Monday, December 31, 2007

Stylin' Cousins

One of the highlights of blogs is keeping in touch wih family that live so far away, like across town. I loved seeing all the Darrington Christmas photos and couldn't resist the references to Tyler's short shorts and tube socks pulled up on Kourtney's blog. I thought I'd pull up the these few beauts from years' past. Yes, Kris, it was in style . . . but WHY!?

LA-OVE Tyler and Dustin's trucker hats, too, with the short shorts. Tyler's tube socks are definitely taller. How cute are little Nate and Kourtney and David? And yes, credit to my pink rimmed big glasses.

So, this was taken at a summer reunion on Aunt Dode's deck (ahh moment of silence for all the good memories THERE!) Can we focus a moment on the sailor hat that Dustin's wearing? Hmmm. And obviously Devin had a thing for Hawaii before he went there with the Montoyas to work. Jessika is seriously sportin' THE best perm I've seen on someone under 7. Really in style.
And from the Vegas vacation days, who can not include a classic "Bartman" shirt? Love ya stylin' freaks!


Not staged. Real Deal. Satisfaction. Happiness.

Confessions of High School Shenanigans

I have made it very well-known that Tyler was WAY cooler than I was in high school (and if I haven't, let me be clear . . . WAYYYY cooler than me.) I know this for sure since I was a measly freshman with huge glasses and short bangs while he was a studly senior whom I would pass in the "cool" hangout of Chaparral hallways. (Yes, that's C-H-A-P-A-R,R-A-L!) There are few things Tyler and I share in common about our high school years, really it's kindof surprising we have ended up together. My extracurriculars were our ward's mutual, a dance team, and choir (to name a few) while Tyler played basketball and golf and partied with the cool student council/cheerleader Cowboys/girls. I was hugely into choir, like INTO choir, it pretty much determined a lot of my social life. It's where I had my first real high school boyfriend, made my best friends, took roadtrips, etc. As great a time that it was in my life, I don't waste my breath trying to explain it all to Tyler. Bless his good heart for SOOO many other things, but Tyler does NOT get the goofy, dorky, clean fun I used to have. I've tried to explain to him what I did on Friday nights with my fellow choir geeks and he does NOT get how much fun we had, so we just don't really talk about it too much . . . a story here, a story there, not many details.
A couple of weeks ago, I got an email about a reunion (of sorts) with a bunch of old friends (many of which live out of town; there was an itinerary, etc. . . big deal, kinda) and I KNEW that I wanted to go, but since Tyler had other plans for the weekend (AND I know he wouldn't get this whole thing) I RSVP'd for myself and told him a group of choir kids were going to get together and I wanted to go. On cue, I got a couple eye rolls and smart remarks. [Just for the record, though, Tyler's not mean about any of my choir stories (ie "True Colors" references any time I bring up Jill, Heather, or Leanne's names), I really think it's funny when I look that far back.]
So, Friday night was the first shin-dig. We met at a local church and hung out with spouses and kids. Like I said, Tyler already had plans, so we went on a little date before we went our separate ways. Tyler kept referencing the "choir reunion" and I had to confess that it wasn't quite the big 'reunion' that I had let him think it was. When I told him it was more like a couple of friendly cliques getting together, I knew I'd get a sideways glance. When I told him our cliques had names like "B.C." and "K.S.", I knew I was going to get a scoff. And I KNEW when I explained to him how the B.C. were a group of our guy friends who would get together and have secret meetings and activities together; that the K.S. was a girls version that was pretty much created since the boys adamantly left us out of their club (we weren't even allowed to know what B.C. stood for - and I still don't to this day) and our whole purpose was to stealthily spy and disturb the boys' activities and meetings; I KNEW I would get a belly laugh. And I did. He called it dorky and weird and he kept bringing up the weekend's itinerary (WHICH I agreed was pretty intense, but considering it was just an outline and nothing confirmed and there were several B.C./K.S. coming from out of town, the itinerary could prove useful.) I told him our gathering was no different than some of his fishing trips where there has been an agenda and he said it's totally different. Potato; Potahto. Anyway, he knew I was excited to see some of these people I haven't seen in SERIOUSLY 11 or 12 years and I know after being married for 11 years, that making him go would prove in my misery and him having a good time against his will. Heaven forbid he enjoy some good, clean, dorky, B.C./K.S. FUN.
Anyway, here's some pictures from Friday night. Some of us met again on Saturday night for dinner, but I forgot my camera. I felt like a total revealed stalker since several of the K.S. and wives of the B.C. keep blogs and I read them fairly regularly, so being "introduced" for the first time I had to confess, "Oh no, I've read ALL about you and admired your cute children, etc. and know all about your jobs, homes, social lives, etc." It was way better, though, to meet people in person and not just through their blogs. AND can I say, for the record, I really am impressed at the women (and men) whom we all married. I was telling Tyler after dinner Saturday night (he didn't go Sat. either in case you were wondering) about everyone and what they were doing and drew these conclusions: we are still a well-educated, good choice-making, better-looking, fun, group of friends. I think he felt bad he missed the festivities. Oh well, there's always next time :)
And some pics:
Heather, Leanne, and me (with Nan's baby Cole). Jill (our 4th partner in crime) was sick Friday night, but came Sat. We are the older ladies of the K.S. having just graduated when our club was formed on the beaches of Hawaii in 1995. Seriously, we were in Hawaii, when we decided on K.S. Any guesses what it stands for?

This is Adam (he's old like us, too, but there are some older guys in the B.C. since they were around a bit longer than us.) Adam took charge (WHAT? Adam?) He always had a knack for organizing events and directing the masses; I can remember a lot of times Adam convinced me something would be fun, even though I initially thought otherwise. He was usually right. The other times we butt heads, if I remember right. Adam's got five kids, a great wife, and they're totally amazing.

This picture is of the meeting Friday night to determine the weekend's activities. (from L-R: Ky (Marie's husband), Marie (K.S.), Adam Koch (B.C.), Sarah and Anthony Vidal (K.B.S.C. - they got married, so I don't know what their merged club's name is.)

Josh and Travis Stanley. Brothers by blood and by B.C. Travis married Leanne (K.S.) I told you we made good choices!

Ali (with her baby), Marie (with Amber's baby), and Sarah (with her baby). They're raising the second generation!
Anthony and Sarah (they really helped coordinate everything with emails and the church Friday night; live locally; I see the Vidals often . . . church, the mall, Sam's Club, etc.)
Anyway, there were a lot of people I didn't get pictures of, but enjoyed talking to all of them. I was really impressed with the Rawhouser's world travels, McEachran's city council job (I think that is SO grown up), and meeting all the spouses. It was great to hear briefly about the past DECADE and remember some really good times. So, thanks for FINALLY remembering the girls, even if we don't know what B.C. stands for yet.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Where has all the magic gone?

Christmas was fabulous and today I am suffering the post-Christmas let-down. I've spent the day finishing putting away all the gads and scores of Christmas gifts that Santa and the family gave us. Yesterday I asked Tyler to only work half day so we could take the kids out to lunch and to a movie. We ended up scrapping the movie after the kids had breakdowns at Jason's Deli. (Well, I took Brevin because he held it together.) Today it only got better, er worse, depending on how you look at it. I was busy all morning putting the stuff away when Stacy called and said we were gonna do lunch at Erin's. I'm thinking, "Great; a playdate with the cousins; lunch; how can this go wrong?" Uh, that would happen when I had the audacity to have Caylee get dressed. Since I was doing laundry the ONE shirt that she wanted to wear was unavailable and she started whining and crying and moaning and throwing herself on the floor. I was trying to keep it all together and finally asked her if she was really so unhappy if she wanted a new family. Her answer? "I just want a new mom; a nice mom." Nice. EXCUSE ME for finding you a shirt that you could wear AND for washing the dirty one you want to wear AND for being patient with your five minute baby tantrum AND for still being willing to take you to play with your cousins. Well, the final straw that broke the camel's back was the slide-off-the-couch-onto-the-floor-and-thrash-about-like-you're-a-toddler tantrum. I pretty much lost it, Christmas magic GONE. I flew off the couch, spanked her fanny twice and pulled her to her feet. I looked her square in the face and told her it was COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE and marched her to the front door. I opened it and sent her outside. I told her if she was THAT unhappy in our family maybe she should go look for another family. Pretty much NOT my proudest mom moment, and luckily she didn't go anywhere. Kenzie got a little nervous and went outside to comfort Caylee and they both came in after a bit. I didn't know what else to do, but I was fairly certain my head was going to pop off my shoulders if I had to listen to one more minute of "Waaaa." Once she came back in we had a talk where I reminded her HOW much I loved her, how I wanted her in our family, and how I need her to use her really good mind to make better choices about her behavior. This is what she said through her tears, "I just really wish we had a bigger house so I could have more toys." WHAT?!?!?!? We have issues.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas

