Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy Birthday to me

I turned 35 years old yesterday. I'm officially mid-thirties...thirty-something. Is that old? I'm conflicted. When I was a kid and my parents were 35, that seemed pretty old. But I don't feel that old. Maybe it's the change of perspective. Or maybe it's not that they seemed old but more just adult and grown-up. Yeah, that I do feel. More or less.

So, yesterday I woke up and found the Happy Birthday flag flying in my yard, compliments of the Relief Society. My friend Heather and her family down in St. George called to sing the Happy Birthday song to me, complete with "cha-cha-chas" and everything. I went to my voice Master Class and they sang to me as well. A bunch of voice students all singing Happy Birthday to me? Yeah, it was pretty impressive. :) (Side note: Bryan came with me to watch me sing and he insisted that we take his car and I drive it! And guess what? I did! And it wasn't that hard! His car is a stick shift and I SO don't do those. But Bryan is insisting that I learn so that when I do my weekly drive down to Draper for choir I can take his car which gets so much better gas mileage than my big monster truck. Okay, side note over.) The girls helped me make a birthday cake and I finally got to open the gift that my Mom gave me a week ago and insisted that I save until the actual day. I got numerous emails from my sisters and my sis-in-law Kari even did a tribute to me on her blog. And then in the late afternoon we went to dinner with Bryan's parents at the Cheescake Factory. Yum! My mother-in-law made sure to tell the waiter that it was my birthday, of course, but even though we heard waiters singing to all sorts of others throughout the restaurant, they never came to our table. I was slightly disappointed and slightly relieved all at the same time. Bryan was displeased...our waiter did not get a good tip.

And then we got to come home and found that our house had cooled from 86 degrees to 81. Well, that's better than a kick in the head, right? Our air condiditioning went out Thursday afternoon. I called Symphony Homes Friday morning. They said, "Good news, that does fall under your warranty! We'll have someone call you!" But they didn't. Or maybe they tried but everyone was already heading out for the holiday weekend. So we've been baking in our house the past few days with the windows wide open hoping for a breeze. Last night we got plenty of breeze. It made it hard to sleep. The wind was loud and whistly and made me get all stuffy with allergies but I didn't dare close the windows for fear it would be too hot. But I'm happy with that wind. Because that wind is bringing in a storm with temperatures in the 60's! And even though it's probably wrecking a whole lot of Labor Day plans for people, all I can say is "Hallelujah!!" I finally won't feel like a baked potato in my own house! And maybe I can get someone out here to fix the darn air conditioning unit before the temps start heading back up again.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Progression of a hair color

I have a friend that I've known since high school. We haven't seen each other since...I think it was our 10 year reunion back in 2001. But every now and again we email and get caught up on each other's news. It's been a few years now since we'd even emailed so I was excited to get a message from him recently. Okay, really, it was last April and I didn't get around emailing back, except for messages that said I hadn't forgotten and I really was going to reply, until last weekend. ( I know, my bad.) So after sending a big update on what we were up to I sent him to this blog so he could see pictures of the kids. He was, in his words, "really freaked out" when he saw a picture of me. Apparently I look quite different than what he remembers. It's the whole being a brunette now instead of a blonde. So I thought I'd post some pictures of the progression from blonde to brunette and send him back over to see how it all happened.


Here's me in high school age 17. Blonde as can be. We were on Concert Choir tour in California.


Snow College 1992. Wow, those are some big eyes! And even bigger hair!! And my gorgeous friend Stephanie. Funny, like the first picture...we are on a choir tour.


Age 19. Yikes! I hate saying I was a teenager when I got married!! I wouldn't change anything, certainly, but I always have to add that I was a month away from turning 20! Still pretty blonde.


Graduating from college at age 23. I've had Rebekah and am newly pregnant with Julianne. Can you see my hair getting slightly darker?


Age 25 or so. Now I've had another pregnancy and my hair is darkening still.


Millennium Choir's "Gloria" concert in December of 1999 with my sisters Mary, Melissa and Katie.


2001 with baby Brandon. We're sitting at my Papa's gravesite. That's why I'm looking teary. Brandon was born 6 months to the day after he died. We named Brandon after him.

Christmas 2002 at yet another Choir concert with Melissa and Katie. This time with Odysesy Chorale.


