and I was able to score for the RS project and baby shower invites. And perhaps a few pieces of paper I might be able to put to good use if/when I finally scrapbook again.

5) my brother and his sweet wife take their wonderful daughter to the temple tomorrow. So excited. And Stacy's great family is in town. I really like all of them, so I am excited for them that they are hanging out with fun people.

6) so you think you can dance is finally at the competition part AND a new Top Chef started. I also cleared my entire DVR and have been getting more accomplished than ever since I am not trying to squeeze all my recorded stuff in. It was kinda liberating. Is that sad?

7) my uber-talented, uber-industrious girlfriend Angela finished re-finishing my dining table. I'll post pics when we get it back with the new chairs that Tyler doesn't know we're going to be buying.

8) my favorite hair stylist Leisl is doing my hair tomorrow morning. Woo hoo, bye-bye roots.

9) we have been able to swim every day since the weather has been prime get in the pool weather.

10) i had dinner with two of my favorite students EVER. They educate me more now than I ever did them.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

"No Success Can Compensate . . .

...For failure in the home." So the quote goes and so my SIL reminded me when I recounted to her a conversation Tyler and I had the night before. Bless my husband's heart; I mean really bless him all over the place, but he was very generous to let me have a huge whine fest the other night when he opened it by saying, "You seem kinda burned out." Oh baby, let me count the ways. So, of course, for the billioneth time I had to belabor the laundry list of issues I am having. Y'all know I got a lotta issues. And primary among them is I can't let much slide off my back. SOOO much drives me nutso. The touching and poking and pushing and tagging and running and shouting and whining and NOISE. And I imagine it's fairly normal for siblings to be all over each other, but I tend to try and intervene, cuz, well, that's what I do. Anyway, Brevin and Brock are all rough and tumble and then someone is crying and that gets old all day long and Caylee constantly tells me about the injustices of their world and that drags on me after hearing about it forever. I have read enough to know I should be sugary sweet and ignore it all, but I forget all that when I am losing it and end up ranting and raving like a lunatic. No, really, it's that bad. I look forward to the day when my kids are old enough to see the warning signs and just back away. Like, "Oh. When Mom tells us she's losing her patience it probably wouldn't BEHOOVE me to tell her I don't like what she's making for dinner even though I have never tried it" or "Gosh, since Mom just said she's had a really long day and she's tired I am going to save the tattling about Caylee having a wet washcloth for another time since it's really not life threatening." Because, again, they tell me and I react. Oh, I have tried ignoring it, but that doesn't seem to work well either. So, when, at the finish of my unleashing Tyler asked, "So, what should we do?" (So typical. Problem + solution = no more onry wife) I suggested (kinda half joking) "Daycare? Really, they're the professionals. And then if our kids are screwed up as adults we have somebody to blame. Right now if they grow up all screwed up it's MY FAULT!" So, it recapping that story Lexi reminded me that "No other success in the world can compensate for failure in the home." My response to that? It's not going to be success if there's failure in the home! Shrug. I dunno. Seriously, this weighs heavily on my shoulders. I am raising people who will be out in the world one day and I have high expectations. I don't think I can not teach them to be the best because, despite all our best efforts, nobody is perfect. And I expect for them to be like me in that if I strive (or expect a lot of myself) for a lot in my parenting obligations, hopefully I'll fall short still in the "good" category. However sometimes I feel like I am shooting for the all-star parent and landing in the hopefully-they-won't-have-to-pay-too-much-in-therapy zone. I do have to say, I think for the most part my kids are good in public situations (especially if you don't count Caylee's floosey reputation at preschool, Brevin's defiance in primary, and Mackenzie's need to take her teacher's spotlight), but at home, where we are ALL THE TIME, we need to be better . . .or mutes. We could be mutes and be completely successful, right?!