Here are a few of our Christmas photos from the past week. Because we are so BLESSED to have a lot of family in town, we are also BLESSED to have Christmas celebrated over several different days. Sunday night (since this was the in-laws year for Christmas Eve) we met over with Tyler's folks with his mom and dad for a Mexican Feast-esta and our exchange gifts. Tyler was STOKED about the menu since he is always campaining for something other than the traditional turkey, potatoes, etc.
Caylee's enjoying some 7-layer bean dip and a taco. I actually made some really good chicken enchiladas with HOMEMADE sauce. They were a hit, too. I was super impressed with myself as I hardly ever do something more from scratch than from packages.

Caylee was pretty excited to get a Cheetah Girls Barbie Doll. Can you tell?

Kenzie got a darling charm bracelet with a watch that she has tried to wear EVERY day since Uncle Brandon's gift. We rotate family names and Brandon had us this year; he did well.

Brock just loved the big truck . . . not that we knew what it was for a while since he just wanted to carry the box around.

Brevin and his first boy toy of the season. I can't even remember how many transformer/Star Wars/car-ish toys he ended up with.

A shadow box, which I loved, AND it already had some cute Paris paraphenalia, so I think I'll replace it with some momentos of our trip this summer. (I'm wearing the anniversary necklace, but it's kinda hard to see.)

Uh, yeah, this will be in the backyard. We found it funny, but I'm not sure what the bishop would think if he dropped by and saw this on our front door step.

The Barlows have always sang on Christmas Eve and the weeks preceding (that's the blessing of a lot of musical talent in one family.) There's official song books (now tabbed, thanks to Lexi) and musical instruments for the kids. It's loud and crazy, but a GREAT tradition.
Christmas Eve day Tyler went golfing with some family, and took Brevin along. I'm thinking an all boys tradition will work out with another boy on the way (in a couple years, anyway.) I took the girls (and Brock) to Enchanted (SO cute) and then Christmas Eve we had dinner at my mom and dad's. We enjoyed a YUMMY meal and hanging out. We enjoyed the Caplan's company (a pair of our favorite Jews celebrating Hana-mas) and Erin's tale of speaking to our Great Aunt Shirley (which is a whole nother post.) We missed Nate, Stacy, Zoee, and Mike, but managed to eat a lot to get over the sadness.
The Caplans

The kids' table (Uncle Dave was so torn as he got stuck at the adult table this year.)

This is Brock helping himself to dessert. I had no idea how much chocolate he ate, but when I tried to give him some runny nose medicine later that night he gagged and up came A LOT of chocolate goo. (Goo, right Julina?! Ick!)
When we got home we found Santa had dropped off some gifts a little early (he always leaves them under the girls' Christmas tree in their room with a note.) We went ahead and bathed the kids and while Tyler made hot cocoa I captured the classic Christmas Eve photo.

Then we read the Bible nativity story, watched "Joy to the World" video and tucked the kids in bed for sweet dreams. Of course, we couldn't leave all the work for Santa, so I finished wrapping presents with David's help. Dave came to stay the night at our house so he wouldn't be solo at my parent's house on Christmas morning. I don't think he bargained for all the helpwork we do for Santa. He was great, though, and we made it to bed about 1:30am. We were back up a mere 5 hours later.

Another bonus of Dave being here is he helped contain the kids so I could prep the video camera, get a bra on, brush my teeth, change Brock's wet diaper, and Tyler could get dressed. I love Brock's face in this picture as this is really the first time he's grasped "Merry Kis-mas" "Santa Claus" and "pesents."

The Harley Davison scooter was a hit. Until the next morning when the "revving" woke me and Tyler up since it's still in the house.

One of the girls' last gift was a special one from Tyler. Can you tell how excited Caylee was to open the box and find a piece of paper she couldn't read?

But then Kenzie read "Hannah Montana tickets" and she was able to find some joy in it.

And the thank you for one heck of a Daddy-Daughter date next month. Tyler was a ticket buying fool this year. My super-surprise present from Santa was a pair of Wicked tickets in L.A. SOOO excited. Sooo torn about who to take. Anyway, it was way fun for both the reactions.

AND HE GOT ME?? I had the hardest time sleeping during our five hours off Christmas Eve/morn and at 6am woke to remember I had forgotten to wrap the dreaded cow cutting board for Tyler. I had found it hidden in our closet and thought I'd bamboozle Tyler by confiscating it and wrapping it for him. Since I forgot to do it, I figured I'd sneak it in to a gift bag and let him open it at my parents' later in the morning. Well, jokes on me, he totally re-found our most heinous wedding gift that we regift each year. He kicks my trash in the cow-giving history. And really, after eleven years, we're still confounded at WHY someone saw the cow cutting board and thought, "oh, perfect for the new Barlows."
After the chaos and fun and twisty ties and plastic-harder-than-steel at our house we headed to my parents again for presents there. It was an added bonus to get to talk to my brother in Virginia, who's serving a mission. He is doing well and sounded good. We only talked briefly, but it'll be enough to get us all through until Mother's Day.

Tyler's so over Christmas by this point. Notice my fine jewelry that the kids picked out for me? Tyler loves to let them buy me whatever they want to get me. Compared to last year, this one was way better (no bushy earrings or strappy gold sandals), and other than the nerf gun Brevin got me, I was really thrilled with the boots, purse, and sunglasses.
After being at mom and dad's for a bit, eating breakfast and such, we headed back to our house where Dodie and Bruce came by to give us their presents to just our family. They started touring last year, and it has been such a blessing. It really cuts down on the marathon day.

This is just one of my favorite pictures from that visit. Tyler's such a good dad and Brock is actually sitting still in this photo as they study some new boy-toy.

So, we had a great time, and hope y'all did too. I'm anxious to see everyone's pictures, so take the time and start uploading those babies! We have the dreaded take-down of the Christmas decor looming, but we won't be achieving too much for a couple days.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I would be remiss . . .

Alright. I'll confess; I don't even know if I used that title right. I'm going for the sentiment that I would feel badly if I didn't share these things real quick before bed tonight:

I would be remiss if I didn't share what an amazing husband I have. I should have pictures so you could see it to believe it, but let me just share a bit about our weekend. Thursday night AS SOON AS Tyler got home he took ALL four of the kids by himself out to eat and to shop for me for Christmas. I warned him Brock had not napped and they had all been playing all afternoon at my sister's, but it didn't phase him and he said, "They don't scare me." When he started putting on their shoes and was ACTUALLY going to take them to dinner I said, "You should pace yourself; this could be a long night." Undeterred he headed off in the Excursion while I got to drive his truck around running some errands, Christmas shopping, visiting teaching, etc. I was out for a bit before I started feeling a little woosy and realized I hadn't eaten much all that day, so I pulled into the KFC drive-thru. Long story short, I totally scraped the side of Tyler's truck on the stupid red pole that protects the building from the cars (or, in this case, my husband's truck) from taking out the drive-thru cashier. I was about ready to poop my pants. I went straight to my sister's to see if I could wipe off the smudge. Uh, no. It was a good 'ol scratch job with flecks of red paint still wiped across his gas flap and back to his wheel well.

Now, for most of you that know me, you know I drive a big 'ol rig and I own every scratch, dent, and bump on that car. When I tried pulling the car into the garage cuz it was 120 degrees outside and then shut the garage door around the end of the car, only to scratch not only the paint on the back side of the car, but also the glass itself, I felt badly that I had done something so obvious. I mean, compared to where I backed into the fire hydrant (yes, I heard the back up sensors but I didn't see anything), or hit a shopping cart or two, or pulled into a light pull in a parking lot, the scratch was a lot more visible. I told Tyler (when he discovered the red paint from the hydrant) that we'd not waste time fixing my paint and bumpers until we were ready to sell it. BUT Tyler, he NEVER even gets anything on his truck; he washes it ALL the time; gas tank is always full . . . you get the picture . . . Mr. Uber Resposible Truck Driver is married to Mrs. Can't Really Focus on Pulling Thru a Tight Driveway without Whacking the Red Pole. Poor guy.