2004. This is when I decided to embrace "the dark side" and dye my hair darker seeing as it was heading that way. It was a lighter brown at this point.


This is, more or less, me now. I went even darker brown and have stayed that way. The picture was taken about 2 years ago.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Conflicting Emotions

Please welcome the newest member of our family: our new Yamaha Baby Grand piano. It arrived today. Bryan says that this is my birthday present...this year and next year and the year after...maybe Christmas too. :) We've talked for a few years of buying a baby grand piano "someday." In our old home it wouldn't have fit. So when we moved here I knew that it was now a possibility. It would still be a few years down the road but we figured we ought to go in sometime and at least look into what kind of piano we would want...what size, what brand, etc. so we knew what to be saving for. We got an ad in the mail last week trumpeting a huge sale, the likes of which had never been seen at The Piano Gallery, and that piqued my interest. Maybe now would be a good time to go check things out. We did, and the sale was so good we decided that NOW was "someday." They even said they'd take our old piano as a trade-in which would drop the price even more.
So we made the deal, set delivery up for today and then headed home. I walked in and was greeted with the sight of my sweet little Yamaha upright piano that I bought 11 years ago. Oh, I'm attached to that piano! See, my wonderful Grandmom and Papa had given me some money to go to college with the understanding that whatever I had left over when I was done was mine to do with what I wished. When all was said and done and I was officially graduated I did indeed have a little bit leftover and decided to put it towards a piano. They were thrilled! Apparently my Grandmom's grandmother had helped them buy their first piano so this use of their money was just a perfect idea to them. And it made it more special to me, it had more sentimental value because it was, in a way, like a gift from them. I always associated the piano with them.

I sat down to play that piano one last time this morning and as I played I realized that today is the 8th anniversary of my Papa's death. That was a hard time for me, watching him go 8 years ago. And so it was kind of bittersweet on this specific day to watch my piano that I had so associated with he and my Grandmom be hauled away.
I find that I get pretty attached to things. If that's a good thing or a bad thing...I don't know. I will miss my sweet first piano, believe it or not. But I am quite excited about my new baby grand. I'm sure my Grandmom and Papa, if they were here, would be equally excited to hear the wonderful music that I'm sure we'll be making on this new piano.

Breakfast Woes


Me: Julianne, what kind of cereal do you want for breakfast?
Julianne: I'm not hungry.
Me: What do you mean you're not hungry? You've been up for almost two hours already! Do you want to eat Cherrios? Honey Bunches of Oats? What?
Julianne: I'm still too tired to be hungry.
Me: Well, then obviously you need to sleep in later. You don't have to get up at 6:15, you know. But you need to eat something. Maybe it'll perk you up.
Julianne: No. I'm just not hungry.
Me: Do you want some eggs?
Julianne: No eggs. I just don't want anything. Well, maybe I'd like some steak. Oh! And some mashed potatoes!
Me: Uh-huh. We don't have steak and potatoes.
Julianne: How about bacon? And pancakes!
Me: (Sighing heavily and eyeing the clock....and then grabbing the pancake mix.)
Brandon: (panicked) But Mom, you don't have time for pancakes! She'll miss the bus!
Me: It'll be fine. Do you want one too, Brandon?
Brandon: (looking at me like I'm crazy) No! I'm eating cereal!
.....a few minutes later....
Julianne: Mom?
Me: (As I'm ladling batter onto the griddle with one hand and holding Lilian with the other) Hmmm?
Julianne: You are the best!

I guess that's what counts.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Off to School

Today is the first day off school. I think I'm as excited as the kids are! I LOVED school when I was a kid and I think it's great fun helping the kids with their homework and volunteering in their classes. I also love having a schedule and structure to our days. During the summer I feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants! Here's some pictures of the kids before they left this morning.

