Friday, October 31, 2008


Our kids in their Halloween finery: Rebekah as a BYU fan, Brandon doing his second year as a ninja, Lilian as an elephant, and Julianne as a classy witch.

Lilian with friends Ashton and Sophie.

And this is Lilian in her witch costume at the Halloween carnival last Tuesday. Katie sent over two costumes Lilian's size so we could take our pick. We picked both! The warmer one for trick-or-treating and the cooler one for the Carnival. (Although, dang, wasn't it a perfect night for trick-or-treating?? So warm!)

Favorite Photo Friday: "Jack-ass-o-lantern"

Halloween 2007. This is Kathryn and her "Jack-ass-o-lantern" wandering around the neighborhood handing out candy to the trick-or-treaters. Maybe it's just me, maybe you just had to be there...but I laughed SO hard. I wish I had a better picture but this one still makes me smile everytime I see it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Rebekah's Request for a Change of Subject

Rebekah says she is weirded out by the fact that her face greets her big and large every time she pulls up the blog. She is insisting that I put up a new post. So, let me tell you about our trip to the zoo today. Kind of spur of the moment. Just Lilian and me. It was a perfect day for it. Nice temperature, gorgeous leaves, no crowds, and active animals. Lilian was really excited and ran around saying "wow!" and doing all sorts of oohs and ahhs. We rode the train. We rode the merry-go-round. We said "hi" to all the animals and made sure to talk to them in their native tongue....well, as much as possible. How do you make a giraffe noise? Lilian, I think, decided the best way to communicate with a giraffe was to stick her tongue out at it. Because Mr. Giraffe had his tongue out. And it was so big and long that even Lilian noticed. They stuck their tongues out at each other for quite awhile. Ah, the simple joys of being a toddler.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Beautiful Girl

We went to a Halloween carnival last night. I found Rebekah bouncing around with her friends...silly, energetic, giddy. I snagged her mid-giggle to get a close-up of her face and was stunned to get this picture. Beautiful!! Look at her eyes....I think I caught an unguarded expression in that quick moment. She was more tired than she was letting anyone know. And full, pink lips...that were actually made that way because they were sore and chapped. And hair, no less...that is framing her face and cascading over her shoulders. Rebekah thinks it's a strange picture. She thinks I'm strange for liking it so much. "I'm not even smiling, Mom!" She obviously doesn't see what I see. What I see is an amazingly beautiful girl.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin Guts

The jack-o-lantern carving started today. We usually split it into two days. One day to clean the pumpkins of all the seeds and guts and then another day to do the actual carving. Today was our clean the guts day. Lilian was quite interested in the whole process...was looking at me like I was kind of crazy as I stuck my hands down inside the pumpkin and came up with all this orange goop. It didn't take her long, though, to decide that that was something she wanted to try. I had to run inside to grab something and when I came back out she had pumpkin guts from head to toe. As I watched she took a handful and piled it on top of her head like it was a hat or something. She was a mess! And getting all that pumpkin out of her hair? Not easy.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Scrapbooking Retreat

I just got home from spending the past two days in Park City at a scrapbooking retreat with a bunch of my neighbors. I believe there were 15 of us in all and we had a great time. We hauled all our stuff up the mountain to the Yarrow Hotel and spent the better part of 24 hour sitting at tables talking, laughing, eating lots of snacks and trying valiantly to meet whatever scrapbooking goals we had made for ourselves. I think I got about 11 pages done. I've been putting together an album filled with my very favorite know, the ones that when you're going through your photos on your computer or in other albums, they stop you cold and you think to yourself, "man, I LOVE this picture." :) I was hoping to get more done than I did but I kept finding myself getting stumped. The creative juices just weren't flowing at times. As nice as it is to have this dedicated time to get pages done there's also pressure too. You're thinking to yourself, "I have to be creative and I have to be it NOW!" And, yeah, that's just not always how it works!

So we all got stuff done on our various projects. We had a fabulous dinner at Zona Rosa on Main Street. I think we all went to bed by 1:00 AM. I got to know my neighbors better...especially the ones I shared a room with. It's interesting what you end up learning about a person when you're all sharing a bathroom, trying to get ready in the morning! And it was just a nice break from all my normal responsibilities at home. One thing I fun as it is to "paper scrap", I totally need to learn how to digital scrapbook. How nice would it have been to only have to pack my laptop???