So, I stewed and fretted, got my girlfriend's husband's opinion (he suggested bribery of a lift kit and new custom mudwhackers to cover the scrapes), called the professional auto body friend we know, and tried working out different scenarios of exactly HOW I was gonna break the news. I thought about lying at first (that's how worried I was that's I'd disappoint him that badly), getting naked to tell him (probably more damage than help at this present juncture of my pregnancy), or just not saying anything to wait and see if he noticed the next morning. I finally decided just to tell him and he took the news really well . . . considering. He shook his head a lot and was pretty quiet and kept telling me to quit apologizing. We went to bed shortly after and all he said the rest of the night was, "Quit looking at me; it's fine." "You were about due for another car incident." and "I should have had you get naked to tell me."

Anyway, I can't even convey how badly I felt, and he didn't yell or shout or be mean back at me. The next morning was our anniversary, and so what does he do the next morning after I scratched up his truck? Leaves me this gorgeous necklace with a card on my carseat. [Of course, I yell at me kids when I sit on the box, "Who left something on my seat?"] Then, when I turned the car on Tyler'd put in our wedding song CD into my car player so it came right on when I fired up my beast. [It played for a second and then skipped since it was so chilly outside.] Anyway, how thoughtful was that? We both had a crazy busy day, so when we went out to dinner that night it was SO great just to be the two of us. And would you believe he didn't bring up the scratched car once or hasn't since? Of course you believe that, because, I'm telling you, he's amazing. I am soo lucky. Y'all should send him your condolences. Alright enough about that.

I would also be remiss to not share my gratitiude with being nearly done with my Christmas shopping, gifting, and drop-offs. By tomorrow I'll be done, and I've been able to thin a lot about my Christmas journal. I actually did one page, which Brock scribbled all over. Probably after Christmas I'll take some pictures of the pages and post them. I've enjoyed noticing the small things that make my holiday bright, mostly because the Christmas journal prompts come every day. I helped my dad make these darling snowmen and he gave them to all the people who work at his elementary school. I really enjoyed the couple nights we spent working on that project together; tying raffia has never been so great. And tomorrow we get to celebrate with Tyler's brothers and sister and all the kiddos. It'll be a great kick-off for the next few days on the Eve of Christmas Eve.

And last but not least, I feel inclined to address the Pepsi vs. Coke issue that has been raised on my cousin, Tyler's, blog. (Please check out his post and the ensuing comments to get a full-blown picture of what a heated family despute is like in our family, and then take time to cast a vote in his poll.) I have to say I enjoy a cola beverage no matter were we are or what time of the day it is. I USED to prefer Pepsi, but this is what I have decided. I only liked Pepsi to rebel against my parents, who were staunch Coke fans all my growing years. (And my BFF Kara's family always had Pepsi.) I would often run into the Rebel to fill up my mom's 104 ounce insulated mug (way before her caffiene-free-diet-why-do-you-even-bother days) with Diet Coke and I can remember many a headaches remedied by a can of Coke for my dad. I came back to my senses as I got older and wiser and realized that Coke has a better burn and fizz than Pepsi. Don't get me wrong, the Pepsi line of products does not prevent me from going to, say, Taco Bell, but I would also be happy to have a Coke with my bean burrito if the world is taken over by Coca-Cola as Tyler suspects.

Good night y'all! No more remissing.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tis the Season

I think it's SUCH a great time of year. I am really enjoying the "tinsel" of Christmas, ya know, all the extras. I am procrastinating (as always) some of the necessities (ie Santa's shopping) in favor for some more "fun" projects. I know, in the long run, I'll be all stress-y and a little freaked out that I can't find exactly what I'm looking for, or the perfect gift for that special someone in my life. BUT, whatever, let me enjoy the tinsel. I keep telling myself to pace myself and everything will get done at some point.

SOOO, yesterday, I had an amazing opportunity, that hustle and bustle or not, I was not going to miss (Sorry Joe Wyson, again, for missing our ward's Christmas program, although, not that sorry.) A few weeks ago my wonderful mother-in-law told me the bishop of their ward had asked them to postpone their Christmas program to the 23rd instead of the 16th. That's kinda annoying because there's always more people out of town that close to Christmas, so when she was telling me I suggested we sing this wonderful arrangement of "Oh Holy Night" that we sang a few years ago. I figured that's be a pretty good second best opportunity if she couldn't do her Christmas program that week. Long story short we were priviledged to sing in their ward yesterday for Elder Russell Nelson, an apostle of God. Now in our church, there are 12 who serve our modern prophet, the members of our church, and the welfare of the world. Elder Nelson is one of those 12, so what are the odds that he'd be at the sacrament service we decided to sing in? Pretty slim, right. Anyway, it was totally awesome just to be there and feed on the Spirit of the meeting. As if Christmas doesn't have enough spirit floating around, this was just such a bonus. And I loved what he (and his wife and President and Sister Stucki [of the temple presidency]) had to say; it was simple and sweet and I just loved it.

Of course, we were going to practice our song before sacrament meeting, so I set me target time for 8:00am to be at the church; we all got there at 8:30. Still early, but I missed the practice. We did manage, however to take a few Christmas card pictures for our cards (still yet to be done) and thought I'd share some of the out-takes with you. Really, Leah, I get it. Is it worth it?

Ho Ho Ho! Will post soon!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tough Enough to Wear Pink

Tonight Tyler and I went with our good friends Derrick and Sherry to the National Finals Rodeo. It was so fun! Not kidding, every time I go to a rodeo (even the po-dunky ones at the sheep festival in Cedar City) I think we should move somewhere and our kids can be cowgirls and boys. As soon as we walked into the arena I noticed all the pink shirts on the officials, the cowboys, and on A LOT of the audience. I asked Derrick and Sherry if they knew what the deal was with all the pink. We obviously didn't get the memo that pink was soo in at the rodeo.

One of the first bareback riders was wearing these pink and purple chaps and I thought, "Well, this is NOT the rodeo I remember going to; these guys are really prissy to wear those colors." The announcer then explained that the rider was wearing his cousin's chaps who died at the age of 26 from the cause that all those pink shirts were supporting. Then it clicked, that this night was about honoring breast cancer. Duh, think pink, right? Sure enough, about halfway through the rodeo, in between one of the roping and one of the bucking events, the NFR presented a 2.5 million dollar check to the "Tough Enough to Wear Pink" organization for breast cancer research. So cool. I immediately thought of Marsha . . . I got a little misty-eyed, and it wasn't because of the manure.

Marsha is my mom's best friend EVER. For as long as I can remember as a kid Mom and Marsha have been BFFs and then FABs and whatever other nicknames they wanted to give to each other. Marsha's daughter Megan was right between me and Erin, so she was my friend in Sunday School (since her b-day was in Dec.) and Erin's at school (since she was in the grade below. We spent MANY nights at the Nelson's house for slumber parties and MANY afternoons playing at the Nelsons. I remember watching Fraggle Rock and Savannah Smiles AND the premier of the Thriller video at their house since the had HBO, which indicates their cool factor. Our parents were part of this uber-clique and would have parties and BBQs and I remember vividly having to eat hot dogs whilst the adults feasted on steak on summer afternoon in the Nelson's backyard. We probably slept over on their trampoline. They had cool toys, too. LIKE the tree house and the kitchen that actually had water come out when you played with the sink. They had this old bronco (I think that was the car) that you could climb all over the seats and NOT get in trouble for having your feet on the seats, which was pretty exciting in my life. Once, when I went to the grocery store with Marsha, I stole a piece of candy and lied about it. I thought I got away with it since I told her my mom gave me money. Who was I kidding? Mom and Marsha were/are as close as sisters and I'm sure Marsha knew I was lying my fool head off since she knew Mom wouldn't send me with money. The Nelsons were really a cowboy and girl family and I remember being excited any time we got to ride their horses, or go to the corrals, or see any of the Nelsons in a parade. Once we moved to Vegas, it was always a treat to have the Nelsons come to visit for the NFR or to go back to Burley and visit. Marsha always treated us like one of her kids, and on one summer visit I was assigned the chore of laundry and Marsha was pretty indignant when she realized I washed towels with all the jeans. Oops, maybe next time I could have mowed the lawn on the riding lawn mower (really, how cool is that?) When I got married, Marsha was there. She's one of those women I have admired and would call a second mom, without hesitation. SO, of course, tonight I was already thinking of the closest country roots I have, and that meant Marsha.

