Sunday, May 26, 2013


Well, when we found out that our landlord filed Bankruptcy (but apparently not a real one - just a stalling one) we knew we'd get to live here at least through the summer (woot!)

So we planted a garden.

And spent 9,000 hours yanking white top out of the ground.

And dandelions.

And tree roots.

And starts of the maples.

And those weird trees with red soft cone-shaped things.

Then we hauled it all away in the oldest running truck in the universe. My Grandpa Fugal has had this truck since before my dad was born. And it can haul a lot of branches. A. LOT.

Josh spent an hour with a tiller and we wound up with this beautiful garden area.

I planted a bunch of stuff and have been unreasonably concerned about the amount of water going on the dirt.

It's sortof awesome - and terrifying. I feel like we spent a small fortune (like $100) getting this garden going, and for the first time I actually care - a lot - if it turns out or not. I'll be sad if we don't get anything.

So if you get bored, come on over, pull some weeds, and baby my squash, would you?

Monday, May 13, 2013


Last week I found and hired a babysitter for the first time in my life.

Because my sister watches the boys when I work, and my mom fills in sometimes when Katy isn't available, I pretty much always feel tapped out when it comes to babysitters.

I have a few mom friends in the ward that I could call in a pinch, but in the evening at bedtime? I decided to bite the bullet and hire a real live babysitter.

I picked up Heidi and she was sweet and kind and awesome. The boys liked her and Josh said that everything was great when he got home. She told me she really likes babysitting (but does that mean it's true?) and she was excited I called.

But I gotta know - how much do you pay a babysitter in 2013? She didn't know (I wouldn't have given a price at 15 years old either) and just said "whatever people pay". So I'm curious - what's normal? I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. Who never do anything wrong. (Except when Tommy pooped on the bathroom scale because it was the middle of the night and he was still half asleep and he thought he just had to pee - so he was standing. Also except when Little John climbs into the full-of-water bathtub fully clothed. Also except when they both want the same toy.... Whatever, they're perfect and wonderful and they both love Blue's Clues. Babysitter's dream.)

I'm calling the whole thing wildly successful - and hoping we get to do it again for something more fun than just an hour and a half between when my meeting starts and Josh get home from work.

Currently accepting really great ideas. Except sky diving. That will not be considered on account of I'm a chicken.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Stand Ins

I sortof thought I was tapped out on incredible mother-figures in my life. I've had more than my fair share and I've written about many (though not all) of them before.

Besides already having a plethora of awesome women who help me be a grown-up, I sortof thought I was a grownup, and therefore done with needing so many moms all the time. [laugh track]

But moving into a ward full of people who are not only wiser, but also older than me has me back in that same gratitude position.

When we moved into the ward Brother Miles introduced himself and asked why he didn't know us. I told him we were new in the ward and Sister Miles apologized for her husband's demanding nature. Turns out Brother Miles used to be the Bishop and had good reason to know everybody. Since that moment I've silently admired Sister Miles from afar.

Today after paying me a tremendous complement Sister Miles and I sat next to each other during Relief Society. She oozes goodness. Really. Goodness and its related happiness.

When it came time to sing the closing song I started singing - an attempt at the alto part.

You should know - I don't sing. I don't have the ear for alto or the range for soprano. And though I'm not completely tone deaf, it's not typically a pretty thing. Unless I'm sitting next to a strong singer. Then I can follow just fine....I think. Oh my gosh, what if I can't even follow and I've totally thought I could my whole life? Yeesh.

I didn't know it but Sister Miles has a beautiful voice. As she started to sing with me my own voice got stronger. She lead me comfortably in the alto line and we sang together beautifully. Unless I'm even more tone deaf than I thought - then it was awful and she should have been singing louder to drown me out.

My own mom does the same thing for me. I don't often get to sit next to her and sing (because I don't sing. and she does.) but when I do she leads me comfortably where I ought to be making me sound better than I should and showing me the right way to do it.

But she does it in real life (not singing life) too. She just stands near me being good. Following the "music" and sounding just right making it possible for even my fumbling self to hit the right note on occasion.

As I listened to Sister Miles' beautiful voice I thought of all the times I've heard my mom sing. Lullabies  campfires and ward choir. Her voice is a sound I simply love and I can't imagine a day when it will be just a memory. I wonder if she knows how much I love to sing next to her. I wonder if she knows how her voice strengthens mine. I wonder if she knows how much I admire her, and how glad I am to have a mom I like to follow.

I hope so. But just in case, I'll be sure to tell her today.

On Being A Mother

This year Josh is working all of Mother's Day weekend. Saturday, Sunday & Monday he's gone for 14 hours each day.

Which gives me a different (for me) perspective on Mother's Day this year.

Rather than wishing I was being pampered and having a break from all of the hard things about being a mother, [insert list of activities revolving around foods, bodily fluids, chores, breaking stuff and crying here]

Instead I get to enjoy all of my favorite things about being a mother. With my kids.
Yes I'm still cooking and cleaning and wiping tears this weekend.

