Monday, December 31, 2012


Repition is sortof a given when you're LDS.

We do a lot of stuff a lot of times in hopes that eventually we'll learn what we're supposed to. We believe (not doctrine, just common experience) that the same story or experience will be different at different times in your life. So we do things over and over and over again. The same stories, the same commandments, the same meetings on the same topics. We listen, process and repeat.

When we went to our new ward for the first time we were excited and happy to see some wisdom and maturity in the ward. We were confident we would be sent to nursery with the other young children who can't sit through 3 whole hours of meetings.

That's why I was so confused when Brother Beck said "We'd like to call you to serve as the secretary...." and I thought Nursery has a secretary in this ward? Awesome! " the Relief Society."

I stammered some kind of "yeah sure, I think I can do that." response and stumbled out of the meeting in a stupor. I texted Josh whose immediate response was "awesome! when are we moving?"

In our last neighborhood I was lucky enough to serve as the Relief Society Secretary for 3 years and 9 different sisters as presidency members. I loved it and I loved the sisters I served with and each time there was a change in the presidency I was excited for the new sisters I would get to know better and I especially LOVED the opportunity to do something I was good at for church.

A dear friend of mine taught me about a time in her life that she and her husband each had multiple demanding callings. But it was also a time in their lives that they were asking for a lot from their heavenly father. They needed miracles in their life and were thankful that they could show their willingness to serve and attempt to repay the debt they felt they owed for their personal miracles.

When I got the call (and all through that calling) I felt much the same way. The type of miracles I needed changed significantly through the 3 years I served, (starting with financial needs, ending with spiritual needs) but I never quite felt like I was going to be OK without a lot of significant help from my Heavenly Father. I was thankful to prove my willingness to work and to sacrifice. To earn my blessings in a way. (Not that I think you earn blessings....I don't believe that....)

Anyway, my need for help hasn't diminished at all, so I am thankful again to have the opportunity to give my time and talents in church service. And I'm certain there are things I still need to learn from this position. A lot of things.

But at the same time: again?!?!

Sunday, December 30, 2012


The Holidays around here were much like any other.

Christmas Music, parties, staying out late, eating rich sodium-packed food, visiting friends and family, and spending all kinds of time running around doing things we don't have time for.

I really loved it this year.

We had a lean Christmas present-wise in our own family. I did some shopping back in September and wrapped things right away. I sortof forgot what we had and as Christmas drew nearer I just kept looking at the pile thinking "we have plenty!" But on Christmas morning it seemed like all we had was a bunch of a DI books and tradition presents. (PJs, Fontanini, etc.)

Fortunately the Grandmas stepped in for my kids big time. Every grandma hit the perfect gift present out of the park this year and Tommy and John were thrilled with what they got. From Grandma Fugal a Sandra Boynton book filled with silly songs (and a CD to match). From Grandma Egbert a homemade puzzle of our family picture. From Grandma Reilley a CTR Hero Cape and book about Book of Mormon heros.

But more than that we were happy with what we did.

We spent Christmas Eve at my mom's house. Traditional soup dinner, live nativity, gift exchange, pinata, and Santa's Elves delivered PJs.

Christmas morning after enjoying our gifts and opening time together we headed out on the snowy roads to enjoy some time with family. 

We visited people and stayed long enough to chat, but still got home early enough for Josh to go to work. 

We have lovely family and it is always fun to visit them. 

But, to work Josh went as soon as we got home. I'll be calling that lovely when the paycheck comes.....

The rest of the week Josh worked and I put away Christmas. I get so tired of finding Christmas tree decorations all over the house that I just can't put it away fast enough. Finding a new home for the new stuff and throwing out the trash is stupidly gratifying for me.

I hope your Christmas was just as good as ours.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Dreams

I'm listening to Josh do the dishes while Tommy shouts at me from the bathroom "I'm all dooooo-oooonnne!" then he gets distracted by one of the million Christmas songs we taught him in various moments of foolishness.

"Up on the house top click click click! it's about....what's it about mom? comes Santa Clause......down with the chimney........tick tock tick tock.......HEEEELP! I'm all dooo-oonnnne!"

It's almost that game where you word link a bunch of songs together - only not quite as cool as that since it's really just ADD caroling.

Which brings me to my Christmas wishes.

  • I hope Josh keeps doing the dishes. Forever.
  • And Tommy keeps singing. Until I get annoyed and turn on music. Then I hope he sits down and folds his arms and listens to the lovely music quietly.
  • I hope John avoids peanuts all day today. (Did I tell you about how he's allergic to peanuts and on Thanksgiving an unknowing aunt shared her peanut butter pie with him? If you were wondering what's open at 6pm on Thanksgiving Day, it's just one Walgreens in SOUTH Provo. None of the (6) Walgreens or Rite Aids between here and there. Just that one. Also we confirmed what we already knew, Josh is good in emergencies and I am a freakin' basket case.)
  • I hope the snow doesn't stop coming. Until April. Because it's magical. And Tommy keeps staring at the window. 
  • I hope I really don't have to go to the grocery store until after New Years...I think that's possible, but I'm not entirely sure - which probably means it isn't at all possible.
  • I hope there are plenty of presents under the tree tomorrow (there are) and that my kids are enchanted and in love and GRATEFUL. Because we have been given much.