Friday, October 24, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday: In a box

This is a fairly recent picture...December 2007...less than a year ago. Christmas evening my siblings and I had given my parents a new bedding set and it came in this huge box. I found Rebekah, Brandon, Julianne and my nephew Dalton using the box as a hideout as kids are prone to do. I love how they are all looking up at me with genuine smiles on their faces and not the painted on ones that I sometimes get when I'm forcing them to pose, you know? Two kind of funny, but ultimately unimportant details about this picture that nevertheless pop into my head every time I see it? Check out Brandon's hair. Is that a winner of a mohawk or what? He was into spiky hair back then. And then also, every time we see this picture Rebekah always sighs and says something along the lines of, "I wonder where that shirt went. I loved that shirt, Mom. That's the last time I ever saw that shirt." And then I sigh and wonder, too, where that shirt went and when she is going to accept that it is just gone. :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Book vs. Movie

Rebekah and I have been spending much of our afternoon checking out movie trailers and behind-the-scenes goodies from "Twilight". (She's home sick today.) Still not completely sure how I feel about this movie. I am excited to see it. And that's a change. Originally I wasn't sure I'd want to see the movie at all. Because, yes, even though I'm not some high school teeny-bopper, I did LOVE these books. I've read them many times, myself and to my girls. So my ideas of how places and characters should look are pretty entrenched in my brain. I guess I'm afraid that the movie will not live up to what I see in my head every time I open the books. And that's probably true. But I am curious about the movie so I've tried to separate the two. And it helps that the books are more out there on the horizon. I've read them all and can now focus on the movie and not worry quite so much about my vision of Edward getting all messed up and confused in my brain. Because although I think the actor who plays Edward in the movie is seriously hot, and even though supposedly he matches Stephenie Meyer's description of's not how he looks in MY head. And I am in love with that Edward in my head. So I'm anxiously awaiting the movie. We'll see how it all turns out.
(Oh, and now Bryan is going to read all of this and think I am so, so silly.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Addicted to Candy Corn

I've discovered that I am addicted to candy corn. In years past I've always bought a sack full to put in some cute jar, more for decoration than anything else. Usually I can eat about 5 in one sitting before I get too sugared out. But this year? Oh my. I can eat, eat, eat them. Honestly, they're just little pieces of sugary garbage. Why can't I stop eating them? (Besides the obvious, which is that I have no willpower. Sigh.) Anyone else have this problem?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bombers and Fighters and Jets, Oh My!

The kids were out of school for UEA the past few days. How to entertain them? Bryan vetoed my idea of running down to St. George for the weekend. So we grabbed some cousins and headed up to explore the Aerospace Museum at Hill Air Force Base. Those are some BIG planes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday: Singing sisters

June 1998. This is at the retirement party for Mr. Wendel, the choir teacher at the high school. He was an AMAZING teacher. I learned stuff from him that sticks with me to this day. I was thinking of him just this past week when I went to Rebekah's Jr. High choir concert. It was a major de ja vu moment for me (even though it was Jr. High and not High school) and it brought back a lot of memories. Rebekah's director reminded me a lot of Mr. Wendel and I thought how lucky Rebekah is to have her for a teacher. And how thrilled I am that she has chosen to be a part of the fun, awesome group that is choir. Music kids stick together. They support matter if you are in Women's choir or the audition only Show Choir. My best and most vivid memories of high school and college are of music classes, rehearsals and performances and the relationships I made through it all.
So this has always been one of my favorite pictures because it brings back a lot of memories. Obviously my sisters and I were not in choir all together but we all got to know Mr. Wendel and his classes quite well. He was fond of us sisters and I can only assume that he was quite thrilled that, after losing one to graduation another one was already coming up in the ranks. :)
Left to right this is Katie: class of '93. Sarah: class of '91. Mary: class of 97. Melissa: class of '94.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Blogging Award

My sweet, wonderful friend Mindy bestowed on me this nice award. Thank you Mindy!

This blog award comes with some rules. First, I'm supposed to tell you 6 things about myself.
1. I LOVE sushi. I crave it constantly. Raw fish? Who would've guessed?
2. Unfortunately, I really, really love shopping.
3. I have a degree in history from the U of U. My Julianne came home from school the other day and told me that history is boring. Boring? Are you kidding me? She must be her father's child.
4. I'm embarrassed to admit that my guilty pleasure is People magazine. I finally broke down and got a subscription. I look forward to it showing up in my mailbox every Friday. How sad is that?
5. I'm a HUGE Titanic buff. I have been since I was in high school....long before the movie came out and it became fashionable to be a Titanic buff.
6. One of my favorite movies of all time is "Father of the Bride" because it reminds me of my own Dad. It makes me cry every time I watch it.