Marsha was just diagnosed with breast cancer, and it's been a real bummer deal. I mean, I know it doesn't work by getting cancer because you deserve it, ESPECIALLY because Marsha is about THE person to deserve anything so ugly and nasty. The older I have gotten the more I have appreciated the friend Marsha is to my mom AND to me (and Erin.) Erin and I like to hang out with Marsha and Mom has to remind us that she's her friend and not so much ours, but it's hard to tell when Marsha is so easy to talk to, when she genuinely cares about our little families, and when she sends me sweet notes congratulating me on unexpected pregnancies EXACTLY on a day when I was having a really hard time wrapping my brain around it all.

So, tonight, here's a shout out to Marsha! I love you and think about you often. You will rock this cancer thing cuz you are a strong woman and this cancer think has nothing on you and your greatness. I can't say thanks enough for all you've added to my life, but that's okay, cuz I'll have a long time still to say it all!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Boob Post

There's been lots going on this past weekend, but it's getting late and I haven't downloaded any of my pictures, so I thought I'd share one little tidbit of my weekend for your morning reading pleasure. PLUS, Tyler is watching that new show on A&E called "Paranormal" and I have NO interest in watching a scary TV show before bed. It's all about people and ghosts (most, apparantly, who aren't happy about this research group investigating-I mean the ghosts aren't happy.) Ew.

SO, here's my boob post. If it's uncomfortable for you to read about my boobs, you may want to click on a different link. (Like YOU, Elder Garrard) And just because I don't want you to feel awkward, here's a couple blogs to browse (and where you can get a good update on the cousin's party last Friday night since I was lame and didn't take hardly ANY pics, but these good relatives-o-mine have covered it extensively): Erin, Jerolyn, Kourtney, Rick, and Tyler (Tyler's got video, but it also has to do with boobs, but they're Stacy's boobs, so if that's more comfortable make sure and watch his last video clip from his phone.) Anyway, enough with the disclaimer, on with the boob post.

I think I first realized I was "well-endowed" when a friend of mine told me (once we were in high school) that the only reason this older guy was nice to me (when we were in junior high) was because I was one of the only girl to develop an over-abundance of boobage before high school. Ever since then it has been a fact of life, a natural state of being, a package deal, that I have big boobs. It hasn't affected me too negatively; I don't feel like I flaunt my assets unnecessarily; nor do I feel like that's all I have going in my favor. If anything, I guess, it has made me feel more womanly, proportioned (let's face it, at 5'10 with hefty hips and long ski feet, I need SOMETHING to balance me out), and the entire ensemble caught Tyler's attention - so THAT was a bonus for which I could give credit to me ta-tas.

When I was young (that was a decade + ago) I never thought about breast augmentation or anything like that UNTIL I started having kids. I noticed right away with my pregnancy with Mackenzie that my belly wasn't the only thing that grew. The boob-age grew, too, and I gave a lot of the "you don't even look that pregnant" comments credit to my big chest because everything beneath the giant boulders looked small in comparison (including my swollen stomach, butt, and thighs.) Prenancy, though, had nothing on breastfeeding and when my milk came in, all I can say is . . . well, Tyler said it best . . . "Those are beyond attractive." Again, nothing really to complain about in this department, I should (as some of my girlfriends remind me) feel blessed to be an engorged cow with over-flowing utters on demand with each of my kids. And I do. Let's hear it for La Leche Barlow and her abundance, right? WRONG, because the aftermath of nursing has been a little devestating to the big boobs. I think I shared before how Brevin asked me why my boobs went down when I took off my bra?! Yeah, that's pretty much putting it mildly. I am not kidding, people, when I say I should be on a National Geographic cover as the white tribeswoman who's breasts dangle below her belly button. Okay, maybe it's not that bad, but if I had to do the pencil test (a supposed test as to whether you need a breast lift determined on whether or not you can hold a pencil in place with your boob) I would be holding an 8 pack of yellow no. 2's. It's not a lovely picture, and all I can say is let's hear it for the invention of the bra, yes, the Over-The-Shoulder-Boulder-Holder has come in handy ever since I stopped taking it off and hiding it in my Teddy Ruxpin lunchbox in 5th grade. I don't leave home without it. I will hardly ever answer the door without one on. I won't let Tyler take my picture if I've taken off my brasierre. In fact, in high school, when on our choir's trip to Hawaii and the fire alarm went off late at night, what am I doing as I run down the stairwell? Putting on my bra. I'm a fan, it does it's job. And ladies, yes! A good bra fitting and worthy bra is worth it's weight in, well, pretty much breast tissue, but we'll say gold and you get the picture.

So why all the boob talk? I guess after Saturday afternoon's events I pondered my current breast-icular circumstance and it left me reflective. Here's why. Saturday was a busy day. We woke up and took the kids to our ward's breakfast with Santa and then rushed off to Brevin's last soccer game (insert singing angels here since it's getting way too cold for soccer games.) After the game Tyler took the kids home and I went to ElRae's for our last calendar scrapbooking class of the year (again, insert angels). Right after that I picked up my cousin Kaitlyn and she babysat while Tyler and I had a date afternoon. The temple was closing for the Christmas holiday and since Tyler and I haven't done a session lately we decided we needed to make a trip up to Sunrise Mountain and experience all the glorious calming effects of being in a House of the Lord. Once at the temple, I'm supposed to change out of my street clothes into white clothing (nylons, slip, dress, etc.) right? No prob. I have a few minutes until the session starts . . . [if you have more questions about the LDS temple and sessions, etc. you should check out this site!] . . . and I have the changing thing down pat UNTIL I pull of my black T-shirt and realize/remember that I was wearing a bright turquoise blue bra.

NOW, you may have a couple questions going through your head at this point? #1) Why were you, Sarah, wearing a bright turquoise blue bra? A) BECAUSE my boobs have gotten so big that it's about the only one that I don't spill out of, pucker out of, or sag in. [Yes, Chris, this is the bra that you couldn't believe would fit on my chest cuz you said the cups were the sizes of a hat at the VS in CA, but they fit my girls just right!] #2) Why would you have a bright turquoise bra anyway? A) BECAUSE when I was on a girls' trip and spent a lot of money, I thought it would be good retribution to Tyler (and his bank account) if I brought him home something that added it my lingerie stash #3) Why is it such a big deal to where a bright turquoise blue bra to the temple? A) Because the temple exemplifies everything that is unflashy and a colored bra showing through both a slip AND dress would be like wearing a neon sign across my chest. Not very reverent, I suppose. I was totally sweating it in the dressing room contemplating my options. And that took a while. And I knew Tyler had already changed and was waiting for me, but I couldn't figure how to not walk out to get his opinion about the situation without bringing attention to my bra. SO, in all humility I took off the bright turquoise blue bra, tried to lift the suckers where they belonged, crossed my arms tightly so I looked really uber-reverent and headed out to find Tyler. This is what he says when he sees me, "GEEZ, did ja get lost or somethin'?" There was this older lady standing right there and we WERE in the temple, so I smiled nicely and said, "No, let's just go sit down and wait for the next session." Once we were in the pew, I confessed my predicament, he totally thought it was funny, and I was continued sweatin' it the whole time we did the session. Tyler was making comments like, "Honey, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, don't worry about it." To which I answered, "NO! Beauty is the level of your boulders!" Or he'd say, "It's kinda hot that you have one less layer on." And I'd roll my eyes and remind him WE WERE IN THE TEMPLE! I just KNEW I was gonna see someone I was going to know and they would automatically have noticed my low-slung chest. IT WAS SO STRESSFUL! And, of course, when you're self-conscious of something you totally think everyone is staring at it. AGHH!! It was SO embarrassing. I couldn't have gotten out of there more quickly and back in to my bright turquoise blue bra.