Friday, December 21, 2012


I grew up reasonably close to a small grocery store, Allen's.

And for a good part of my childhood we lived with my dad's parents.

Living at Grandma and Grandpa's house was always a busy time. The cousins were always around, and since I was the 4th child, there were plenty of older cousins hanging around for me to play with too. This was great news for me since it meant I was (in my head) automatically inducted into the "older and wiser" club. This was probably not great news for my older and wiser siblings and cousins as it meant they were automatically inducted into the "babysitter and annoyed about it" club.

I never really knew that I couldn't do the things they could do, and it certainly never occurred to me that I could get into any trouble following them around. Until the day we all rode our bikes (and various other vehicles, scooters, big wheels, I think someone took the pogo stick....) to Allen's without telling my parents. Some other parents may have known about it, but my mom didn't know about it and certainly didn't know I was going unaccompanied.

Turns out I was in BIIIIG trouble when I got home.

But pretending we were going to Allen's was not at all off limits.

While we were driving my younger brother Nate and I would lay down in the floor space of the "way back" in the station wagon and pull the cover down over us and use our spookiest voices to scare my mom. "Aaaaaamy and Naaaaathan are MIIIIIISSSSSSSSING" and my mom ever The Saint for playing along would "panic" and ask "The Ghost in the Back Seat" where we were. We'd answer "Amy and Nathan are gooooone to Allen's." And she'd proceed to remind us that if we didn't get our buns back in the car to get ready for church we were gonna be in big trouble.

So we did. We magically reappeared in the backseat having "found" something awesome that only could have come from Allen's.

Tommy and Josh have been playing a lot of hide and seek lately, and every chance he gets Tommy tells me "close your EYES mom!" "now COUNT mom!" so I count to 10 and he runs to the nearest closet, and giggles uncontrollably, while I narrate my search. "Is Tommy under the desk? noooooo..... [giggle giggle giggle]  is Tommy behind the chair? nooooo.... [snort snort laugh] is Tommy standing in the middle of the room? noooooo [don't forget about me mom!] is Tommy in the closet? HEY!!!! THERE YOU ARE!" Then it's my turn and he tells me where to hide while he counts. Best hide & seek ever.

At least until his ghost starts telling me "Tommy & John are gone to Allen's".

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I hear that shoplifting for some people is thrilling and exciting and fun and even necessary (Alladin, I'm talkin' to you) but for me it isn't any of those. It's just something that I do sometimes...

That's not really true. 


Earlier this week I dragged my snot-nosed pajama-clad blanket-wrapped kids to the grocery store because they wouldn't eat anything we had no juice and we had gone through ALL FOUR of my emergency tissue boxes and we were out of medicine and everybody was ill. 

So there I was attempting to laugh at my pathetic grocery lineup (orange juice, 9 boxes of puffs plus, children's ibuprofen, 3 boxes of airborne, and a lindor truffle) with the checker at Macey's. So busy focusing on recognizing that this was ridiculous that I didn't recognize that giant 12 pack of paper towels under my cart. And neither did he. 

And when I got out to my car and put it in, I thought "I bet I didn't pay for that...I don't remember seeing him scan it" But then I remembered my snot-nosed pajama-clad blanket-wrapped sick children already buckled in. (not without effort) And I looked at the LOOOOONG walk through the snow/slush/rain back to the store, and I threw the paper towels in my car and came home. 

The paper towels are still in my car so I can drag them back into the store the next time I go and pay for them. 

Shoplifting is sortof a pain in the butt. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Things I've Googled in the last 48 hours

Wanna play "what have you googled"?
  • Where do boogers come from?
  • How to get rid of weevil (don't do this, it ruins your testimony of food storage)
  • What do weevil eat (don't do this, it's gross....and fascinating)
  • Utah county cheap date ideas
  • Various ultra top secret gift searches
  • Real mistletoe
  • How to use an epi pen
  • NAET practitioner
  • What is a person-to-person allergy?
  • Places to stay near yellowstone
  • Nyquil for kids
Now you go. What have you googled (or binged...I'm an equal opportunity searcher) in the last week?

Monday, December 17, 2012


The first week we lived here, I happened to drive somewhere right when high school was getting out and found myself hyperventilating a little bit as I watched all of the teenagers walking (and driving) around after school. High School was not the peak of my personal growth (I hope!) and it weirded me out to be back there for the first time since I graduated. I saw my high school self the way other adults probably did. Annoying, full of it, generally disrespectful and not-at-all put together.