Okay. Now I'm supposed to pass this award on to 6 other bloggers. Here's the thing though. I don't have a very huge list of fellow bloggers. And many of you on that list have already received this award seeing as we all blog in a tight little circle. So I'm just going to award it to 3 people. Is that okay?
1. Kari: Because I'm constantly amazed at the cool things she does with her pictures.
2. Melissa: Because she's the one that got all of us sisters started on this whole blogging adventure.
3. Sharon: Because she blogs about everything...all the ins and outs of her day and I love how real she is. I've loved getting to know her so much better through being blog buddies.

Monday, October 13, 2008

First Snowstorm of the Season

I know you all think I'm weird but I LOVE snow and winter. According to my Dad I'm the only one in my family who "rhapsodizes about the virtues of winter." :) But I was silly pleased to see the snow when we woke up yesterday morning. There's just something about the first snowstorm of the season that I look forward to every fall. I did spend the weekend shivering endlessly, though. Going from 76 degrees to 43 in just a matter of days does not make for an easy transition and my poor shivering body had a hard time. Strangely enough, although normally I would like for the temperatures to stay down now that we're into October, I'm actually pleased that we're going back up to the 70's again later this week. I have 4 bushes left to plant and I desperately need to get my lawn mowed! I have weeds still to pull and mulch still to spread. But after that? Bring on the cold and snow! I'm ready!!
(And now I just know I'm going to get some comments along the lines of, "You call that snow? That's a piddly amount compared to how much WE got!" And then I will, invariably, be jealous. Sigh.)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Body Worlds 3

Bryan and I went to see Body Worlds 3 yesterday. It was absolutely fascinating! I know that to some this exhibit seems inappropriate, disrespectful or just downright gross. And I had all those things in mind as I waited in line for my turn into the exhibit. But you know what? I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I felt fine about the whole thing. Some had commented to me that they felt the displays were arranged for shock value or entertainment rather than for educational purposes. I didn't feel that way. I could see a purpose behind each and every display. I kept finding myself taking a closer look at certain parts of my own body as we looked at and read about each display. There was a room that was devoted to babies. It was my favorite part of the whole exhibit. It was amazing to see, to actually see, what my babies had looked like at different times during my pregnancy. At 6 weeks when I was just discovering I was pregnant. At 8 weeks when I went to the doctor for the first time. At 16 weeks where Melissa is right now in her pregnancy. At 20 weeks when I had my ultrasounds. I got really emotional in that exhibit. And not, as maybe you would guess, because I was so sad at seeing all these dead babies. It was because I was so awed at seeing this miracle of life! The whole exhibit, really, just reaffirmed my testimony in the sacredness of these bodies that Heavenly Father created. They are so intricate, so complex, are made to do so many amazing things. It just stuns me. I wished that we'd had our kids with us so they could see and learn as well. Honestly, there wasn't anything there that I felt would be inappropriate for them. I realize that this is just my take on the whole thing and that others could walk out with a completely different opinion and that's okay. But my recommendation....if you get a chance to see Body Worlds 3 while it is in town, do it. It's pretty amazing.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday: Homemade costumes

Halloween 2001. Back in the day that I came up with my own costumes rather than heading over to Target to slap down a wad of cash for them. We were going through my Mom's costume box looking for a specific green skirt that Rebekah could wear to be a gypsy. It was the same green skirt I wore when I was a young trick-or-treating gypsy. As we were going through the boxes 3 and 1/2 year old Julianne was trying on all sorts of odds and ends...just playing. I had no idea, yet, what she was going to be for Halloween. I was completely wrapped up in Rebekah and her costume when suddenly I heard Julianne's little high-pitched voice behind me say, "Look Mom! I'm a fancy little lady!" And voila! A Halloween costume was born.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Crazy part 2

So, about this preschool thing. My Mom says it sounds like those stories that you hear about parents back east...parents who are desperate to get their child into the right preschool so it will lead to being accepted into the right private school, etc. This thing I isn't like that. It still kind of freaks me out that I'm even thinking preschool when Lilian is only one. Trust me, I wouldn't have if it weren't for my neighbor. But she knows this preschool lady, knows how popular she is, and therefore has already put her daughter, who we have decided is destined to be best friends with Lilian, in the class. She thought it would be great if Lilian were in the class too so they could be together and, more importantly, so we could carpool. I'm thinking me not having to drive every preschool day is a darn good plan. Anyhow, about this lady. She just runs the preschool out of her house. It isn't some rich, fancy, private preschool setup. She doesn't even advertise, it's all been word of mouth. Apparently she's good at what she does and happens to run her preschool in an area that is booming with preschool age kids right now. But want to hear another something crazy? She actually does have kids on her list that aren't even born yet...whose mothers are still pregnant. Sheesh.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Want to hear something crazy? On the recommendation of my neighbor I just signed up my one year old, my Lilian for pre-school. We're talking when she's four years old. This is for 2011. And the strangest part? She's on a waiting list because this pre-school lady already has a class full.

