Sunday, July 31, 2011


On a Sunday afternoon we decided a walk would be a good idea. So we decided to head toward the elementary school playground.

Remember we live in Utah?
Remember it's July?
Remember it was afternoon?
OK. Good.

By the time we got to the school (no farther than a city block from our house) I was certain we'd all die from dehydration.

That might be why my mind's eye kept flashing images like this:
egyptian dessert, oasis Siwa, Egypt nearr the border to Libya

When really it looked like this:

We didn't take anything fun with us since I sortof counted on the playground being the fun part, but before long Tommy was bored of the child treadmill.

Which is when he started begging for a "ball? ball? ball!"

Miraculously in the middle of the dreaded dessert wasteland, we found......
A BALL!!!!

It was love at first sight. Tommy and Josh ran toward the ball across the open meadow while that one song by Tchaikovski played in my head.

Somehow Josh missed the goal and Tommy go to the ball before him.

Josh was bitterly disappointed when he realized that Tommy didn't want to play soccer, he just wanted to rest.

So we went home all red-faced and dehydrated.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Seems fair

Sometimes I know about how life isn't fair.

Bad things happen to good people.
Faithful people have the biggest worries.
Parking spots closest to the grocery store are snatched by someone who is neither in a hurry nor as large as a whale.

But every now and then, I remember that life is incredibly, painfully fair.

I taught my child to make an elephant sound because I thought it was so funny, and when he was talking to his daddy on the phone they reviewed all the sounds that things make. After Josh ran out of things to ask Tommy, he said "What does mommy say?" Tommy sucked in the biggest breath he's ever taken, and elephant trumpeted louder and longer than he ever has. Seems fair.

Josh and I finally got addicted to 24 and they stopped putting the first 4 episodes of each season on Netflix. We're only like 20,000 cell phone sizes behind. Seems fair.

Last night after we went to the pool I slept with my hair up and wet so it could just be curly and I wouldn't have to do it today. I already knew I wouldn't have time to get ready this morning because it's just one of those busy days.
Seems fair.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Roughin' It

Growing up my family didn't travel, we camped.

And we didn't just camp, we hard-core roughin'-it camped.

At Alexander Lake. If you've been reading here long I'm sure you've been subjected to my love the lake. Where you hike your water in, you pee in the bushes and you swim with the fishes (and probably leeches and whatnot too).

At Alexander Lake it is quiet (sometimes) and dangerous (usually) and full of animals and creatures and mysteries.

This year instead of going to the lake, we went to Heber Valley Camp where it is noisy (as most places my happy family of 25 enter are), and populated, with running water and an ice machine in the pavilion.

When I went to Girl's Camp (our church's version of Scout Camp for girls) as a 12 year old I learned that some people camp in places with bathrooms. And some people *cough*SisterGurney*cough* bring battery powered curling irons and makeup camping.

But never before have I camped in a place as nice as most hotels I stay in.

We had cabins, tables, running water, power, a sandbox AND a campfire.

Josh and Tommy held hands for 24 hours straight. These boys simply love each other.

And these boys whittled for more hours than I can count.

At the sandbox Kate & Rand built this totally awesome (and HUGE!) birthday cake for Lucy.

Lucy just kept licking her lips while we sang "Happy to me!!!!"

Then the children totally demolished the coolness in about 2 seconds. 
But the best part about camping in large groups (which include your parents) is that other people cook for you. 

I think I could get used to camping in style.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pregnancy Benefits

There are a few things which pregnancy totally ruins.

Like food. Clothing. Moving around.

But every now and then you get some unexpected perk of pregnancy and it makes you love your unborn child in a whole new way.

Like the "expectant mothers" parking stall at Dr. Man's office. PERK!
or the fact that your waddling makes other people smile at you and open your door. PERK!
or the stretchy pants. PERK!

This weekend while we were off camping there was a Challenge Course. Since it had to do with being harnessed and climbing up a big pole, I was terrified of it.

Since I have a belly the size of a small planet, I wasn't even allowed to decide whether or not I could do it. I was simply banned. You know, because I am expecting.