High school flash backs is only one of the reasons moving home is trippy.

Last night at my ward's book group one of the others attending said "what's your maiden name?"
"Fugal" I told her hesitantly. Not knowing which Fugals she knew. There are a lot of us around here....
"I KNEW it!"
"Your profile. I can totally see that you're a Fugal."
She isn't the first to see the Fugal all over my face. Apparently I am the most Fugaly looking Fugal on the planet. Perfect strangers have come up to me more than once and asked if I was a Fugal. And I always am. Every time.

Turns out she's a Fugal too (though she doesn't look as Fugaly as I do) and that she is the sister of the "Other Amy Fugal" (who is now not a Fugal any more than I am). Growing up we'd occasionally get mail for The Other Amy Fugal, bank statements, medical bills, all sorts of things. Not often, but every now and then. And my mom would always tell me about the Other Amy Fugal. The Other Amy also has a younger brother named Nathan. Just like me. I always wondered if the Other Amy Fugal was anything like me...I'm still wondering.

I've had all kinds of run-ins with people I used to know, or who know my family, or who we are related to.

I was scrolling through my Instagram feed one night while Josh looked over my shoulder when he suddenly shouted - hey! That's Travis! Turns out Travis works with Josh and also happens to be married to Kami who I just met through blogging over the summer but has quickly become a close friend. They just moved here (for his new job which is at the same place as Josh's new job) from Arizona and as it turns out they work together often.

An old friend from high school's father knocked on my door one day asking about my apples which were dropping into the church parking lot over our back fence. (oops!)
"Yes you're welcome to pick them (and more! please!!!), but I think you look familiar. You're Aubrie's dad aren't you?" I asked him.
I see pictures of him all the time on her blog and facebook and I feel like I know him, though we'd never met until he randomly appeared at my door.

My mom is a librarian and knows my visiting teachers (and probably half the ward) from the library.

I feel like every time I turn around I'm finding some former or familial connection with someone I just met (and like). And every time I tell Josh about it we laugh at him because he can't remember "what's that thing where family members marry each other so everybody is related more than once?" Incest my dear. And it feels like this place is full of it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


You know how old people get frustrated with their computers because "it keeps doing things and I don't know why" 
and computer programmers are all like "computers ONLY do what you tell them to. You must have told it to." 
And then the computer programmers scoff because they know that their superior intellect has won them yet another battle? 

That is how I feel with my children. I'll say something, they'll do something and I'll be frustrated. Then my mom (the computer programmer with superior intellect who never loses at anything) will come along and point out how they did exactly as instructed. 

I asked Tommy to bring me his dirty laundry so I could sort it. 

Technically he did. But clearly there were missing 1s and 0s in this operation.

John is quickly picking up the practice. His current favorite is to clear his plate.....onto the floor.

But he's so dang adorable that I simply can't help but love him while I scrape sick-nasty cheerios and bananas off the floor.

I guess I should be enjoying the fact that they obey me at all. Ever. Because there will likely come a time when they don't.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


If I had set a theme for the year back in January, it would have been wrong. Guaranteed.

I could not ever in a million years have known about the changes this year would bring. The theme of 2012 is  Change.

Change of job, moving (twice) and growing boys are just the beginning. The personal and relationship changes that have come this year are something I can't really measure or explain.

But possibly my favorite change of the year is the one where I am DONE changing the Boy With The Adorable Bum's diapers.

Seriously people, it's over. That boy goes in public, stays dry at church, and is working on the nighttime thing. (Darn you footie pajamas!) Update: nighttime is going great, it's been 6 days and no accidents. I haven't changed a diaper for him in over a week. And the lack of those changes is invigorating. Beautiful! Life Changing!

I just may be capable of having other children at some point in my life. (There's still another person to convince this is a good idea...but I'm confident Josh will come around eventually.)

On the other hand, going places has become MORE complicated instead of less complicated. Balancing a toddler who has a completely rational fear of public restrooms while making sure he doesn't touch anything and is relaxing enough to do his business is bad enough. But add in a squirmy whiny heavy "don't hold me!!!" aged child who doesn't walk (and screams when he stands) and it's hardly even possible.

So we go to the library, because at the library there is always a grandma (or 2 or 3) willing to hold the non-walker while I calm and sooth Tommy and coax him through using a public restroom.

Remember back when I was pregnant and knew the exact location of every restroom within a 5 mile radius of anywhere I ever went? I hated that phase. I hate public restrooms. And I hate that we're back in that phase again. I probably haven't even used a public restroom in 3 years, and now all of a sudden I have get so close to the floor I want to cry.

I couldn't be more thrilled (or proud) that The Boy With The Adorable Bum is no longer hiding his Adorable Bum under a mass of absorbent miracle product....but I didn't really need another excuse to hide in my home for the entire month of December.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

4 Dinners per Week = success

Or The One Where Tommy Discovers Feta

I'm counting the Thanksgiving dinner that I contributed to, and the family pizza night which I also contributed to....