Tagged again...

I've been tagged again. This time it's lists of 8. Here goes....

8 TV shows I love to watch:
*Pushing Daisies *Grey's Anatomy *Privileged *Survivor *Gilmore Girls *The West Wing *Project Runway *American Idol

8 Favorite Restaurants:
*Bombay House *Happy Sumo *Bajio *PF Changs *Thaifoon *McGraths Fish House *Cheescake Factory *Gabor Brothers (my new Italian favorite)

8 Things that happened to me yesterday (Monday)
*Dealt with Julianne's horrendous first-thing-in-the-morning mood because she didn't sleep well.
*Helped Bryan plant two trees.
*Made tacos for dinner.
*Watched TWO tv shows on my tivo while Lilian napped!
*Did the family Christmas name drawing and posted it on the family website.
*Read a Magic Treehouse book to Brandon.
*Went grocery shopping.
*Bought 3 Christmas presents at Toys R Us. (Yeah! My Christmas shopping has officially begun!)

8 Things I look forward to:
*Chorale on Thursday nights.
*Date nights with Bryan. (This Friday: dinner and Body World...preferably dinner first since after seeing Body World I may not have much of an appetite...)
*Lilian's nap time.
*Girls Nights Out.
*The first snow storm of the year.

8 Things on my wish list:
*That my house was always clean.
*That I had the time to audition for a show.
*That I could eat whatever I want without having to worry about it permanantly attaching itself to my hips.
*That I had more will power when it came to avoiding sweets.
*That I didn't have morning glory in my yard.
*An Alaskan cruise.
*That I wasn't so worried about the economy.

Now I'm supposed to tag 8 people. How about we say that if you feel an urge to fill out this survey then consider yourself tagged! I think they're fun. Some people don't so much. Up to you.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Julianne's Disclaimer

Julianne read what I wrote about her Halloween cat pose and wants everyone to know that she wasn't trying to be sexy. "I was trying to be slinky like a cat, Mom!" Which makes sense, of course, because Julianne is a consummate actress and always throws herself into any character she plays whether it be Tiger Lily in "Peter Pan" or Molly in "Annie" or, apparently, a cat on Halloween.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Favorite Photo Friday: "Scary" cat

Julianne on Halloween 2003. This was the first year that she and Rebekah decided that, instead of being something cute and pretty for Halloween (past years consisted of things like princesses, gypsies, "fancy little ladies," etc.), they wanted to be something "scary." Rebekah dressed up as a witch and Julianne, as a black cat. Halloween came, the kids dressed up, we took lots of pictures, we went trick-or-treating, end of story. Later I showed the pictures of my cute "scary" kids to my siblings. Melissa and her husband Scott took one look at this picture of Julianne and laughed and laughed. "Oh my!" they said. "If she poses like that at age 5 you are in for some big time trouble with the boys when she gets to be a teenager!"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Gretchen the Witch

Katie and I went shopping at Tai Pan Trading back in late July and found all the Fall and Halloween decorations already out. Seeing that Fall is my favorite season and I was heartily sick of the heat of summer, I succumbed to the lure of the Halloween decor. I instantly fell in love with this witch. It was more than I would normally want to pay so I did as I usually do when trying to talk myself out of buying something: I put it in my cart! Maybe that sounds a bit odd but if I have it in my cart and am continuing to walk around the store looking at other things, usually I can eventually talk myself out of it and put it back. Well, I did that very thing. After walking around for awhile I talked myself out of it, put it back on the shelf and walked away. Only to find myself walking back over to pick it up again a few minutes later. I literally went through this routine 3 times before I decided it was fate, I had to have this witch. Katie and I figured that if the witch was fate then surely she must need a name. We came up with Gretchen pretty quickly. Honestly, I'm not sure if it was Katie or myself that came up with the name but it seemed to fit. So Gretchen stands guard at the front door and smiles at everyone that comes through.