Rebekah headed off at early this morning to catch the bus for the Jr. High. It's her first day of 7th grade! She was pretty nervous and not at all looking forward to school until she went to the 7th grade rally a week ago. She was able to track down all her classes, decorate her locker and see what school lunch was all about. She came home feeling more excited after that. And then after having Bryan give her a blessing last night, she seemed pretty calm this morning. She didn't want me to drive her to school...she wanted to take the bus. She didn't even want me to walk with her to the bus stop. Ah, she's growing up. Here's her schedule:
1st period: Science
2nd period: Math
3rd period: English
4th period: Choir
5th period: Spanish1
6th period: Career/Tech Ed. (I gather this is something like Home Ec)
7th period: Art
Then next semester she'll swap out Choir and Art for P.E. and Utah Studies. I'm quite anxious to hear how things went today when she gets home. I remember curling up in my dad's lap the night before school started, just a quivering ball of nerves. Being the oldest is scary...you don't have any older siblings to tell you what's what. I didn't set foot inside my Jr. High until the first day of school. I couldn't get my locker open and I got totally lost trying to find my way around. I came home that first day and cried. But it only took another day or two to settle in and then everything was fine. I think Rebekah already has a huge head start on me. That rally was fabulous! I wish they had done that when I was her age. Plus, she's a lot more confident of a girl than I was at 12. I think she'll do great. But I am, like I said, very anxious to wrap her up in a big hug when she gets home and hear all about her first day.
Julianne and Brandon headed out to the bus an hour after Rebekah left. Normally I take them to school on the first day but this year we've already had back to school night and so they already know where their classrooms are and have met their teachers. So I just walked them to the bus stop. Julianne's teacher is named Mrs. Galbraith but she's asked them to call her Mrs. G because it's easier. When, at back to school night, she mentioned that she loves math and science, Bryan immediately said, "Oh, I like you!" She thought that was funny. Brandon's teacher is Miss Allington. She is in a motorized wheelchair because she has Cerebral Palsy. We've heard great things about her and Brandon's pretty excited. I'm thinking we're in for a great year.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Contrast


A little blondie and a dark brunette. Do we look like mom and daughter? This is, more or less, what I'm sure it looked like when I was a kid. I was blonde as can be and my Mom was dark. I was at Bajio a few years ago with a blonde Brandon and, while waiting in line, someone confidently stated that my husband must be blonde to have such a blonde child like that. I laughed. No, I told her, he takes after me. As the years go by, I keep getting darker and darker to the point where one year I just decided to embrace it and go completely over to "the dark side." So now, about every three months, I find myself sitting in a chair getting goop in my hair to keep that dark brown color. Bryan, I think, wonders where that cute blonde girl that he married went. I've told him that the blonde is no more. That even if I go back to my natural color, that color is now a dull, moussy brown with a few stubborn gray hairs that persist in remaining no matter how much I tell myself that I'm just way too young for gray hair already! He asked, last night, if one day I would go gracefully gray with him. I told him that I would. Still, I think it's quite unfair that men, when they go gray, look "distinguished" while women just look "old". But he, though he is older than me, doesn't have any hint of gray yet. So looks like I will be continuing my trip to the salon every 3 months or so for the forseeable future and that contrast between me and my cute baby will be in place for awhile longer.

Gender Switch

You can tell my kids must be bored. Time for school to start! I was cleaning the kitchen when Brandon walked in dressed as a girl. My rough and tumble, wrestling, karate kicking, pokemon loving, boy, Boy, BOY...I mean, this kid is ALL BOY...in girl clothes?? I have to admit, I was rather disturbed. It was hard to look at him. Then the girls came out wearing outfits of Brandon's. For some reason, that wasn't quite as bad. They were trying quite hard to make sure they looked as much boy as he looked girl. Didn't work, really. They look cute. Brandon just looks...well, disturbing. Did I mention that already? Well, at least they were playing together, right? I'm glad school is starting in a few days.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Dentist Time