November's goal was intended to make us eat out less. And when I make dinner we eat out less.

I thought.

Except now that we live insanely close to civilization (I go to the store when I'm missing an ingredient instead of calling all my neighbors. It's faster. Seriously. We're THAT close. Dear Foxboro, GET A GROCERY STORE! Or don't because the neighbors there are awesome. Doesn't really matter.) it turns out that just making dinner wasn't enough of a goal. We still ate out A LOT out of sheer laziness - lunch, breakfast, snacks, pre-dinner meal and "making dinner at 9pm (only once)). And my child now recognizes the Arby's sign.

Still, I'm counting this as wildly successful because when I told Josh that it was my goal for November he got all depressed and told me that he was excited because he thought it was "for real" that I was cooking dinner all the time. I agreed that it was nice to have real meals and that I'd keep it up the best I could.

We also had almost all real meals. No mac 'n cheese or just pasta. Which is why we had spinach salad with feta and cranberries almost every night.

Which is how I know that Tommy thinks "feta my fav'rite food mom."

He requests spinach salad every night now. Smarty. And he eats it.

Here's hoping this one sticks and that we eat out less and I cook more. (so far I've made dinner every night in

Monday, December 3, 2012

Give Away Something Significant = Success

My goal for October was to give away something significant.

I thought about it all month and tried hard to think of something incredible. Let's just say that if I had the money I would have given away a house. But I don't have the I set a $100 budget (significant to me...) and thought some more.

I thought of people I love who could use a million things and I saw a million tragic stories of a million people in need. And decided against them all.

Instead I spent the money on a loads of food and hygiene stuff to give to someone on the street.

Josh always keeps a giant box of granola bars and stuff like that to give to people when he sees them asking for things. It's not much to give, but it's something I really love about him. There's not a human on the planet Josh wouldn't help if he thought they needed it. And he never wonders or speculates if he is being cheated or taken advantage of. He simply gives to people who need things. At every opportunity.

So I loaded a backpack full of food and a couple of water bottles and hand warmers and a hat and good pair of gloves and socks. I grabbed a blanket and a warm waterproof coat and hauled it around in the back of my car waiting for someone who looked like they needed it.

I didn't finish in October, so technically I guess I failed. But I finally found someone who needed something I'm calling it success anyway.

There was a man standing on the side of the freeway holding a sign indicating his homelessness. I jumped out of the van, handed him the package of stuff and wished him well in his life. He was a little stunned I'd say. But since we were just stopped at a light, I couldn't really stay to talk.
I wish I knew his story.
I wish I knew what he really needed.
I wish I could have taken him on a shopping spree instead.
I wish I knew if anything helped.

But I gave him what I had. I hope he was a little warmer last night. And I hope he has a little hope and can get back on his feet somehow.

Bottom line: I want to give more. I want to be better prepared to help people. I want to have the feeling of having done something significantly good more often.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Grinching It Up My Way

I love Christmas. LOVE it. So much so that I refuse to allow it to be contained to one measly month of the year.

Tommy thinks Jingle Bells is a lullaby and although I don't technically believe in it (too much clutter) the decorations were up before Thanksgiving this year and we check out holiday stories all year long.

I love that it gets dark early and people put out lights. I love the snow and the cold and the bundling. I love the warm dinners and fireplaces roaring. I love the season and the unity that magically happens at Christmas time and I love LOVE Christmas cards.


(and this is a big but(t))

I HATE the rest of it.

I hate the obligations, I hate the staying out past bedtime, and I hate that every fun event in the universe has to happen NOW and it's the only chance you'll ever have to ________.
I hate hauling my kids around to stuff they're scared of (Santa, strangers, live animals, plays) because I'm supposed to and will never have another chance.
I hate crowds and lines and fighting over parking spaces when "all I want is a GALLON OF MILK!!!!!!!"
I hate the pressure to find the perfect gift, and to react perfectly to the perfect gift someone else found me.

So I am openly declaring that someday, I'm going to get my Christmas wish. One year the Grinch in me will win.

I will put up lights and stars and trees and decorations. I will hang stockings and make Christmas goodies for the neighbors. I will buy presents for everyone under my roof (and anybody else for whom the perfect gift presents itself) online. I will plan and prepare for a whole month of delicious warm meals.

And then I will stay inside with my door locked from Thanksgiving until New Years. I won't leave the house, I won't greet people, I won't sing carols or see people or go to family parties, I will spend the holidays in solitary confinement and hold my family hostage with me for my holiday pleasure.

But not this year.

This year I will gladly drag my kids around to every event and party we can find. We will stay up past bedtime and forgo naps in favor of sugar cookies. We will enjoy the crowds and the lights and sing carols while standing in line. We'll read scripture stories and talk about Jesus. We'll enjoy the hustle and bustle part of Christmas this year.