SO, that's my boob post. The moral of the story is somewhere out there, but I think I will just try to think out my bra selection for an entire day's activities a little better in the days to come. I know it will get worse before it gets better (hello, engorgement #5 coming this spring) and I will be mail-ordering the special sizes that stores don't even carry because it's ma girls are so freakishly big, but such is my life, and my boobs, and since I'm kind of attached to 'em, I'll make the most of it. Even if it means bright turquoise blue bras!

Thursday, December 6, 2007


I got an email from my friend Jenn asking about my cousin Garrett who had the gymnastics accident. I know many of the readers of this blog are my family, but for those of you who aren't, I thought you'd be interested in these updates from his sister, Jessika. (There's several of them, so read 'em or scan 'em or skip 'em. Bottom line, Garrett is AWESOME and working really hard in rehab. Because spinal injuries are *SO* difficult to assess right away, they're still in the waiting and see stage whilst working like crazy. As you can read from the latest entries, Garrett's starting to have some sensation which is SUCH a good sign and the family has nothing but positive things to share about Garrett's attitude and work ethic. I think about Garrett and his sisters, mom, and brother all the time and am so impressed with HIS tenacity AND his family.

November 15, 2007
Well to put today in Garretts own words--"It was a good day!" Garrett is doing very well and we were granted another miracle--on his initial CT scan there was a mass in his stomach that to the doctors caused some concern and may need additional surgery so they ordered another scan tonight and it came back clear with no sign of a mass!!! Garrett looks great and tonight was more talkative and welcoming visitors. After being adjusted a little bit in his bed he made the comment that it felt like something was under his neck- he could sense a little discomfort so we asked the physical therapist who had just moved him and sure enough his gown had gotten caught and gathered under his neck brace!! He was able to feel that and that was a great moment. Tomorrow they are going to do a little physical therapy it sounds like and maybe get him to sit in a special kind of chair for a little bit. Our faith is strong and we can truly feel all the prayers and thoughts. Garrett is being very strong and brave and tells us not to worry because he's not scared. We love him so much and are so grateful to see some progress in the right direction. It will be a long process of ups and downs but everything is going to be okay!!

November 16, 2007
Today a team of physical therapists came in and worked with him. They focused on his arms and biceps because right now that is where he has some movement. When I got to the hospital they had him sitting up in a special chair and the nurse was feeding him solid food and he ate almost all of it so that was really good and it was great to see him looking so good. He for the most part is being positive naturally he has had times of feeling discouraged but he knows we just have to be patient and let time and his body take it's healing course. He likes having visitors as it helps take his mind off of everything going on. Thanks again for all the continued love and support and I will continue to post updates to keep everyone up to date.

November 17, 2007
There weren't really any changes today. This morning they did a minor surgery using a local anesthetic and inserted a screen in his groin area so that they can keep a watch out for any blood clots and if some do develope keep them from getting to his lungs. He had a lot of visitors today and his room is now officially decorated. : ) He is eating well, he looks awesome and is in amazing spirits. It's amazing when people come in and they at first might have a hard time Bubba just looks at them with this comforting smile letting them know its okay. Today he said "I notice that when I get discouraged or have negative thoughts I get a fever. Then when I think positive and keep good thoughts I feel tingley." He truly makes everyone else feel better and calm when it should probably be the other way around. I told him today that Devin was coming home tonight and he got a little emotional and I told him that I didn't mean to make him upset, that he looked great and I love him. I had to leave his room for a minute to take a phone call and when I came back he said, "J, when I cry it doesn't mean I'm sad...don't feel bad." That is how amazing he is. I love my baby so much!!!! He says hi to everyone and loves you all very much. He would like me to thank you all for the thoughts and prayers.

November 18, 2007
The physical therapist came in today to work with Garrett and she said that he is doing phenominal!! She said that he is able to perform some things that most people don't start until they get to the rehabilitation area. She gave him some exercises to work on to continue strengthening his arms. Of course Bubba asked if when he got into rehabilitation would they stand him up? Her response was "They may but it's not going to be in your first week!" She had him work on pushing buttons with a pencil eraser and he was able to use hand eye cordination to push the nurse call button and also change the channel on tv!!!! Then she placed a fork in his hand and with the help of supporting his elbow on a pillow he was able to do the motion as if he were scooping food up and lifting it up towards his mouth!!! Today they also explained to him what all would take place in therapy and told him that there are 3 teams of therapists and they weren't sure which team he would have. So Garrett asked them which team was the best and their response was they are all good. Garrett said "well if anyone is recruiting I want the best team!" Dr. Theodore who performed the surgery also came by his room today and said that Garrett is doing far better then expected. Garrett says he has been feeling some tingling in his legs and he could feel his hands and forearm better as well as a little lower on his chest where he couldn't feel so much before. Dr. Theodore ordered another MRI for tomorrow morning to check his spinal cord and see how everything is looking. When people ask him if he can move his legs he simply replies "Not yet". Tonight when Colby, Devin and I were leaving he was having a hard time coughing so the respiratory therapist was helping him clear his chest and they are going to do a chest x-ray at 4am just to make sure he doesn't have fluid building up in his lungs--the nurse said his lungs sound good they just want to make sure. A quick story--Yesterday when the respiratory therapist was working on him his nurse had him rolled over on his side and Garrett commented that he felt like he was going to fall. His nurse assured him that she wouldn't let him and joked that that would require way too much paperwork. Garrett goes "good 'cause I'd sue" Both nurses laughed and the one holding him said "Smart man." All the nurses really like Garrett and they can feel his strength and strong desires to get better quick. I will let everyone know how the XRay and MRI look tomorrow!! Garrett said when he was laying on the mat at the gym and couldn't move he asked for his Grandpa Tanner to be with him and he could feel his presence and he hasn't been scared since. : ) WE LOVE YOU ALL!!!

November 19, 2007
Garretts chest XRay came back and it was clear and his lungs look really good. We didn't get the results back on the MRI yet and the nurse said the doctor will probably come by tomorrow so I will let you all know how it comes back. Today when they put him in the Cadillac chair for therapy he said he felt the blood rush down his legs to his feet! Garrett asked the nurse if her arm had brushed across his feet when she was working on him and she looked down and in fact she had. Then Devin was rubbing the arches of Garretts feet and a couple minutes later Garrett asked if Devin was rubbing the bottom of his feet. It seems that he is beginning to feel some things just a little delayed. I left my camera with my mom in case I don't get there before the therapists do because they are going to have him try and brush his teeth and I want to get it documented and maybe try and email it out to everyone that and or a picture of him so you can all see how great he looks. His hair is getting long and he was asked how long he was going to grow it out and he said probably til he walks. When asked how long he was going to be in the hospital he said until he gets up and walks out. The nurses love him! He has had quite the appetite..LOL. We tease him because we are sure no other patient is having Chipotle, Sushi and Pei Wei for dinner in the hospital. He might be able to get out of ICU in the next day or two. Mostly all they are waiting for is for him to be done with the treatment that is keeping his blood pressure strong to keep a good blood flow thru his spinal cord. The medication it requires is only allowed to be given in intensive care.

November 20, 2007
Garrett has been sleeping a lot today which is good. Dr. Theodore came in today with the results of his MRI!! He said everything looks beautiful. The compression and pressure on the spinal cord is completely gone there with the new vertebrae they made for him his spinal cord has plenty of room. There is still a lot of swelling so in the doctors own words "We are beginning in the healing stage". He said that he let rehab know about Garrett and that he would like to get him in there as soon as he can. He asked a physical therapy girl about a bed and she said it wouldn't be available until end of this week probably first of next. He asked Garrett if he had any questions and Garrett said he sometimes thinks of them after he leaves and Dr. Theodore said to have someone write them down and he promises to come in and answer them. He's amazing and is SO kind!! That was around lunch time today and later this afternoon my mom got a call that there was a surprise opening in rehab and a room would be ready for him tomorrow!!! My mom is home with me right now and we just got a call from Devin that they are moving Garrett in 15 minutes so we are heading back to the hospital. I'm not sure if it's to rehab already or if it's to an inbetween room but I will write again when I get back from the hospital.