I went to the dentist today. Haven't been in awhile. They pointed that fact out to me when I sat down in the chair. Yeah, I know. The last time I went I think it was November 2006. I was somewhat newly pregnant with Lilian. Not only could they not do x-rays but I also about fainted when they sat me up after having me laying back for so long. I swear, I feel like I'm practically upside down when they're working in my mouth. The fact that I can see my feet so well while laying in the chair clearly indicates that my head is lower than my feet. So no wonder I about fainted when they sat me back up again. After that appointment way back when, I set up another for 6 months later...May of 2007. Except when that appointment came around I was due to give birth in 3 weeks and, frankly, felt like garbage. There was no way I was doing anything that sounded even slightly uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable enough as it was. I told them I'd call them after having the baby. Well, obviously that wasn't such a great idea. Because about 4 weeks after we had Lilian we went house hunting. And then my life was taken over by, not only a newborn (and the fact that I was adjusting to starting completely over with a new baby after a 6 year gap), but also buying a new house, packing, trying valiantly to sell the old house before we moved, moving into the new house, unpacking, trying valiantly to sell the old house now that it was empty, Bryan traveling an insane amount for work, and trying to help the kids adjust to a new school and neighborhood. And then I should probably mention the fact that we owned TWO houses meant that I was a tad short on cash. And with no dental insurance? Yeah, not so much interested or even thinking about the dentist during all that time.
So here it is August 2008. Lilian's a year old. The old house has sold. We're settled into the new house. We don't have two house payments anymore. Time to think about heading to the dentist. Brandon and Rebekah had their appointments on Monday. This morning's appointment (and I do mean morning....7:15 bright-and-early morning) was officially for Julianne. But on our way over Julianne informed me that she couldn't breathe through her nose. Cold or allergies, I don't know. But, hmmm. A little bit difficult to get your teeth cleaned when your only option for breathing is through your mouth but your mouth is filled with tools. So I made a different appointment for Julianne a few weeks from now (unfortunately she will have to miss some school to make it) and I plopped myself in the chair. X-rays and head lower than my feet? Bring it on. I'm not pregnant anymore. No dental insurance? Only one house payment to cover now. I can handle it. And the best thing? No cavities. Phew! I'm good for another 6 months.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Four Musketeers


Chellie, Sarah, Lori and Kami. We've dubbed ourselves The Four Musketeers. "All for one and one for all" right? We've known each other since grade school and have stuck together ever since. Through being locker partners in school, tent mates at Girls Camp, homework parties, pancake breakfasts and having crushes on the same boys....into more supportive roles in college, starting businesses, weddings, a divorce and lots and lots of babies, we've been there through it all. We try to get together for a girls night out at least once every 6 weeks or so. Tonight was supposed to be one but something came up. It's hard, certainly, because we're all so busy now that we're older. Lori has her own wedding business and a brand new baby. Kami, after 5 kids, is back in school and close to doing her student teaching in history. Chellie has a husband in school and is quite frequently in shows at Hale Theatre. And then I tend to end up unavailable at times because of the various choirs that I perform with. These things, along with the regular family stuff, make it hard to get together sometimes but we do it. We make it happen. Sometimes I'm a bit stunned when I think about this relationship we share. I think it's rare and therefore I treasure it all that much more.

Our song: "For Good" from the musical "Wicked"
"I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those who help us most to grow, if we let them and we help them in return. Well, I don't know if I believe that's true but I know I'm who I am today because I knew you...
Like a comet pulled from orbit as it passes a sun. Like a stream that meets a boulder halfway through the wood. Who can say if I've been changed for the better? But because I knew you, I have been changed for good.
It well may be that we will never meet again in this lifetime so let me say before we part...so much of me is made of what I learned from you. You'll be with me like a handprint on my heart. And now whatever way our stories end, I know you have re-written mine by being my friend.
Like a ship blown from it's mooring by a wind off the sea. Like a seed dropped by a skybird in a distant wood. Who can say if I've been changed for the better? But because I knew you, I have been changed for good.
And just to clear the air I ask forgivness for the things I've done you blame me for. But then I guess we know there's blame to share and none of it seems to matter anymore.
Who can say if I've been changed for the better? I do believe that I have been changed for the better. And because I knew you, I have been changed for good."

I love you Chellie, Lori and Kami!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cute Kids





Cousin Camp 2008


Yesterday was Cousin Camp. All the grandkids but one was there...sixteen kids in all. What a day! Normally my mother and father-in-law, Lynn and Carol, hold this camp for five days. Five days full of activities, swimming, crafts, field trips, etc....and sleep overs each night. This year cousin camp was condensed into one day because Carol was recovering from a surgery a few weeks earlier. Although normally the moms show up to help here and there with certain activities, usually Lynn and Carol have all the kids on their own. This year all of us moms plus a couple of dads stayed the whole day to help run things. I was exhausted after just one day! How in the world they did this for five days in past years just blows my mind! But what an amazing thing this is for their grandkids! They love it, the kids love it. They are already starting to talk about what to do next year. Wow.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Julianne's Summer Music Review

video
Last night Julianne performed with her acting class in their Summer Music Review. She's been with this group for about 4 years now and has performed in numerous musicals and plays. This summer they decided to do a bunch of Broadway songs instead of an actual play. Julianne, along with being in all the big group numbers, also got the part of Sally Brown singing "Philosophy" from "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown". Wow! She was just perfect. I know she's good. I'm her mother...of course I'm going to be biased. But she is actually really good! She was the best of all the solos...and I'm really not just saying that because of my bias. Check out the video....you'll see.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Saga of the Sunglasses