Sounds lovely to a grinch like me.

*no, I'm not talking about you, or your party, or your gift, or your tradition. I'm excited about that one, it's all of the others.....

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Thanksgiving: The Year We Ruined the Sweet Potatoes.

I have this disease where I think I am capable of doing things.

I see my mom/sister/neighbor/friend pull off something awesome and I'm all "I could do that. I've made rolls AND run a 5k before." And I shrug my shoulders in the no big deal way.

This is why I signed up for a triathlon, and have vinyl and a cricut, and 

So in a moment of sheer insanity we invited Grandma Egbert & Grandma Mott (Josh's step mom and grandma) over for Thanksgiving dinner. Fortunately for me, Meleta (step-mom) realized that I'm an idiot and said she'd host and we could come and she'd give us significant responsibilities.

Sweet potatoes, stuffing, and rolls.

For some unknown reason sweet potatoes with sugar and marshmallows are a thing in that they were mandatory.
For a million very logical reasons I like roasted sweet potatoes with salt and no extra sweet on them. They're already sweet, that's why they're called sweet potatoes. They don't need sugar on them.

But I do love my husband (both for unknown and logical reasons) so we bought roughly 9 million sweet potatoes and decided we'd do both.

Thanksgiving morning after a nice leisurely breakfast I started in on the rolls - my comfort zone. With plenty of time to rise, and the flexibility of being in the kitchen to cook them whenever they looked big enough to cook I was confident they'd be fine.

Next I started peeling sweet potatoes. And with 9 million of them (OK there were like 10 big ones) to do it was good I started early. Peeling, dicing, steaming and mashing BEFORE adding the extra sweet and baking again. High maintenance AND yucky.

Josh and I started steaming them in smaller batches because my big pot was busy. The first 2 batches of steaming went well, and I started adding sugar and cinnamon. I added cinnamon because I read on the internet that you should. But I didn't read on the internet how much you should add and the only thing I ever make with cinnamon is cinnamon

Obviously I added 14 times the appropriate amount of cinnamon. And heaven only knows how much too much brown sugar. I probably got the butter right, but we'll never know because the mushy pile of orange-brown lumpiness had Josh and I too horrified to do anything but throw it away.

"No problem" I told him, "we'll just add more sweet potatoes"
"There aren't enough sweet potatoes" he said solemnly over a bowl of ruined sugary goodness ".....ever. Like in the world."

Turns out he was right, because that's when learned that 5 LARGE sweet potatoes only need 1/4 tsp of cinnamon.

That's when we worked out a game plan involving me sacrificing my pure olive oil and sea salt sweet potatoes for his nasty sugared up sweet potatoes and I went downstairs to do my hair even though he expressed some concern about being responsible for so many food things happening at once.

10 minutes later I heard a shout from the kitchen. Because exactly one of us is good in emergencies (It's Josh. It's not me. Not at all me.) I (wisely) decided to stay downstairs and let him fix it. Whatever "it" was.

Another few minutes passed while I listened to Sheri Dew interview Elder & Sister Ballard before Josh came down the stairs with a bowl full of beautifully steamed sweet potatoes. Bright orange.
"I can only taste burning. Will you tell me if it's my mouth or these things?"

It was those things. And burned is a mild term for how those tasted.

Turned out he forgot to put more water in between the steaming cycles and the pan was sortof on fire.

Long story shortened (by a little, but not much...) we started with 2 VERY FULL 9x13 pans of sweet potatoes and ended with 2 small pans of sweet potatoes barely covering the bottom. Barely.

The stuffing went off without a hitch because I think all stuffing is overrated and have a testimony of stove top. But 48 hours later when the kitchen (and everything prepared in it) still smelled like burning we were thankful (again) that we weren't the bosses of Thanksgiving this year because we couldn't even handle the sweet potatoes without murdering them. More than once.

Last year we ruined the stuffing (yes Stovetop) because Josh didn't know you have to boil the water before adding the stuffing and we offered up our nasty gluey substance at an otherwise beautiful dinner with my brother.

2011 The Year We Ruined the Stuffing
2012 The Year We Ruined the Sweet Potatoes

2013 No assignment yet....I wonder why?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

2nd Child

Tommy and I were reading books the other night and he dug deep and chose one we haven't read for a while. He is in to reading every dang word in every book lately. He insists that I tell him "what's that say?" for the front middle and back of every book in the house. I sortof love it.

Anyway, the front of this particular book was labeled "for 6 to twelve months" and I choked while I looked over at Little John who was standing dutifully at the side of his crib while we read. Children who chew on books and don't listen to the words aren't invited to sit on my lap during story time. What kind of person tries to read a book to a kid younger than a year? I thought to myself. Then immediately the flashbacks began.