Garrett is out of ICU!!!! He got moved up to the 5th floor in a normal room and he is off all of his IV's except for a couple antibiotics!! He's off the insulin and the medicine to control his blood pressure. He's getting used the that- that was a little rough on him. My mom has started a notebook to write down cool things Garrett says or funny things that happen so that will be fun to share with you all because there are some pretty good stories that just aren't as good when typed out. Garrett should get to rehab tomorrow so until then good night and love you all!

November 22, 2007
He is now in the rehabilitation facility at the hospital. He will start therapy on Friday and he goes from 7:30am until 3pm. The doctors said that we can work out with him and help him with his therapy and I am really looking forward to that. Sometimes I feel so helpless but this will be a chance for us to really support Garrett and really help thim thru this. It is going to take a lot out of him and it's going to be a lot of hard work. Today the therapists came in and did some exercises with him and they bent his knees up and had his feet flat on his bed and he was able to hold one of his knees up on his own for a few seconds. Garrett is going to have good and bad days coming up as he begins the healing process and with that will come probably some realization of what his limitations are and he will be wanting to be able to do more than he can. We know it's going to take time and a lot of patience and prayers. A nurse tonight said she has had patients who waited three months to get a bed in this facility and we were so fortunate to only have to wait just one day. Garrett felt a lot better today. Last night after a really rough day he said, "I had a bad attitude today- thank goodness for new days". My family and I have SO much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving and we are definitly not taking anything for granted. Thank you all for your continued support!!

November 23, 2007
Today was a really good day. Last night Garrett didn't sleep much because to describe it the way he does "you know when a tv has the black and white fuzz, that's how it felt all thru my body". My mom said he was up all night with that feeling and an anxiety of not knowing if it was good or bad. They asked the nurse and she said if you're feeling things where you haven't been able to before then that is a good sign- it could be his nerves starting to wake up and start working again. They gave him some medicine around 3am and he was able to sleep until around 1 this afternoon. Colby and Adam brought Thanksgiving dinner to us at the hospital and we all sat at a table and ate together. Garrett got to try out his wheelchair today and he didn't mind it- he liked being able to be up. After lunch we went for a walk outside and he got some fresh air for the first time since his accident. You could tell he really enjoyed it and he looked to be doing a lot of thinking as he looked at the sky and the breezr blew by. He starts rehab at 8:30 in the morning and he wants to start documenting everything. Today while we were out he asked if I had my camera because he wants to remember everything--I now know to not go anywhere without it. He is anxious for rehab they say its going to take a lot out of him so please pray for him to be patient and mentally strong also for those that live close and would like to visit we ask that you not come until Saturday or Sunday he is going to need a lot of rest. I'm excited to update ya'll on tomorrows therapy!! Wish him luck!!

November 24, 2007
Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy started today. After physical therapy he felt pretty nautious from motion sickness I think. They put him in a chair lift to get him from bed to his chair and then they showed him how they are going to work with him so he'll be able to turn himself over on his side in bed--the back and forth and flopping around got to him a bit. Every Thursday he has a class so because yesterday was Thanksgiving he had a class today. A lady named Carol teaches it- she is the Spinal Injury Coordinator and she also worked with my grandpa when he was here after his accident a few years ago. What she teaches is facts and how to care for the injury and what to kind of expect. She said that Spinal Cord Shock lasts for 6-8 weeks so it's not until about then you start to know how much ability you'll get back. The nerves and cells need to relax and swelling has to go down. For Occupational therapy they got Garrett into a motorized wheelchair and with the little use he has of his right hand he could use the joystick enough to drive himself a little bit and turn. That brought a big smile to his face and I think will help him feel a little more independent soon. His physical therapist is a dark haired Kathy Griffin!! LOL There is a lady named Candy whose husband is a patient there and today she came up to my mom and asked if her son was the gymnist and my mom said yes. It turns out that Candy's brother was the paramedic that worked on Garrett!!! He mentioned to her that there was a young gymnest that they worked on and sent to St. Josephs so she asked the nurse and sure enough it was Garrett. We were wanting to know which station it was to thank them for the excellent treatment and fast response that Garrett received the night of his accident. Also one of the physical therapists is my good friend Maggie Germaines brother in law. It really is a small world. After a good nap and shower Garrett felt better this evening and hopefully will get some good sleep tonight- it's been a couple of days since he's gotten good rest. Tomorrow he will have modified therapy at 10-12 and then 1-3, nothing on Sunday and then they will go hard at it on Monday.

November 26, 2007
Garrett had an ultrasound on his liver today because his red blood cells were a little elevated and they wanted to make sure it was just caused by the strong antibiotics he had been on and not due to stones. He hasn't been able to sleep very well the last couple nights- he's having a hard time staying asleep. Tonight he got some sleeping medicine so he'll get some good rest for physical therapy tomorrow. It really is like a family there with all the other patients and families. There is a guy named Charlie who is 24 and another guy named Chris who is probably in his late 20's early 30's but both are really gung ho on getting better and we think they will be good for Garrett in keeping him motivated and they will all encourage each other. Charlie's injuries are a lot similar to Garretts and it's been a month since his accident and already he has shown great progress so we're hopeful it will be the same for Garrett. The nurses on Friday during physical therapy were really surprised it had only been 8 days since his accident because he's doing really good. To us it seems like it's been way more then only now 10 days since his accident but when you put it in perspective he really is doing well to already be out of surgery, ICU and into rehab. He has been so patient- he was the worst patient after his appendix in May- he was really ready to get out of the hospital. This time he said from the minute he landed on the mat he knew it was going to be a long road ahead but decided that in the big scheme of things when he looks back on it it will only have been a short time. I created a photo album titled "Bubba" with some pictures from his recent 20th birthday, him with some of his students and then one from the other night at the hospital. I'm starting to take a lot more pictures at his request and also we learned that they are totally okay with video taping the therapy sessions so I'm excited for that tomorrow- we were a little hesitant on Friday ' cause it was crowded and we were new to all the rules but tomorrow is full on therapy so I'll get it on tape!! Love you all. I hadn't written an update yesterday--it was kind of a noneventful day but it's a new week with new updates and stories so there will be updates.

November 27, 2007
Well it was Garretts first real full day of physical therapy. After his morning session he was really worn out so after a nice nap and lunch he went for round two and he felt really good. He really likes his occupational therapy because it is more geared to strengthening his upper body which is all he has at this point in time so it doesn't seem as discouraging for him it seems. We also got to see the MRI and CT scan of his injury the night of the accident and then one done the other day. He has two rods in his neck one on each side and a total of 8 screws in his neck. It's so weird because it really doesn't even look like anything is wrong. Garrett said "It doesn't look as bad as I thought it would". He was sound asleep today by 5:30 but needed to eat dinner and get ready for bed so hopefully he'll be able to get a good nights rest when it was actual bedtime. Therapy went well and we video taped it all- he was excited about that. Today he wore a some shorts that are blue, orange and white so his therapist Breanne aka Kathy Griffin asked him if they were a particular schools colors or anything and Garrett goes, "No, I got them at Bashas for three dollars." We all started laughing and Breanna was so curious to know more and how he ever thought to go to Bashas grocery store for clothes! We got that on video, it was funny. Some of the other patients asked him how he was feeling today and how therapy went and they all said the first week is hard and it takes time but it gets easier and you get stronger--they are all very encouraging and we greatly appreciate it.

November 30, 2007
Garrett is doing really good! He is starting to feel more comfortable with everyone at the hospital and is really getting into therapy. They are working on teaching him to roll over himself onto his side by using his biceps and they help him sit up and support behind him but he looks so good sitting up-"he has great posture" says the nurses. They are all happy with the progress he has been making. Tomorrow he gets to go on his first field trip to a mexican restaurant for lunch. I'm glad he's going to go because when he first got into rehab and they mentioned activities you could tell he didn't seem to keen on the idea of having people look at him in public but he's met other patients who have been amazing and encouraging with him so I think that's made all the difference. There are so many amazing stories of peoples experiences what they were doing before their accident. Last night at the hospital they had a comedy group come in and was good to hear Garrett laugh. He is really liking therapy--he's always sure to be on time and he just turns his wheelchair and away he goes down the hallway and thru the double doors. When he's doing an exercise and they tell him to do that exercise two more times he says he'll do three. Today Katrina, one of his physical therapists, asked him if she were to say four more times would you say I'll do five..Garrett said probably. That is just the attitude he has. He is so determined and knows he needs to work hard and he is all in. The hospital food is terrible so we've been spoiling him a little bit but he said he's going to be in there awhile so he just needs to get used to it. He's excited because he is going to get a massage on Monday and can't wait for that. I will add some pictures of him sitting up this weekend and some pictures we've taken from therapy. Still no movement or feeling in his lower body but amazingly enough it's only been two weeks and one day since the accident. Colby's boyfriend saw him today and was really surprised to see what progress he has made with his arm movement--where before he'd lift his arm up and his hand would just flop in his face and now he can hold his arm up for a few seconds...this is his first week of therapy and only time will tell!!!