Sunglasses are a necessity at Cherry Hill. If I spend my time at Cherry Hill sunglasses-less I end up squinting all day and then, besides possibly getting a headache from the constant squinting, I end up worrying that all this extra squinting is leading to permanent wrinkles around my eyes. I am almost 35 you know!
So, at Cherry Hill today I was prepared with my sunglasses. Lilian showed some interest in them and kept pulling them off my face. Picture #1: I put the sunglasses on Lilian. Picture #2: She, having got what she wanted, contentedly poses for the camera. Picture #3: Lilian pulls the sunglasses off and promptly throws them on the grass. If Rebekah had continued to take pictures #4 would have been Brandon holding up my broken glasses with a look of dismay on his face after he stepped on them. "I didn't see them, Mom! I really didn't!" And picture #5 would've been me squinting into the sun for the next 2 and 1/2 hours.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Olympic Time!

What I wrote about the 2002 Olympics in my scrapbook years ago:

"Ever since Salt Lake City won the bid for the 2002 Winter Olympics I knew I wanted to go....iceskating, curling, bobsled, whatever. I didn't care what event, I just wanted to be a part somehow. In the fall of 2001 Dax, a good friend of ours, called and told me he was going to try to get some tickets for the Opening Ceremonies. Did I want to go? Did I! Dax bought 4 tickets. The tickets cost $885.00 a piece. That just blew my mind! Bryan calculated that it would cost $5.00 per minute to attend and offered me the option of selling my ticket and being able to keep the cash for whatever I wanted. My brain went crazy with the possibilities but in the end I decided that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for me since I've always been such a big fan of the Olympics. Bryan, on the other hand, did decide on cash over attending and sold his ticket to a friend of mine.
The high temperature for the day was only supposed to be in the low 20's. I bundled up in thermals, 2 pair of pants, 3 shirts, 2 pair of socks, 2 pair of gloves, a scarf, a heavy coat, a hat and a blanket with extra little feet warmers in my shoes. I was set! Dax, Kim and I caught the Olympic Shuttle Bus which dropped us at the University of Utah Stadium where Opening Ceremonies were to be held. The sights were amazing! News cameras, security, pin traders and, of course, all of us holding tickets to enter. (Did I mention the ticket scalpers?!) Going through security went a lot more quickly and smoothly than I had expected. We stopped to buy hotdogs and hot chocolate on our way to our seats. And then our excited, anticipated wait began. Al Roker and Matt Lauer were our pre-show hosts and we practiced for our audience participation parts of the program with them. They got us pumped and even more excited than we had already been. At 6:57 PM the countdown began. And then 5....4....3....2...1.... "Welcome to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah!!!" I can hardly describe the chills that ran up and down me. I was actually there!
The pageantry was incredible, the musical numbers, amazing. It was fun to to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir doing backup for Sting and Yo Yo Ma! The Parade of Nations was incredibly colorful and stirring. When they respectfully and reverently brought in the 9/11 Ground Zero American flag tears came to my eyes. It was wonderful to see President Bush, busy as he was, sitting in the middle of the USA athletes. And of course, there was the torch, the most recognized symbol of the Olympics. After being run across the country and all through the state, the cauldron was lit by the 1984 USA hockey miracle team. The crowd absolutely errupted as fireworks filled the sky. It was an amazing night!"

The Olympics are back. I'm so excited!