I'm a little bit stuck on labels - I like my kids to do things at the common time and I like them to wear 3 month clothes when they're 3 months.

When Tommy was just a few months old and starting to sit up in my lap I searched high and low for a book specifically labeled for younger than 6 months old. What kind of person doesn't read their kid a book until they're 6 months old? I thought 3 years ago. Why are none of these labeled for my infant?

That's when I realized I don't think I've ever EVER sat John on my lap and read a book just for him.

During our next trip to the library I found books with only one or two words per page and super-duper-thick-slobber-on-me-and-i-don't-care-because-i'm-made-of-plastic pages.

When we came home Tommy dumped all the books on the sofa and picked up the first picture book for me to read to him. One with lots of word and paper pages. John crawled around on the floor and banged the chars in perfect rhythm while The Drummer Boy drummed "boom pum pum boom pum".

When we got to the John Books I pulled him up on my lap and tried to read one word per page and let him turn the pages. He'd grab a page, then grab 2, then throw it across the room and crawl after it to throw it again.

So I am left wondering, did I miss my chance to teach John to love books? Is my clear negligence the reason he prefers to eat them? Or is his preference of eating and throwing and pounding the reason I don't read to him like I did with Tommy?

Or is just like everything else, the first child got the best of everything and 2nd gets the leftover tired mom?

Poor John.


The thing about potty training is that it isn't really photo-appropriate. At least not according to Josh.

Every time I take a picture of the world's most adorable bum he has a meltdown.

And every time I take a picture of that bum in the world's most adorable underwear he reminds me that "once it's on the internet you'll never get it back"

And the other part of potty training even I wouldn't dare take (or share) a picture of.

So instead you get to hear me tell you all about the mad success over the last 24 hours.

For the last few months Tommy has been happy to pee on the potty because at Grandma's house he learned that it makes a funny sound. So every night he'll go in the potty before his bath. But then it was attached to baths and he won't do it any other time of day. And he HATES underwear. I even splurged and got Cars and Woody and Buzz unders and he screams if I even think about putting it on him. He can read my mind. He knows when it's coming.

Enter older and wiser and long-lost cool-guy Taege. Tommy & his cousin Taege got to hang out this weekend - Taege lives in Logan. So they don't play with each other much. Especially not now that we live down here with the rest of the crazies. Which makes Taege an extra special cousin. "If they're not rare,  they lose their status."

Taege has the opposite potty problem. He'll wear unders, and keep them dry, but refuses to go on the potty.

Taege wore unders and we told Tommy and with a little more coaxing and "just like Taege"ing he finally let me put them on him. For the first time in his life.

He wore them all afternoon yesterday, and interrupted dinner with a potty request. Then as soon as we got home from church (in a diaper) he peed in the potty again. Then 20 minutes later, he grabbed the aforementioned adorable tushy and started yelling "no! no poop! no pooping on buzz!!!!!" so Josh ran him to  the potty and Tommy filled up the rest of his potty chart with poop stickers.

Now that we've had a success I feel like the hard work is done. He likes the unders. He ran out of the bathroom positively beaming with poop pride. He pees on command. And he doesn't want to ruin the cool-dude unders. So now we're done right? Project over?

A girl can hope.

Friday, November 23, 2012


Back when we couldn't have kids and all I ever wanted out of life was to be a mother I had no concept of what that meant. I only knew that I wanted it. Desperately.

Now that I have 2 adorable children who simultaneously make me want to tear my hair out while I go running down the street naked AND make me wonder how I ever survived 25 years before making someone's face light up like that.

So this year I am Thankful for a million unbelievable blessings. Things I thought would never ever happen in my lifetime. And especially the things I (temporarily) thought wouldn't happen for me.

(insert beautiful photo of the 3 most beautiful boys (and man) in my life. preferably a photo where they are all clean and looking at the camera and have coordinating clothing and nobody's hair is sticking up and there are no dirty socks in the background)

((this picture does not exist. obviously...for which I am technically grateful.))

Sunday, November 18, 2012


Josh works every other Sunday, which is only part of the point of this post. Today was a work day and as such I was on my own at church. Let me pause for a brief moment. Any mom who has ever done church on her own in any sense of the phrase: hats off to you. This is only the 3rd or 4th time I've done it and I'm ready to call it quits.

Before 7am I had showered and done my hair (curls! My hair is long enough to curl again!) and makeup and packed the church bag.

Then the kids woke up and it took me an hour and half to get them fed and clothed. But, we walked to church and got there early enough for a Bishop handshake AND a bench.

Church starts at 9, John usually naps at 9 so it's 3 hours of sheer torture. But today he was ready to go down for a nap as soon as we left the house.

Still, we left the house with everybody in their Sunday best, and the boys even had coats and there was a Sunday shoe on all 6 of our (collective) feet.