We didn't make it to kids camp today cuz Brevin had a case of the pukes last night. Isn't it funny how you try and trace your kids' illnesses and then it becomes the fault of someone else? Like that makes you feel better or something. Well, Brevin is sick because he was around Seth who was sick, like four days ago. Or, Mackenzie and Caylee had something similar that they got from Courtney when we were at Jared and Mindie's last night. So, as I am scrubbing the carpet of tossed watermelon and fish tacos-a-la-regurgetate I am thinking how it's all Seth and Courtney's fault. Which, it's not, but they're the closest relatives most recently sick. He seems fine today, but it was a long night when you factor in Tyler's band practice (solo bedtime duties, violin practice, baths, barf duty, etc.) with Brevin's repeat performances (in the toilet this time) and Caylee's bad dreams. We ended up with two beds on our floor and many trips across the house (which I don't say to sound like we have a large house, but it seems a far ways away at 1:15am and 3:43am and 5:20am) a few times. Again, the joys of parenthood. Now that I mention it, though, with Brevin kindof puny there's been less bickering as a whole. Maybe that's the ticket . . . sick kids. Munch-hausen anybody? JUST KIDDING, gosh!

Alright. Now let me qualify and reiterate, I love my kids. They make me laugh as much (well, probably more) than I scream. How can I not love it when my three year old says to me the other night when I was changing his clothes (and I am kneeling in front of him) "Mom, why do your boobs go down sometimes?" At first I thought he meant the underside of my bra being against my body, but then Brevin clarified, "No, when you take your shirt off your boobs go down." "Oh," I say, trying not to be sad for the plain truth, "it's cuz mom has big boobs and if I don't have a bra to keep them up they'll go down." Still playing Captain Obvious he keeps going, "They move a lot. Dad's boobs don't move so much as yours move." Me, "Nope, cuz Dad's got small boobs, well he doesn't have boobs he has a chest. Boobs move." Him, "Yeah, I got small boobs too." Yep. And so how can I not love those tender moments of education and honesty between a mom and child!? I do. I really do. Success or not!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again

It's been a few weeks since I have gotten out of bed and went for my daily walk/run. Of course, I had lots of excuses. First it was youth conference prep, then it was youth conference recovery, then it was making up for all the other things I had procrastinated, and then I was just out of the habit. So, I got up this morning at 5:50am and hit the walking path. Again, I think I may be more cut out to be a "walker" than a "runner." I did have to supress the urge to jog every now and then, but I didn't want to push it my first day back. And I keep telling myself not to be so hard about what I don't do (ie, run for 30 minutes straight), but I need to be proud of myself for doing anything, even if it is just walking [for 2.67 miles, thank you]. Interestingly, I was able to walk my route today in almost as quick of time as I "ran" it, so, yeah, I am thinking I'll save my joints some pain and not push so hard. I have really felt an urgency lately to get my act together as far as my health goes, and it is just not something that I feel like has ever come naturally to me. I remember in college several of my girlfriends would "go running" (back in the day with their CD players or walkmans, yay for the skinny IPODs) and I tried to fake like I did too, every now and then, but really, I was more inclined to run down to the basement vending machine in times of any ebbing emotion. I have watched enough Oprah and Discovery Health programs to self-diagnose myself as an emotional eater, and as the kids have brought more heights to my emotional rollar coaster, I have become an emotional soda drinker. I thought this morning about how I had cut back a lot on my drinking (seriously, it feels like an addiction to me, so don't laugh if I sound like I am at an AA meeting), but how I still mourned and struggled with the choice of to drink or not to drink. Eating out is the worst. I don't know if (other than the fact that I really like the sweet, dark, bubbly, burny beverages) because of my years waitressing I feel like I am helping boost the waiter's ticket by ordering a soda that is overly priced at $1.59 (although the free refills do bring some solace). OR, if, when I am at a soda fountain I look at the options and really am not that attracted to any of the other brands of soft drinks, other than the sweet, dark, bubbly, burny nectar of heaven. BUT at all times I feel in conflict between what I know and what I want to do versus what I think I should even worry about. I mean, I know there are really big issues in the world that I could really get on board with, but I keep getting caught up in this caffeine thing. And, for the record, I do not want to develop a taste for the Diet since it still has caffeine, which I believe is not good for me. I've had enough withdrawl headaches to throw that red flag up. And the caffeine free still has the sugar, which looks lovely as I wear it on my thighs. And Diet Caffeine Free? Seriously? Why bother? So, I am weighing this all out (ya gotta love real soul searching with the Dreamgirls soundtrack blaring in my earbuds) and I realize it comes back to the Relief Society lesson we had on Sunday.