Josh is expecting too, but fortunately he wasn't banned from "all the fun". He was stoked. Somehow the idea of climbing up a big pole, walking across a small pole (with nothing to hold on to) and jumping off a platform at the end of it equals "all the fun!" to him.

Here's the weird thing - EVERYBODY in my family did it. Except my mother (whose "terrification of heights" gene I inherited) and the children 5 years younger than the age they thought would do it.

My 7 & 9 & 11 year old nephews did it. All 4 of them.

You know, because they're awesome. And maybe a little bit because they're too young to know how scary that is.

My poor mother took all the fear they should've felt and added her own to it and quadrupled it for good measure while they were up there dangling from nothing but a string. She was relieved when they came back alive.

For the kids who were too small for such an adventure, they harnessed them up and swung them from the pole.

Which they LOVED because it was "even higher than Poppy's swing!"

Anyway, since even the 3 year old wasn't too chicken to participate, I was glad I didn't have to admit that I was too chicken. Way too chicken. Glad that NBE gives me a automatic out. PERK!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Family Pictures

I could tell you horror stories about this year's family pictures.

But instead I'll just let you look at how happy my little family is (right in the middle - the ones that look like us) and let you make some assumptions.

At one point I told Tommy to smile or I'd string him up by his toes. And I have rules about not lying to babies.....

Also, Josh has a thing about "helping me hold the baby".

I bet you wish you could see my mother's "family picture" wall don't you?


This week my brother and his family came to visit from Washington. When the only "far away" family visits, it means party all week long. 

That's why we spent a LOT of time in Lindon at my parents' house partying. 

That's where Tommy learned how to like swinging. 

He liked it once or twice back when he was like 6 months old, but since then he has been not so great with the "hold on" concept and really bad at the "like it" concept. Swinging usually results in tantrums that only abandonment (i.e. me leaving the room...) can cause.

But once he figured out that all the cool kids (i.e. his cousins) were liking it, he opted to hold on and like it too. 

Which makes Josh unreasonably happy.

And when Josh is unreasonably happy, EVERYBODY is unreasonably happy.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


There is a fly in my house.

I do not own a flyswatter. That isn't really a shame since I am also way too slow to properly operate a flyswatter. My mom is the master of flyswatting.

This fly has been here for like 4 days. I thought they only lived for 2?

He's getting more comfortable, crawling around on my fingers while I type until I stand up and violently shake my arm (and other attached jiggly body parts) when he finally gives up and begins to circle my head.

I hate this fly. With a firey burning passion.

Like Voldemort hates Harry.

There, now aren't you glad you read my blog?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Then & Now

5 years ago today, I couldn't stand up like a normal person. Then I blamed the corset, now I blame NBE (who is currently going by "Nick"). 

5 years ago today, Josh was always trying to kiss me. Then it was because he loved me, now it's because of habit.

5 years ago today, we were eating cake. Then it was because we were getting married and people were watching, now it's because we're hungry and nobody can see us.

5 years ago today, I was surrounded by little boys. Then it was because my siblings didn't know about baby girls, now it's because Josh & I don't know about baby girls.

5 years ago today, the grass was green, the sun was shining, the birds were singing and we wondered where we'd be in 5 years. I guess that hasn't really changed.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dear I Heart Faces,

Wouldn't it be cool if you used this adorable picture I took while we were camping and used it for one of your "fix it up" challenges so I could get an awesome version to put on my wall?

I agree.


Hardly Working

You know that thing old men say to you when they find you loitering the hallways at church? That thing about working hard or hardly workin'?

Well Josh comes home beat every single day. He's tired, he's had it, and he just wants to take a nap. You know....because he's working hard.

But every now and then, I see him at work.

And I gotta say.....I'm with the old men on this one.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Too Lazy For a Bath

Sometimes we ride our bikes to Yogi Berry because we're too lazy for a bath.

Which is where we eat ice cream instead of dinner. 
Tommy says "More more MO!!!"
Mommy says "mine mine mine!"
But on the way home we get distracted by a park.

So when we get home we still have to take a bath.

Plan sorta broke down, didn't it?

Saturday, July 16, 2011


At night Tommy and I read stories in bed. 