By the time we got through Sacrament Meeting though Tommy had ditched his vest and tie, and was working on abandoning his shoes. John had lost his shoes, socks, and pants (temporarily) and was attempting to remove all of my hair with his bright-orange-fake-cheese-cracker-stained pudgy fists.

The very kind old couple behind us pretended to ignore it every time one of my kids escaped under the bench to their pew, and they even said that didn't mind the crayon throwing. (I did mind.) It wasn't until we were leaving that I discovered that throwing was the nicest thing Tommy did with the crayons that hour and pulled one of his pants and learned about the magical cleaning powers of wet wipes. (Crayon does come off church pews....with a significant amount of scrubbing.)

While John and I wandered the halls so Tommy could attend nursery (the only reason I can come up with for being at church without Josh.) we left a trail of footwear. Later a nice young man stopped me and told me that he thought he just saw John's other shoe (it was missing?) in the lost and found in the library. The remaining sock was quite literally hanging by a thread.

We visited the library and retrieved the shoe, though it may never be worn again. (What is the point?) I tried desperately to get John to sleep, but he was too tired and cranky to even think about it and forbade me from sitting down. So we wandered. more.

The good news is that Tommy came with me without crying when it was time to go. And after we had lunch he came up to me and told me to "sit down onna sofa." I did. Gladly.

Tommy: "Mommy! I got a surPRISE for you...."
Me: "What is it?"
T: "It's in my legs."
He proceeds to strip and pull toys, books, refrigerator magnets, and today's coloring page from nursery out of his jammies. 

Repeat 89 times because I can't stop laughing at his creepy flasher line.

Sundays are hard these days. I hear very little at church and wonder why I don't pace in my own hallway instead of at the church. But I'm counting on that "creating good habits" theory and trying not to cry ALLL day long. It helps when my 3-year-old flashes me and forces me to read him books a thousand times in a row. 

In other news I did not make my bed this morning, divine intervention? I believe so. It is calling my name, which simply isn't possible when the pillows are all on top.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


I am fascinated by the sounds that around me when it's quiet enough to hear things. (not often)

Usually life around here is noisy, somebody is crying about something, asking for something, or shouting in joy having received something. When the people aren't making noise, the TV, iPod, or kitchen is making noise. it's never silent but sometimes it IS quiet.

I can hear the fuzz from John's monitor while he sleeps soundly. Every now and then I hear him snort or snore.

The dishwasher is whoosh whooshing and draining. The washing machine is thumping and apparently getting ready for take off.

The low hum of whatever training Josh is listening to barely escapes under the door of the office.

The Christmas music sings out from the kitchen.

Tommy's show is harping its annoying songs up the stairs.

There seems to be one bird who was left behind and is singing in my backyard. I love that bird for surviving the snow.

This is certainly the quietest moment of my day (perhaps my week!). By far. And I simply love these sounds of silence.

So I'm curious - do you hear what I hear?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Little Indecisive

Probably my favorite thing about fall in Utah is the weather variety. I really do.

Last week we had a picnic because the weather was just so stunningly beautiful. I wore flip flops. Let's pretend that means something. My boys did not wear jackets. That actually does mean something.

That night there was a big storm knocking a bunch of apples off our tree, so Josh picked them up off the floor while the snow started. 

Then while we waited for it to accumulate we juiced the apples and got them ready to bottle. For future record a 5 gallon bucket of apples makes 7 quarts of apple juice.

But if there's anything we love more than a beautiful warm picnic having day, it's a snow day.

Seriously. We really REALLY love snow. This might have been the most fun we've had.....ever.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


My mom thinks that John having no teeth (at his age!) is the funniest thing in the world. It's only gonna get funnier when his cousin who is only 4 months old gets teeth first.

She also thinks its funny that he can eat anything he wants by gumming it to death.

And she's never even seen him eat black beans.

I sortof hope he never gets teeth. 

And I also hope that someone knocks on my door and asks if they can do my laundry for me.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Temple: Success

October's goal was to attend the temple 6 times.

When I set my annual goals I had just come off a "attend the temple every week" stint, so 6 times sounded like a bit of a challenge, but not really that much.

By the time the challenge rolled around it may as well have been "attend the temple for 6 hours every day" because it seemed just as impossible.

But I was going for it anyway.

Plus our new ward was focusing on temple attendance this month, so they were asking people to go at least once a week and even had names for us to do.

Josh's new work schedule leaves me "plenty of time" for things like this, but for some reason it felt like I went every single day that he was home. I didn't, I went 6 times. And I loved it every time.

Once I went 3 days in a row having missed any trips the previous week, and that was the best. I did some of everything, I saw familiar faces, I learned things, and I had built in time to study and pray while I waited for my turn. Just what I needed for some answers to my prayers.

Temple service is something I always wish I was doing more of, but it seems hard to go when you don't go regularly. I am here to tell you, that the more you go the easier it is. Run in and run out, or sit and think a while. Do one thing or 3 things. Go with something on your mind, or go just because you said you would. It is never ever a bad thing.