December 3, 2007
Garrett did so good in therapy!!!! Friday they helped him sit up and at Katrina set behind him for support. They put his legs in the butterfly position and then put his hands under his legs so he could use his biceps to hold himself up and he did!! He was able to find his balance and sit there on his own strength for a little bit- Katrina totally took her arms and hands off him!!! They taught him how to protect himself if he were to sit up and fall back how to catch himself with his hands and arms. He's been getting fevers at night and their not sure why because all of his blood work and other tests have come back clear. He's been saying that his legs feel like they are on fire especially at night so that may be it if his cells are starting to wake up his body may be reacting. Nobody really knows but they are giving him medicine for his legs and he slept really good last night my mom said. Then yesterday (Saturday) we were eating pizza with another family there and Garrett was sitting in his chair and when we looked over he had brought his arm up and was rubbing his nose and his chin 'cause it itched!! That was a first for him to have enough strength and control in his arm to keep it up and with his lower arm get his itches himself!!!! We were so excited!! We went outside again yesterday after it rained and it was kind of cold outside but Garrett loved it- he said it felt really good. He's able to stand being in his chair a lot longer and his neck doesn't hurt as much. He's the greatest kid!! I love being around him!!! The schedule for Garrett in rehab is 8-10 weeks. Every week they do a progress report to check status so it could be longer it could be shorter and then once he's out he will do outpatient rehab.

I thought I'd include this update, too, about baby boy.
Your baby weighs 5 ounces now (about as much as a turnip), and he's around 5 inches long. The umbilical cord, his lifeline to the placenta, is growing stronger and thicker. Your baby can move his joints, and his skeleton — until now, rubbery cartilage — is starting to harden into bone. Some of it will remain cartilage for years after he's born. A newborn's skeleton has 300 parts (a combination of bone and cartilage). As your child grows, some of these parts harden and fuse together. By the time your baby reaches adulthood, he'll have just 206 bones.
I have another ultrasound scheduled for the beginning of January and a Dr.'s appointment week after next. I've still been having some bleeding (maybe that's too much info for you), but I figure that means what's inside is getting smaller. Hopefully. The Dr. said last appt. she was concerned because the bleed hadn't gotten any smaller, but as long as it didn't get bigger we won't have to get too worried.

And, one more. I've finally started my laundry for the day. Woopee!

Late Night Hangover

Productivity today at our house has been pretty low today. After a day of hootin' and fluffin' yesterday I had everything cleaned up and since Thursday mornings I don't have to drive carpool it was a pajama morning. My kids think it's a huge treat to stay in their PJs since that is the one thing I can guarantee will get done and stay done (usually) so we usually get dressed early. I should have done laundry this morning, but I was up WAY too late to be that together and motivated. I hosted our bi-monthly Family History Club last night and after finishing a cute crafty Christmas project, I got to sleep at close to 3am. I had a huge headache the minute I woke up this morning since this old body obviously needs more than four hours of sleep. SOOO, this morning the boys and I played cars and they wanted to watch Harry Potter. HUGE mistake for me since I couldn't stay awake for two hours of "Leviosum" charms and such. I dozed in and out for the couple of hours. Caylee came home at some point and the kids found the leftover pumpkin chocolate chip muffins and there were about five toy bins dumped out in the toy bin. So, clean-up has been a pretty big focus of the afternoon's activities.

And since the wonderful Christmas season is upon us, I thought I'd share some of our holiday preparations. This really is my favorite time of the year. I think more because of all the extras than the actual shopping and wrapping and receiving. I like the decorating (even though Saturday our house REALLY looked like a hurricane of Christmas crap had hit our house) and the trips to Michael's Craft Store to boost extra nooks and crannies with holiday cheer. I am excited to make our Christmas cards (not so much about getting a good Christmas picture of all of us), and I can't wait to start delivering the goodies to our close friends and family. I check my mail for new Christmas cards and am thrilled when there's a letter or update WITH a picture. Does it get much better than all that? Oh no, it's better than all that. Cuz, yeah, there's hot chocolate, Christmas lights, nightly Christmas stories, turning on the fireplace, the end of soccer season, cooler weather, the cousin's party, ward parties, work parties, surprises, and anonymous gift-giving.

Monday night the kids helped Tyler put up phase 2 of 3 for the outside Christmas lights. They were really excited, especially Kenzie, to help Tyler plug in all the extras. This year we have the hall of light-sicles in our entry way which looks really awesome. I'll take pictures when phase 3 is complete (only Mackenzie and Tyler get to know what that is and when it will take place.) The kids do the important jobs like cover the wires with rocks and throw away the boxes and they love it! He's SUCH a good dad with tons of patience to take on such a huge project like that with the kids.

Here's a few pictures of the things I have made so far for this season. I made the heinous ornaments for an ornament exhange party. I had a different vision for them, but they didn't turn in so cute. I beaded around the middle and added the "squanto" (poinsetta) flowers. The Christmas tags are for the 12 days of Christmas later this month and they turned out cuter than I planned. And, I actually baked some pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. Yeah, made those suckers and didn't buy them. That was a huge Christmas gift to those who got them (Tyler's home teaching families and our kids!) They kinda look like big piles of poo in the cupcake wrappers, but they're good. AND, I'll confess, really easy to bake. But still, I'm tootin' my horn.

And here's some of my decking the halls. I am a little addicted to snowmen as they're pretty much the cutest Christmas decoration and am happy to have branched from one niche to the top of my kitchen cupboards. You can't really tell in the pics, but there's lights and it makes the house all glow-y when I turn off the main lights at night, but leave the Christmas lights on. I LOVE that part of Christmas.
My Michael's fettish has manifested itself this year in the fake flower department for my empty vases and baskets.

And here's the mantle which I would like to turn into my Santa spot. I do have a hard time finding cute enough Santas, though, compared to all the cute snowman. Oh well.

The first thing I do, though, even before the tree (which has yet to be finished) is the shelf with the nativities. I really admire some of the beautiful hand-crafted creches that are available, but for the most part we have little mini collections. And several of those have suffered casualties. My precious moments (it's glass from our first Christmas together) one has lost all the wise men (they were decapitated last year . . . it was very tragic.) My mother-in-law gave us this cute plastic precious moments one with a stable and everything and since pulling it out Saturday we have lost Mary, Jesus, the manger, an a bale of hay. We still have Joseph and a shepherd and two of the three sheep. Oh well, I'm sure they'll turn up in August or something.

Anyway, it's been fun. I can't believe I've wasted (pretty much) an entire day. C'est la vie or Tis the Season or something.

Monday, December 3, 2007

WHOA! Where'd the week go?

So, I owe a post OR FOUR-ish. I can't believe it's been a week since I wrote last! Really, there's been a lot going on, which, I suppose, is WHY I haven't been writing too much. Considering it's been a week since my last post, let me quote the immortal words of my friend Terry and I'll "BACK THAT TRAIN UP!"

Yesterday was our typical Sunday morning routine. We got up late, hadn't done all the Saturday-special-day-to-get-ready-for-Sunday stuff, and ended up at church a little late. We had fast and testimony meeting, which I usually enjoy, but in December we do testimonies through music which ROCKS. I mean, as much as church hymns and Christmas carols can rock in a chapel (Mormon chapel that is, not Southern Baptist chapel). Afterwards I headed to my sister's ward's Relief Society meeting since Erin was teaching and I wanted to hear what she had to teach a tad bit more than the Visiting Teaching Meeting we were having in our own ward's Relief Society. Plus, Erin always sweats teaching and she shouldn't. She did a great job, kept it real, had a good balance of teaching strategies, etc. She talked about resolutions and goals, which got me thinking about the month, etc. and I figured I better get my act together. I kept thinking during the lesson to give ourselves credit for what we DO accomplish and not spend time beating up on ourselves for what we DON'T accomplish. In light of that thought, I'll share what I did do this past week, but probably won't remember all the stuff I didn't get to or divulge all the breakdowns and screaming fits (I mean, there's A LOT more of that to write about and I already know this will be excedingly long with just the good stuff.)