Tommy's in charge of animal sounds (rrrrraawwwwwrrr!!!!), and I'm the boss of page turning.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Memories of Millcreek

After Josh and I got married we rented this old house from this old couple who lived in Millcreek.

Deal & LaMat (those are seriously their names), were serving a mission for the LDS Church somewhere in South Africa. While they lived under mosquito nets and hiked for clean water, we whined about washing dishes by hand and played badminton in their backyard.

I think that's called the circle of life.

Today we found ourselves near "our old neighborhood" and Tommy and I wandered the streets looking for "our old house".

I was surprised by how much I'd forgotten, and how much I never knew.

The people on the corner have the most enormously beautiful shade tree on the whole street. We never even met the Corner People. And until today I couldn't have told you if they even had grass much less any other living thing in their backyard.

The people 2 houses down have a cat at least 2 times larger than our current neighbors dog. I think it might have been a bobcat.

The next door neighbors still have grown children coming and going like their parents run a shopping mall - or a drug house. Whatever. (Hi Marchants!)

Here's what's surprising to me: we lived there for a year and a half and I think today was the first time I walked down the street that leads to ours.

In our current neighborhood I can tell you which houses have the biggest shadiest trees, where the water pools in the gutters and where every utility cover is along the whole street. That's because in our current neighborhood Tommy and I regularly go on walks and these are the important things to him.

In the old house the important thing was where I kept the car keys. There was nothing important about the neighborhood.

We had lived there for just a couple of months when our neighbor asked me why we were never outside. I was taken aback (that's right - aback) and stammered some lame answer about being "really busy". It took me days to realize that when you move into a neighborhood when you're the only non-retired folks, you stand out. Your lack of flowers, the slightly less-green shade of your lawn, the fact that you don't sit on your front porch in the evenings to watch the "traffic". (On a street only 5 houses long, the single car passing by every 45 minutes can hardly be called traffic.) We were certainly odd in that neighborhood.

We loved our neighbors, we loved the people on the street, we loved the ward, and Josh even challenged the kids down the street (and the only other people on the block less than 50 years old) to the biggest baddest waterfight there ever was. But we simply didn't know the neighborhood well. We knew next-to-nothing about the people around us. So although we thought they were the coolest old people we knew, I can hardly remember their names now.

When we first moved into that house I dreamt of bringing our first baby home there. I could hardly wait to lay on the front lawn with my newborn child and watch the "traffic" go by on our slightly less-green lawn. I imagined rocking him to sleep in the bedroom connected to ours. I worried about the noise he'd make during church. I had no idea my dream would wait until long after we left that house.

I love our neighborhood now. I love our neighbors especially. But today I sortof miss Millcreek.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Knock Knock

When Tommy wakes up from his nap (or first thing in the morning), he goes to his door and knocks.

He has usually made some noise by then, so I'm waiting just outside the door to knock back. He knocks, I knock, he knocks and then I open the door to see his smiling face and he runs into my arms. I pick him up, he wraps his arms around my neck and rubs and pats my back and I do the same to him.

Usually I carry him back into his room and we sit in the rocking chair for a few minutes to talk about whether or not he "had a good snoozin'?"

He usually did. But we have an unspoken agreement that we don't really need to say any other words during our cuddle time so he doesn't answer verbally. Just with a quiet pat on the back.

He started this "I'm dong sleeping" routine 30 minutes into his nap today. He's whining and crying at the door knocking our secret knock every 3 or 4 minutes and I'm boycotting his decision to end nap time so early.

But I love the routine so much that I almost wish I could go do the routine, read another story and have 2 naps this afternoon. But only almost.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Channeling My Inner Rachel

Rachel is a friend of mine. She reads more books in a month than I do in a year. And it's just because she likes it.

When you ask her what she's currently reading she usually lists at least 3 books. Then tells you about "But I can't wait to start....." and lists 3 or 4 more which she just bought and put on her "to read next" shelf in her beautiful home.