Home Decor


My sister Katie posted a picture on her blog of her new decorations in her kitchen...mostly for me to see since I had "inspired" the decor. So I thought I'd post what I'd done so she and my other sisters could see. The decor being shown off is the stuff above my cupboards in the kitchen and the pictures on the wall in the living room. For those who've never been to my house...well, I guess this gives you a good idea of what at least part of my house looks like...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Gateway Fountain

If you look really close you can seen Brandon and his cousin Dalton getting pummeled by the water in the lower left-hand corner of this picture. I love the Gateway! And I love this fountain. It's constantly bubbling and burbling and it's lots of fun to look at or dodge your way through to see if you can make it to the other side without getting wet. But every half hour it gears up for a big, choreographed show with music and all...and wow! It gives me chills every time. And yes, you're probably thinking that if the little fountain at the Gateway can give me the chills then I've probably never been to see the fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. And you'd be right. I'd love to see those Bellagio fountains someday. But you can't run through the fountains at the Bellagio. And they don't play music from the olympics, I'm guessing. (I'm a big olympics fan.) So I'm more than happy to sit in front of the Gateway fountain, eating a bowl of Ben and Jerry's icecream, letting the mist from the fountain blow over me, and watching the kids run around with huge smiles on their faces. Can't get much better than that.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Summer Vacation



I thought I'd post a few pictures from our summer family vacation to St. George in June. We had a BLAST! Bryan's parents have a vacation house down there where we could stay and our good friends, Heather and Rawlin and their kids, live nearby and made sure we stayed plenty entertained. We always love spending time with them...Heather and I have known each other since Jr. High and were roommates at Snow College. We met Rawlin down at Snow (in fact, I introduced them!) and they got married just one month before Bryan and I did. Bryan and Rawlin hit it off so well that it still amazes me. They are like two peas in a pod. And luckily, the kids love hanging out together as well.



We spent one day at Sand Hollow Reservoir. We rented two wave-runners and had a blast zooming those around. What fun to just hang out on the beach all day. This is Rebekah and Julianne swimmng off the big rocks in the middle of the reservoir.


Brandon, Rebekah and Julianne cruising around behind the wave runner. For some reason, Brandon, who is our adventurous dare-devil, was scared of riding in the big floaty and prefered to stay closer to the beach.


We celebrated Lilian's first birthday while on vacation and had a little party for her. Thanks to Heather for making her cake!


The pool at the club house was awesome fun with a waterfall and everything. This is Brandon, Rebekah and Morgan...and down below...Liberty and Julianne.


We did the Emerald Pools hike in Zions Canyon one day. Wow! It was a beautiful hike! And the kids did amazingly well. Bryan carried Lilian around in a baby back pack and Heather had little 4 month old Noah in a snugli. Rawlin outfitted us all in camel backs...those nifty water backpacks...and hats for those of us who didn't think to bring one. The hike was tons of fun and then...what a beautiful reward at the top. A beautiful pool of COLD water and frogs chirrping like crazy and even sand! Ahhhh.






Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Stereotypes

I've been driving my new truck around the past few days. I've been getting some interesting comments from people who think it's a bit odd/funny to see little me driving such a big beast of a truck. A car or minivan? Sure. An SUV, even...not strange at all. A big monster TRUCK, though? But I like it. And I think part of the reason I'm enjoying it, part of the reason I think it's so cool, is because of that contradiction. Yeah, it doesn't really look like me. What a contrast to see me, as I was yesterday, literally climbing into the front seat of this big truck in a black skinny skirt and heels. Certainly doesn't fit the normal stay-at-home-Mormon-Mom stereotype that I appear to be. But you know what? I'm finding that I dislike stereotypes. People are always surprised to see me outside , not only mowing the lawn, but then also edging and blowing away grass clippings with my leaf blower as well. Surprised to see me out sweating along side of Bryan as we clean out the garage, haul wheelbarrow load after wheelbarrow load of mulch to the backyard, dig down deep into mud to fix sprinkler heads, etc. So, no, I don't, in many ways, fit into that stereotypical mold. In many ways I do. But I think that you're never going to find someone that is that perfect stereotype. I remember many years ago being at a neighborhood gathering with a bunch of women, one of whom had just found out that I had a bachelors degree in history from the U of U. I was rather taken aback at the look of utter surprise on her face. I was 25 years old, a stay at home Mom with two kids and I have no doubt that she figured that I had got married young (which I did, actually) and immediately started having kids. (Not that that's bad!) I was slightly insulted as I realized that to her, a college graduate-professional working-single Mom, I seemed to be a young, naive, piece of fluff. I've tried hard since then to not mentally pigeon-hole other people into specific molds. But I'm also finding that I enjoy going out of my way to NOT seem like a part of the stereotype that I would most fit into, either. Is that silly and maybe...a little bit wrong? Because there is certainly nothing wrong with that stay-at-home-Mormon-Mom type of person. I'm proud to be that person. But I'm also proud of the fact that I have things that are just me. That I do shock people sometimes. That I'm different too. And I think that everyone has things like that that make them not perfectly fit a stereotype. There are, obviously, things that surprise people about me. but I have no doubt that there are things that would surprise me about them. We should just chuck stereotypes, don't you think? So there are my thoughts that have been rambling around in my head the past 24 hours or so. I'm sorry if they came out in a jumble....like they just spilled out of my brain in a random pile. But there you have it.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Eight eyes