It was about integrity and I thought it was really enlightening to me. I KNOW what is best for my body. Heck, even when I was sad for myself that I was up early, I thought of the "early to rise" scripture and of all I would be able to do when I got home before the kids got up (like blog), and how I couldn't help but being proud of doing something good for me. But somehow, even though I KNOW I should give up the hooch, I am having a hard time making the "click" with following through and "doing" it (or in this case "not drinking it"). I mean, when something "clicks" it isn't a struggle and I don't have a such a problem committing to the idea. But, man! I feel like I'd be giving up my best boyfriend (yes, in my mind my soda love is a man, but SUCH a great girlfriend . . . so I think my soda love is gay.) Really, when I have triumphed over a dirty bathroom, who really celebrates with me? My 32 oz. Coke. When I am having a "I'm gonna pull me hair out if you whine one more time" day, who feels my pain? My 64 oz. Coke. When I have successfully filled my basket at Sam's Club and the debit card hasn't declined the purchases, who helps me with my buyer's remorse? That's right, my Coke. How do you give up that kind of emotional support? So, you see, I AM IN LIMBO here, about what to do with what I feel and how to do it and if I even really want to do it. Blah Blah Blah, yadda yadda yadda. Integrity smegrity.

Alright, the first of the kids has gotten up, so I need to high tail it to clean-up for the day. Have a great Tuesday.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

I only hate fishing . . .

. . . when it keeps me away from the Keith Urban concert. We had some friends call with extra tickets for tonights show, but instead, I am taking the kids to the ward spaghetti dinner. Woo hoo. I hope Tyler is catching lots and lots of fishies! I mean, so many that when he tells me how fabulous it was he wants to give me my own Keith Urban concert cuz he's so psyched.

Today was lazy morning. I talked to my mom for a while. We tend to hash things over and I don't know if she thinks I am full of it more than I do, but hopefully every now and then I say something that might help her. She helps me, too, in lots of ways. Once we finished laundry, dishes, getting clothes, etc. we headed to Target. I love Target. I went for a couple of things and ended up with $150 bucks worth of stuff. We came home to lunch, but then I had to run Caylee to a birthday party and get the boys down for naps. I am trying to convince Mackenzie to fill out her baptism scrapbook and she is complaining that she doesn't want to. AGH! I would give anything to pull out my stuff. Instead, I am making baked spaghetti and a dessert for aforementioned ward party. YAY Me!

I wanna give a quick {hug} to my good friend Annilee who, hopefully by the time this posts, will no longer be "stoned." She finally got some surgery scheduled for today and I haven't heard the latest, so, girl, hope you're up and running soon!

I'll probably check later to see if ANYONE else posted. I know it's been awhile when I start noticing the dates of your previous posts. Except Stacy . . . DING!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Do you ever . . .

. . . laugh when you hear or read the word Uranus? I can't help myself. Brock was watching his Baby Einstein "Galileo" video this afternoon, and, like many times before and many times to come, I totally crack up when the narrator announces "Uranus." I can't help myself. The video goes through all the planets and I hardly key in to what picture or video or music is playing until I hear (and somehow it's louder on the video, I think) the one word pronouncement for the next segment, "URANUS." It's funny. Maybe you laughed too, just by reading the word.

Two all beef patties . . .

(Stop laughing Erin and Jerolyn!) I just got back from McDonald's lunch with my brothers and sisters. A shout out to Mike who was there in spirit since he has this hoity toity bank job on the other side of town, he can't slum it with us at McD's when we go to hang out and gossip and let our kids run wild. I just have to say how grateful I am for their friendships. They make me laugh and we can talk about anything. I really feel like one of the greatest lessons I learned in my life from my dad was to be good friends with your siblings. I think that has been important in his life, and I know it's a saving grace in my own. I think they are amazing people (and I am totally including my sister-in-law in that "they.") Anyway, it was a great lunch, and SO not because of the Big Mac. And, of course, my dear sweet Brock snuck out of the play area, out the door and was climbing off the curb into the street before a stranger asked me if that was my kid? Uh, yeah, mom of the year award. Unlike the time when the old man chastised me for not keeping my kids in tow, I did profusely thank her. To which she looked at me and, I could see it in her eyes, thought, "WHO GAVE YOU FOUR KIDS?" But instead she said "Sure, you're welcome," all leery like. And then another guy took a moment to tell me "You know a kid got hit out here once? My wife just told me." Oh, okay, thanks, now I feel like a worse parent since I didn't fully appreciate the danger of my 20 month old cruising the packed parking lot. We may have to do our lunches at a more restrictive place that rings bells and whistles when one of the kids scurries past whilst we're in deep conversation about SUPER important things. Oh, probably not available, so I will have to be a better mom. Here's a picture of us all (with Mom and Dad) at Nate and Stacy's wedding last year:

On a totally different note, Tyler cracks me up! He stopped home to pick up some propane before heading to Mammoth Creek to go fishing. Not thirty minutes later he is home instead of on I-15 because he has "rumbley tummy." If he is not a candidate for what Oprah's Dr. Oz calls Safe Toliet Syndrome I don't know who is. Heaven forbid he pull over to the nearest gas station to take care of business, oh no! He'd rather come all the way back home to do it in peace and comfort. Weird. And he knows it is, cuz, he looks sheepishly at me when I looked confused when he just walked back in. Funny. At this rate he won't be going fishing.

I haven't written about my running adventures lately and that is probably because I am having this internal debate about whether or not I am going to commit to this running thing or if I need to amend my goal of becoming a runner to being a walker. I am much better at walking, it's less stressful, and my body doesn't feel wracked with aches and pains. Sigh. But then I feel a little like a failure for not completing my goal. SO, I am at the point where I am thinking, I will meet my 10K goal and then become a walker.

Other random thoughts? Oh, here's one. About blogs. This guy I went to high school with asked permission to link to people's blogs who read and comment on his blog. So, I wrote back that I'd be honored to link him, too, and he could link me (basically was my point), but I don't know if I conveyed that well enough or if he is like, "Uh, no thanks," cuz he hasn't linked me. So, I am not cool enough for him, apparently. Which is a shame because he is super funny and really creative. In other blog news . . . my brother had a post a while ago about how he checks blogs when he gets home at 2am and then again when he was up the next morning at 6am "just in case" someone has blogged. I could totally relate to that, but I have also found myself checking peoples blogs even when I know they aren't able to blog. Like my friend Jana's on a cruise and not gonna blog, yet everyday I double check. Or my mom, I'll check in the mid morning and then later in the afternoon "just in case," even though I know she doesn't blog at work and she's there all day.

I talked to my girlfriend from college this afternoon, Amber. She's an amazing person and it's always good to catch up with her. She's one of those haven't-talked-in-a-while-but-can-pick-up-where-we-left-last and I just love her! She cracks me up, especially when we can reference how since mentally we are still 22 year old, we're not really aging at all! It's great. I don't know how she really feels about me, but she's a breath of fresh air.

And speaking of girlfriends, a holla to my girls at Family History Club. We ACTUALLY accomplished stuff Wednesday night by helping Chris with girls camp service project. I just really look forward to getting together with them and thank Barb for her pound cake (YUM) and all the ladies for their early birthday wishes. Really Really Really good friends. And their mine. Neener Neener. Just kidding, I am happy to share since I know how many people they also bless. Especially their amazing families. Anyway, they are fabulous and I am glad they let me tag a long with them. They filled my well with their friend-time, er, uh, I mean with our family history work :)

Laundry, etc. is calling my name. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Living through my kids

Alright SUCKAS (aka my brothers and sisters), I am proud to announce Mackenzie tested in the 98th percentile for the GATE program and has been accepted for next year's curriculum. So, despite my angst and reservations about my sweet daughter being REJECTED as I was so long ago, but I should have known better. Of course she aced the testing and will be in GATE next year. I am sure I will be groaning and bemoaning the extra work and projects, but nonetheless I feel VALIDATED (said with a song in my voice!) I really do hope my kids are as smart as my brothers and sister who were never denied. But, really, again, I am not bitter.