When you ask her if she saw So You Think You Can Dance last night, she says "no, but I read ______" and it's always true. She reads instead of watching things. She reads instead of playing things. I'm willing to bet that she reads while she eats too. But my favorite is that she reads in nature. She reads while her husband hunts and fishes. She reads on the boat and in the trailer. She reads under trees and on mountain tops.

That's why I took this picture while we were camping.

Because when you're all Rachel-y you should probably document it. Sometimes the more like Rachel you can feel, the better.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Da Belly: 23 Weeks

You want the terrible truth about 23 weeks? Really? The honest-to-goodness no-holds-barred truth? 

23 weeks is mostly awesome, except for the shrunken bladder syndrome. I'm tired, I'd like to take a nap, and  I don't always want to eat what's in my fridge. However, I'm capable of staying awake all day, and able to go far more than 24 hours without puking, so I really have no room to complain. 

NBE however, has PLENTY of room to complain or do whatever else he'd like to do. I've made sure to expand my belly at a record-breaking rate just so he doesn't get too squishy in there. I'd hate for him to be uncomfortable you know....

Part of the reason we chose to camp at Affleck Park this year was the bathrooms. When you pee 9,000 times a day you don't want it to be on the ground. But in the middle of the night, the hike to the bathroom seems hardly worth it, because the bushes are much much closer. That's the honest-to-goodness truth. 

Also the night that Tommy slept with us he did an awful lot of kicking me "ugh - right in the baby!" and the baby did an awful lot of kicking me right anywhere he wanted. I think I felt NBE more times in one night than I felt Tommy through the entire pregnancy. 

He's calmed down since then and I feel him maybe only once a day, but that's still WAY more than Tommy. Which is fine by me. This NBE and I are gonna be friends. I can feel it already.

Affleck Park

Here's what you need to know about camping with Tommy.

His favorite hobby is throwing rocks into bodies of water that will go "splash".

Rocks are most often tiny pieces of gravel. Bodies of water that go "splash" are often as small as 3 drips.

And he can't miss even one opportunity.

Also he is good at helping set up the tent.

Until he realizes there are some rocks he hasn't picked up yet.

We all had our first priorities upon arriving at our campsite. My top priority had to do with Josh lighting our dinner on fire so we could eat it right away. Tommy's top priority had to do with picking up the (cold) coals from the fire before ours and rubbing them all over his face.

We played games and read books (me) and went for walks and licked the dirt (Tommy) and ate food and tickle tortured our child (Josh) and it was a beautiful thing.

I like being the 3 of us dirty and stinky and uncivilized. It suits us.


The first night Tommy wasn't thrilled about going to bed. He stayed awake (and quiet) for nearly an hour before Josh dared to check on him, and found him standing in the pack-n-play staring at the window in the tent as if he was just waiting for someone to come and play with him. When Josh pulled a fast one and ran the other way Tommy was MAD. By the time we went to bed we were done listening to him whine and whimper and just let him sleep with us in our sleeping bag. Which he did.
All. Night. Long.

The next day the Hales showed up bringing cold water (have you ever noticed how desperately you need cold water while camping? No? Just me?) and entertainment for Tommy.

We spent the day playing more games, eating more food, and telling the children to "Stay away from that fire!!!!"

Spencer spent his entire night as master of the fire because he felt some need to burn a week's supply of wood in 24 hours. Which he probably did.


Tommy was apparently tired enough not to care where he slept that night, and he went down just beautifully sleeping for 12 hours!!!

If it wasn't for the wicked violent rainstorm in the middle of the night, Josh and I might have slept at least 3 hours in a row which would've been some kind of record - but it did rain, enormous LOUD drops of rain. It was beautiful. And wet. Which made for a perfectly soggy cool mountain morning. Perfect for pancakes and MORE FIRE!!! (insert Tim Allen man-grunt here)

Tommy sat reverently on the picnic table and folded his arms while we cleaned things up. Oh wait, no. That's not what happened at all. But you would never believe that, because who is going to side with me against a face like this?

Sunday morning we packed everything up (in record time!) and raced home for church.

I think we all wished we had just one more day, reminding Josh and I that a 3-day work week (as a nurse) just might be the greatest invention of all time.

[chants: school is worth it. school is worth it. school is worth it.]
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