Curses on mine and Bryan's bad eyesight that we passed on to our children! Rebekah has been wearing glasses since the end of 3rd grade. Her eyes aren't too bad...she kept her glasses at school only wearing them when she needed to see the board. Since she is heading off to Jr. High in a few weeks we decided it was time to get her into to the eye doctor for a check-up and potentially new glasses. While making the appointment over the phone Julianne informed me that I should make an appointment for her as well because, she claimed, things were looking blurry. I made two appointments but wondered if Julianne was "seeing blurry" because she wanted glasses. I warned her that as fun as glasses might seem and as cute and Rebekah looked in hers, the novelty would wear off and after about two months she'd probably wish she didn't have to have glasses after all. Basically, don't wish your self bad eyes! Turns out Julianne's eyes are, in fact, worse than Rebekah's! Still not too bad but bad enough to need glasses so she can see in school. What I want to know is why glasses are so much cuter now than when I was a kid wearing them! It's almost like they are a fashion statement now...an accessory like a bracelet or a cool necklace. So the girls are all set for school now feeling like they've killed two birds with one stone: a neat, new accessory and, more importantly, the ablility to see the board!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Baptism



Today we went to my nephew, Ethan's, baptism. I found myself thinking quite a lot about Rebekah and Julianne's baptisms while we were there. I remember that at Rebekah's baptism I was surprised at how fast it all happened. We were sitting there watching, waiting for the big moment, and then, suddenly, it was done and I was heading into the back room to help Rebekah get changed out of her wet clothes into her pretty, white dress. I remember trying quickly to get everything all ready for her...the brush for her hair, her shoes, her tights, etc. After a minute I looked up at her and she was still just standing there in front of me, shivering because she was still dressed in the clinging wet jumpsuit but with a huge smile on her face. THAT'S when it hit me. I pulled her to me, wet clothes and all, and cried and cried as I hugged her.
With Julianne I was more prepared for the emotions I knew would hit suddenly and without warning. What I remember most about Julianne's baptism, though, was the sacrifices that many friends and family made to be there. People left vacations early, canceled plans to go skiing, etc. just to be there for Julianne. It was a hugely important day for Julianne. Julianne was important to them. So they made big efforts to be there. I, of course, knew it was an important day...but to see so many others making those sacrifices...it just reinforced what a big thing this was in Julianne's life and I was so touched to see how many people loved my sweet Julianne. Thinking about all of this today, I found myself getting teary during Ethan's confirmation. Thank you Ethan, for letting us be a part of your huge day.

My new truck!


We bought a truck yesterday. A Ford F-150 Lariat...or something. And get this, it's mine! Well, mine to drive around...my primary mode of transportation. Bryan and I have been talking about a truck for ages. Every time we need to haul something we call my Dad to borrow his truck or Bryan's bro. Kevin for his trailer. With so much landscaping going on in our new yard and with plans to build an out-building in our backyard, we have lots of hauling needs. Maybe it was time to buy our own mode of hauling. Couple that with Ford's gargantuan sale on trucks and voila! We traded in my Ford Freestyle for this truck. (This is our 4th Ford in 15 years. Ford, as you probably can guess, really likes us.) Believe it or not, it not only fits all 6 of us but actually has more leg room. Brandon thinks it's the coolest thing ever. The 3 older kids are already fighting over who gets to sit in the front with Mom and Dad. I feel like I'm driving a beast of a vehicle...but I'm sure I'll get used to it. Did you ever think of me as the kind of girl who would drive a big truck??