We've had a productive morning with a meeting, a visit to the park, lunch with Dad, and a stop by the post office. Nothing like go, go, go that says nap, nap, nap, so the kids are all asleep. I indulged in a power nap when Brock went down and now I am enjoying the DVRd "So You Think You Can Dance?" I love that show. Most of those who have known me for a while know that I have claimed (once, in a weak moment of humor mixed with sincerity) that I was "born to dance." I think I need to qualify that statement. In my mind, I was born to dance, however, I cannot make my body do half that crazy stuff they do in those dances. LET ALONE, general dance moves that require moving more than one body part at a time. This became alarmingly clear last night as I did the dishes from dinner. I blasted Caylee's Ashley Tisdale CD so the kids could have a little dance party and stay out of my hair. I am watching them watch themselves in the reflection of the TV and I am thinking, I'll just go show them how it's really done, since, ya know, I was born to dance. Yeah, apparantly not so much. I look a fool. I look like a mom dancing with her far more coordinated children. Again, living through them.

As an independent adult, though, I ordered a new printer last night. I splurged on the 12x12 photosmart I've been perusing. I am excited for the free 5-7 day shipping. Then, I will get some serious scrapbooking done. Yeah, that's right, it's all my printers fault.

Ope, nap time's over, gotta run.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Focus on the good things... what I have to remind myself of fifty million times a day. I was going to blog yesterday but was so seriously strung out that I couldn't bring myself to puke it all up on blogspot. Nothing in particular was bad, but it was one of those days when I felt like I would jump to go back to work and escape the "joys" of being a stay at home mom.

Let me just say, I LOVE my kids. I LOVE my kids. I must love them since I don't do something wacky to them when they are onry and violent with each other and whiney. My kids are busy and, I know, they are learning and growing, but somedays I do not have the energy to keep up with the constant daily battles of motherhood. I am really in awe of those (mothers, especially) whose wells don't run dry, because every now and then I just feel totally drained. This week has been a dry, sparse, parched few days. I don't know if it was coming off of the high of a busy, good weekend, or that my kids have felt particularly fiesty, but I haven't known exactly what I should blog about. I could maybe talk about how Brevin and Brock can not keep their hands off each other or each other's stuff. Within appx. 5.9 seconds of "playing" Brevin is wailing about some dramatic travesty, such as "He took my sword." Which, of course, in another flash is followed by Brock giving a mighty WHACK to Brevin's head with said sword. Or maybe I could write about how I finally made time to mop my floors while Tyler was at mutual and Brock was right behind me walking all over the floors or sticking his hands in the dirty mop water. Or how Caylee had a meltdown because we didn't have any plain white contstruction paper, only colored paper, after I got down all the art supplies for her before dinner time. I mean a full-blown, the world is ending, meltdown. I know in the big scheme of things there are way worse things going on in the world, but I just feel so brain-numbed. BUT, I should, instead, focus on the positive. We did make it through swim lessons on Monday. Mackenzie is doing well and, well, Caylee and Brevin are working through trust issues. Monday Caylee's friend, Annabelle, came over and was a swimming fish. Caylee worked up some courage and ventured into the middle on her own. She just yells the whole time "DON'T TOUCH ME!" while she is dog paddling unto the middle of the pool. I also got all my burp cloth and hair bows finished yesterday in between all the referee-ing. They're just for baby gifts for the future, but is seems like all most of my friends are having baby boys. I built the kids a pretty sweet tent in the living room and today it's cool, so I am thinking I should head out to the garage and clean out some stuff so I can park the car in the garage before it gets all hot again. Sigh. Totally stimulating, huh.