But mostly, I'm:
  • snuggling
  • sharing ice cream
  • teaching my boys about watering the flowers
  • showing them the beauty of the mountains
  • reading stories
  • taking my tiny men to a man store (Home Depot)
  • singing songs
  • kissing. slobbery and right on the lips. (or in John's case, teeth)
  • snoozing in the afternoon
  • running barefoot in the grass (but only until the pokeys come out)
  • letting them believe that mac 'n cheese is gourmet food
  • going for walks
  • digging in the dirt
  • playing hopscotch (because Tommy saw it on Blue's Clues)
  • watching them be SO grown up in church (and being called out for crying about it) 
  • having a dance party
  • learning with them how to play games on my phone
  • and really REALLY enjoying that they're both old enough and young enough to give me really good bear hugs
There are a million reasons I need a break every now and then. And 2 million more reasons I'd never give it up. Not even if it meant I never had to do dishes or laundry again.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Dinosaur Hair

John lets me do his hair pretty much anytime I want. He thinks it's part of brushing his teeth.

I boost both boys up on the counter, one on each side of the sink, we sing the toothbrushing song and giggle while we practice spitting in the sink. Then while they're both distracted by looking in the mirror and too high to get away, I do John's hair.

But if I so much as LOOK at Tommy with a comb or spray bottle in my's meltdown city.

After a few days of watching me do John's in the fauxhawk I was blessed with brilliance. I asked Tommy if he wanted "dinosaur hair" like Little John. He said yes and has been letting me do it ever since. He thinks it's cool to be a dinosaur.

These boys share a special kind of love. They love to be together and they are each other's favorites. At everything. Always.

After our morning walk Tommy sat on the hill in our front yard and stared at the ground while I chased John trying to keep him out of the neighbors' driveway and out of the road. Once I had Little John properly corralled I sat down to talk with Tommy. He told me he was feeling sad because Little John wasn't standing by him.

Little John heard his name and immediately came to join us on the lawn. Tommy was overjoyed and Little John couldn't be happier to have all the attention.

Roosters and Rocks

We (wisely) fell in the love with the trail by our house. Especially Little John. And Tommy. And Little John a couple more times.

When we go to the garage he climbs into the stroller and tries to buckle himself in because he wants to go for a walk. On the trail. Then he whimpers and cries the most sad and pathetic cry when I tell him we're getting in the car instead. Poor boy. All his dreams are shattered. 

Today as we walked (on the trail, in the stroller - as things should be) we passed the horses and got so lucky we heard the rooster crow. 
Again and again and again. 

Tommy would "cock-a-doodle-doo" and so would the rooster. Again and again. Meanwhile Little John laughed and laughed.

As we played "I Spy" on the way home Tommy found this gem.

After a few wrong guesses of "something that is white" he caved in and told me "it's a willy big huge-o-mondo white circle fing!" And THEN I guessed it.

When we got closer both boys went a little nuts and Tommy adequately expressed their excitement for both of them. "Look at all these million rocks just for meee!!!"

So we did.

And we listened to our voices echo. 

And we stretched up high to see how tall we were. 

It might have been the best trail-day yet.

Have I mentioned yet that I love living this close to the trail? Because I do. I really really do.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Good mornings

In the morning when Tommy wakes up before John (not often, but often enough for it not to be odd) he goes to the bathroom, then shouts for my help, then insists that we get back into my bed "for good mornin' snuggles so you can ask me about my snoozin' please."

I suppose that started before he could really talk. I'd go into his bedroom, open the blinds, say (with him) "oh my goodness, there's a day out there!" then ask him "how was your snoozin' in the nighttime?"

Eventually when he could talk he'd say "mmmm good."

Then when he wouldn't stay in his bed he'd say "good. in my bed. all night long."

Then when he was potty training he'd say "good. No peein' in my bed." (only when it's true...)

Now he says "good. Can I see your phone to see if it's morning or night?" My phone has an adapting background - when the sun goes down outside it shows stars and the moon. When it's raining there are raindrops. And somehow Tommy learned that if it shows the sun it's morning. Otherwise it's night.

There aren't many things I love as much as these good mornin' snuggles with him.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

We Walk

When we started looking for somewhere to live here in Utah County Josh said "let's live by a trail like we do now" and I laughed at him and told him there was no such trail in Utah County.

Then we found this house to rent.

Then I discovered that there IS such a trail here. A brand new trail. Technically it isn't even open yet. It's almost twice as far to get to it as it was in our old house - which means like 20 steps instead of 10. Life is full of hardships you know.

So we walk.

Sometimes we haul Tommy's tricycle (which is far too small for him - his knees hit the handlbars and his feet fly around in tiny circles so fast I'm afraid he'll go flying) and he rides while we walk.
Sometimes we let Little John get out of the stroller and walk crouch by the side of the trail and throw rocks.
Sometimes we head North - toward the barn - which makes the boys scream because they wanna "touch a horsie's nose like grandma".
Sometimes we head South and drive the backyard animals a little crazy.
Sometimes we hold hands.
Sometimes we carry rocks.
Sometimes we take pictures of the end of the Earth - because we can see it from way up there.
Sometimes we shiver because it's cold and windy.
Sometimes we measure - often we just wander.

Always (almost) we love it.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Any Extra Stress?

When I went to the Dr. on Saturday to see if I really had shingles (I do.) the first thing she said was "what's the extra stress about?"

I tried hard not to laugh at her. Because that would have been rude. Instead I told her it was just the regular. Which is (unfortunately) true. I'm a bit of a stress-case. Always.

That's why it's so awesome that I'm not at all worried that the house that we're renting (here in PG) is being foreclosed. Trustee sale in 2 weeks.

So depending on who buys it, we may be looking for a new place soon.

Legally they have to let us live here for 90 days after the sale, so I'm confident we'll be here at least through July. But I'm really not sure after that.

The good news is (1) not my credit score (2) not my property (3) not my fault.

Pray that whoever buys this place wants to rent it to us for even less than we're currently paying? (ha!)
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