There aren't many of these goals that I honestly want to do every month, but this is one. I doubt I can go 6 times every month, but I have every intention of not getting in the once-a-month mindset again for a while. Because there are things in the temple that I need more often than once a month.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Well, it was also Halloween yesterday, and it was a lovely Halloween too.

We visited all the grandmas (lovely!) we saw dad at work (surprise!) and we trick or treated just the right amount.

Last month I asked Tommy what he wanted to dress up as for Halloween and he said a pirate - I was relieved and immediately got him a pirate costume. Which he loved.

John was (of course) a monkey because that's what Tommy was at that age.

Tommy realized on the way to Dad's work that I didn't have a costume and was very concerned. "But what will you BE mom?" he wondered. 
"Just me." I assured him it was fine. 
"You can be the me pirate mom." He handed over the eye patch and we all lived happily ever after.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Birthday (and also Halloween)

Remember when I was scared that Tommy was gonna be born on Halloween and I was legitimately anti-Halloween baby? That's the reason Katy (my sister) busted a gut laughing at me when she remembered that John really was born on Halloween. It's funny because it's so so painfully true.

But the truth is that (now) I don't care when my babies are born. I am simply thrilled that they are born. And that we celebrate birthdays with them.

But the other truth is that I have no idea how to celebrate a baby's birthday and a holiday at the same time, and right now I'm extra paranoid that John doesn't know how much I love him. So I'm making today primarily a John holiday and Halloween will be an afterthought. Except for the costumes, the parties, the cousins, the trick-or-treating, the.....

So this morning I was thrilled when John woke up before Tommy (not usually the case) and I got to snuggle him in my bed and tell him how much I love him and how glad I am that he's mine.

It's not terribly easy to tell, but his eyes are squinty because he's smiling through his milk. Not because he's stoned.
So we snuggled, I made pancakes, Tommy woke up just in time to help me sing happy birthday, which was awesome because I could take a picture while Tommy protected Little John from the flame. Which John hated.

He has opinions.

It's only 10:45, but so far I'm calling this day successful. And hoping and praying that I can somehow teach this boy in a way he will never never forget that I love him more than anything. Ever. Because that's the real truth.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hired Help

Yesterday we woke up to a mild blizzard in our backyard. The snow was going sideways and up and down and Tommy couldn't be pulled away from the window to bother with such insignificant things as breakfast.

He stood at the window repeating a million times over "mom! mom! LOOOOK! It's winter out there. Come on mom, get out there!"

So we bundled all up and "got out there".

We had been outside for roughly .2 seconds and I was busy snapping pictures of the magic and wonder of my backyard covered in snow.....

when suddenly....

The Boy threw the first snowball of the year! Fortunately John and I recovered giving Tommy something to run for. And we all lived happily ever after.

Josh swears up and down that he never said anything to him, but I know I saw Dad pay Tommy in M&Ms after bedtime. However, because The Children are not invited to our eternal snowball war, it doesn't matter how fast the hit man is.

In other news: that night after Josh got home from work and I had put the kids in bed, he smuggled a small snowball into the house and pegged me with it right in the living room giggling like a school girl the entire time.

2012 score:
Josh: 5 (no matter how you count it) Amy: 3

Thursday, October 25, 2012

cramming: years of fun

Here's what's funny.

For Christmas last year I gave Josh a year's worth of monthly pre-planned pre-paid dates because we never EVER had time to do anything by ourselves and when we did it was always something responsible or productive and rarely just relaxing and fun.

We were having a blast using the dates and going out once a month. It was dang hard to plan time to go find an evening a month, but we did it. Sans children.

Until Josh got another job, and we moved, and we didn't have a place to live, and we found a new place to live and we moved again and we needed to buy a car (kids not invited on test drives thankyouverymuch) and now all of a sudden we have 3 dates to go on before the end of the month we've more than maxed out all of our local babysitters and there is this thing about  Halloween and we're not likely to go on even 1 much less all 3 of these dates before the end of the month. (I know I know...white girl problems.) But when we do they're gonna be AWEsome! In the meantime I'm planning next year's dates, any great ideas?

On that same note Josh is (for the first time in like 6 years) not going to school and working only one job. Which is awesome no matter what, but this job has him working 3 12-hour days. Which means the man is home FOUR DAYS EACH WEEK. And until the weather got all cold and snowy this week, that meant he was actively trying to cram all the fun he's missed out on while he was in school to what was left of "summer".

We went wave running. We were out on the lake for 4 hours and only saw 1 fishing boat and 1 kayak the whole time. We seriously had the WHOLE lake to ourselves - and it turns out it's a beautiful lake.

And we've spent nearly as much time up the canyon as we have at home.

So now in addition to pretending summer lasts through October, we have a lot of dating to do before the holidays and family parties set in. Lovely. I am unreasonably excited.
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