And back to the great weekend. Saturday was one of those marathon days. Tyler got up early for a hair cut and helped some friends from our ward move while I was cleaning major house for the get together at our house that night. Props to Mackenzie for being my go-to girl when it comes to stuff like that. Not props, though, for the commentating as we stripped sheets and dusted. She'd say stuff like, "I hate cleaning" and "Being the oldest is not fun when you decide we need to clean because we means me and you" and "I swear one day Caylee and Brevin are gonna have to do all this or I am going to be really mad." Nice. I just kept smiling and encouraging and reminding her that I didn't like to clean either, but it was so much nicer to have it done than not. I even went "there" and gave her the lecture about one day having her own house and family and being responsible for picking up after everyone and I was just trying to help her learn those skills. Once Tyler came home I was off to the Senior Luncheon for the stake YW. It was really nice and this lady my dad hooked me up with came and spoke and she did great. We had some of the YW and thier mothers. I just kept thinking about the summer before I went to college. What a transitional time. Anyhow, by the time I got home I was all a hoot and a fluff. My dad and brother can attest to the mini-meltdown I had trying to frantically get Brock and Brevin to take a nap (which, interestingly, frantic does nothing to mellow a couple of boys for naps.) Tyler helped, of course, and we were able to get to the church JUST in time for Kenzie's baptism. It was really nice and the whole time I was in between this weird place of having an 8 year old and memories of my own baptism. They don't seem far apart enough to make sense. I am so proud of the person Mackenzie is; she is so much better than either of her parents. She was tickled for her baptism to finally be here. SO, focusing on the good things, here's some pics of that day:

You know I made EVERYONE there take a group picture, much to their disdain.
Thanks for everyone who came and then chatted and hung out afterward.

Me and my baby! Can you believe how grown up she looks?

The family.
(Notice Caylee's bridesmaid dress from Nate and Stacy's wedding? It's cuz Kenzie's new dress from her Grandma was dubbed the "bride dress" and Caylee had to dress for the occasion.)

The famous Dad and daughter picture at the church in the super slick baptism jumpers.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

You are Always on My Mind!

Picture of me and Tyler, June 1996

(I started this last night, but didn't post until, well, now.)

So, we've had a busy weekend so far. I haven't uploaded my pictures from today, so I hesitate to really write about everything. Mackenzie was baptized tonight and it got me thinking about how quickly time passes. Sheesh. Really? I can't believe I have an 8 year old. She is at the point she is really going to remember stuff. I think up to this point I have hoped that she would forget most of what I do and say so as not to be traumatized too much. But I have such vivid memories from when I was her age, that I think my hope will be wasted. I'll have to be more careful.

Nate and Stacy stopped by tonight after most people had left. Their anniversary is this weekend and, again, I can't believe it's already been a year since we were up in Huntsville for their wedding. They celebrated by eating at Claim Jumper since that is where they ate after they got engaged, and they're gonna make it a little tradition (I think.) Anyhow. It got me thinking about other June 2nds and I realized that 11 years ago today Tyler and I were officially a couple. Yeah, I totally remember the date for some reason, even though that's not a strong suit of mine. I mentioned it to him and he said it happened on June 1st, but I thought we sealed the deal (A KISS, I mean) after midnight, so technically it was June 2nd. Either way, June 2, 1996 was a Sunday and was the "day after" when I had to find out if Tyler was gonna freak out cuz we had finally breached the "hanging out" phase and moved on to the "making out" phase. We went to church and he had saved me a seat (a good sign), but my brother ganked it (typical) and so I had an hour and ten minutes to sweat it out. It obviously worked out. I could never have imagined if someone had asked that day where I would be in eleven years exactly I would say at my eldest daughter's baptism. Anyway. It's a trip. I still feel like a little imposter because I can't wrap my brain around having a kid that old when I don't feel that old. I still feel very lucky and blessed to be married to Tyler, let alone be the mother of his kids, and then watch him be such an awesome dad. I mean, really, who else but him would be able to lovingly, chastisingly, and frustratingly be able to say things like, "Babe, I just don't know how you thought all this stuff you wanted to get done was supposed to get done," while I was frantically running around the house prepping for the fete after the baptism. Immediately I just took it and knew it was coming from a good place. And, of course, he followed with "What do you want me to do?" And, eleven years after we first made out for hours on my parents front bench that June 1st/2nd, he still makes me laugh. Especially when he says stuff like, "I'm hotter than a firecracker." I remember that early dawn coming in the house and thinking, "my cheeks hurt from smiling so much." Tonight, I feel the same. If Mackenzie is lucky, she'll get her attributes from her dad. I saw the benefit of them that long ago, and it OBVIOUSLY worked out for me. Anyway. More about the baptism later, and the rest of the weekend's festivities.