After church I came back to our building for tithing settlement where we waited for an hour to get in to the bishop. That's a little like hell with so many little kids who are hungry, whiney, and tired of being at church. Anyway, nobody can say we kept him off his schedule since we were in and out and in our car in about 8 minutes. Once the kids ate and were ALL napping (including Tyler) I decked our halls. I really busted out a lot of decorating and picked up quite a lot of our crap that had been dumped amidst the Christmas bins and tubs of decorations. By the time everyone got up we put our tree up and headed over to Tyler's folks' house. I'm singing in their ward on Dec. 16th (I think that means I am missing our ward's program), so we practiced and hung out. When we got home I fired up the gas fireplace and we read our Christmas story and watched the Christmas devotional. I went to bed with visions of more decorating I wanted to finish and all my lists of to-do stuff. I love the holidays.

The best part of Saturday was having the soccer game cancelled Saturday morning since the fields were too wet. Tyler pulled in my Christmas bins and I started unpacking all the stuff. Tyler began to put in a ceiling fan for the boys's room that we'v had for pert-near a year. We were being all industrious and stuff when BAM! I hear Tyler jump off the ladder and hollar. Uh, yeah, apparantly he crossed some wires and we had a mild explosion. We then started calling around for some electrical PROFESSIONAL help. I don't know why we even ever try that stuff on our own. We are not handy. Anyway, I had to stop mid-mess and went shopping with my sister and mom to pick out outfits for our kids from Grandma Garrard. Stacy was supposed to come with us, but Zoee got sick, which was a bummer. Our shopping trip was successful, but this is typical of our shopping experiences: I had my four outfits picked out in about 20 minutes and Erin's took the last 50 minutes of our stay at Kohl's. The kids should all be thrilled with what they get, and I think my mom felt good having it checked off her to-do list. After I picked up Caylee from a birthday party we gals all headed to Cafe Rio. Yes, it was my 2nd time this week, which is pretty much my average of preference. Once home Tyler and I headed out with our friends Derrick and Sherry to the UNLV game, eating at Macayo's first. Well, having just eaten Cafe Rio I wasn't all that hungry and casually mentioned that I had just had Cafe Rio. Tyler was really funny about it. I guess we miscommunicated (shocker!) and he thought our excursion that afternoon was a strict shopping trip from 1-3. He didn't realize I was going to take such liberties as eating (even though I reminded him I AM with child and had only eaten a fritter that morning for breakfast.) He kept bringing it up that while he was slaving away with the kids, putting up Christmas lights, I was playing with my mom and sister. Waa. He wasn't really mad, but of course Derrick kept bringing it up to get a new rise out of him. Thanks Derrick.

It rained all day. I was determined to be productive despite the pajama and lounge-y weather. I HAD to visit teach (hello, end of the month) and HAD to get the toy room put back together since pulling apart piles and closets and files that had long been tucked into different nooks and crannies. I got that done, finally, and ended up making (yes, actually baking!) some pumpkin muffins and making (yes, hand-crafting) 20 ornaments for one of the annual Christmas parties I LOVE going to. My mom called last minute to find out if we wanted to go to dinner with her and my dad and fam. Uh, psh-aw, yeah. The rain had cancelled Tyler's campout (yea for me!) and we all went to Outback for some dinner. It was great fun and really nice to have some adult convo. Special shoutout to our babysitter, MaryAnn, who had all nine of our kids. The ornament party of Angela's NEVER disappoints and my crappy ornament will be the toss-away one of the year. I laughed so hard that night my cheeks hurt. I love that!

Okay, totally fun today since I found out I won my friend Chris' blog contest. Whoever says commenting on someone's blog isn't worth it should see the cool Christmas journaling class I won! I am a Chris fan, so anything she loves is gonna be awesome, and it's been cool just to start thinking about Christmas and what it means to me, what I want to gt out of it, etc. I started making a dent in the hole that is my office/closet/scrap area, but now the toy room has been quarantined. I babysat my friend's little girl this morning, since she's a good PTA mom and I am not. I gladly pay my fee every year and am willing to bring cookies to different functions (I say that even though I spaced the bringing a cake for the cake walk at the harvest festival a couple months ago.) So, I guess I am supporting the program (even if it's at someone else's school.)

I can't remember too much outstanding. I went to my old ward's book club tonight, too. I was so tired, but really ready to hang out with some cool women, so I honed in on their festivities. They shared Christmas stories and I thought about all the cool books I have sitting in the garage. I have GOT to get my holiday stuff out to decorate. Monday night we got together at Nate and Stacy's for Bachelor, even though it was over. We had a good time and I finally know what I am getting for my brother Mike. I'm excited for all the giving portion of Christmas. Before that Nate and Stac came over and had dinner with us and Jill and Ben. I can't believe Jill lives so close and we don't eat together more often!!

Yeah, since I never posted these pics, I thought I'd throw them out for your post-Thanksgiving enjoyment. We went up to Price, Utah to stay with Tyler's cousin and family. Really, they're some of my favorite people. After we finally got our car from Ford (it was done more than 3 hours after they said it would be done) we hit the road, but didn't get to Price until midnight. Thanksgiving day the kids just played outside and we hung out and cooked and snacked all day until Thanksgiving dinner.

This is Simon with Brevin. They were showing me how cold it was because their little hands were bright red. I was always hollaring for my kids to get their coats and socks and shoes on and the Krum kids acted like it wasn't 35 outside. Brrrr! Our blood is so thin.

Here's the super mom, Abby, and Eliza who are making place cards. The dads took the kids on a couple hikes/walks to keep them busy and to work up an appetite. It's nice cuz all our kids are close enough in age to play together really well. The kids watched lots of movies and we drank our fair share of hot chocolate.

The famous kiddy table.

The famous eat the pie right off the plate picture.

Friday we just hung out. Tyler took the kids on another walk/hike while I napped with Brock. I know, the sacrifices I make. We looked through the local Wal-Mart, but didn't buy anything Christmas-y. This is the first year in a long time I didn't hit up the Black Friday parties.
Saturday we headed up to the mountains to cut down a real live Christmas tree for John and Abby. I will say this. We are city folk and our tree is fake and pre-lit, JUST MY STYLE! As we were hiking up the mountain, I had Caylee and Brevin. The surroundings were beautiful and I was trying to convince them of that, but Caylee was howling and crying things like, "I am only grateful for my friends and family, not this outdoors . . . I just don't understand why they can't get they're Christmas tree in their garage like everyone else." Too funny. Here's a couple pics:


The reservoir was frozen enough to walk on it. I am freezing my large boo-tay off and Tyler's wearing flip flops on ice. I stayed in the car and watched a movie. Again. City people!

Coming down the mountain we stopped to look at the creek. Well, Tyler looked, I was watching the movie. He loves that kind of stuff. As we were driving home Sunday he asked if I could ever live in a town like Price. I enthusiastically said, "No. Way." He shakes his head and answered, "Cuz, I totally could. It would kill you, huh?" Pretty much buck-o!

Hot cocoa and cinnamon rolls. Yummy!

It was a great trip, though, and my kids keep talking about being in Price, Utah.
FINALLY! I know, seriously, how long is this post? We celebrate Thanksgiving with the Barlow-side the Sunday before Thanksgiving and it was, as always, YUM-MY. Jared and Mindie hosted and Grandma Dodie always passes out ornaments and (this year, for surprise) we got homemade Christmas pillowcases. SUCH a fun tradition.

Brevin, Brock, Hayden, and Conner

Kenzie, Owen, Lizzie, and Caylee
Really, we had a great holiday and I am looking forward to all this hustle and bustle this next few weeks. I have TONS to do as I haven't done much, but I am looking forward to every minute of it. Until later when I have an hour or more to blog.