Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Four Musketeers

I had a girls night out with my sweet friends last night. The Four Musketeers, we call ourselves. We had a wonderful time, as usual. Stayed up far too late because we were enjoying each other so much that it was hard to say goodnight. Today Lori wrote about our friendship on her blog. I hope she will forgive me for taking her post word for word and putting it into my blog...she just described everything so perfectly.

What a great girl’s night!!! I got to play with my oldest longest-standing friends, Sarah, Kami, and Chellie. I’ve known Kami since we were in Nursery together, I believe. Sarah came in at around 4 or 5 years of age, and Chellie joined at 8, so even at the shortest estimation we’ve all been friends for over 26 years. Thinking back to those days when we used to have sleep-overs, played house, dressed up my Barbies with scraps of fabric from my mom’s sewing projects, and ran through the alfalfa field in back of my house, tamping down mazes, lying on our backs, staring up at the clouds and creating dreams…it’s so comfortable and weird at the same time to look at those same friends now. The four of us around a large dining room table, laughing over a gourmet dinner and decadent dessert as our children run around the spacious home Kami now lives in. It’s impossible! Aren’t we still 12, pooling our allowances to buy a chocolate cream pie at KFC on the way home from school? I would sneak four forks out of my cupboard and we’d all sit around the tin, eating pie and talking, far from prying eyes…on my front porch under the pine tree right outside my parents’ bedroom window. I don’t even remember where we used to dispose of the evidence, and my mom never called me on any lack of appetite at dinner, so we knew how sneaky we were. (We went back and tried KFC pie again a few years ago…I’m glad to know our tastes have matured.) No, we’re not 12 anymore. Okay…16! We’re 16, dealing with boys, learning how to use makeup, and half of us slump our shoulders to hide physical progressions while the other half shrug longingly because of delays in any need for a bra? No. We’re beyond that now too. Okay…maybe we’re 18 and at school or playing nanny in New York, sending letters back and forth.
No…we’re 34 and 35 now. How is that possible?!
Kami married young and had two kids but divorced, married again, has three more children, is working on her thesis, and still finds time to watch movies with her 16 year old, do homework with the rest, and clean up after little ones, all while creating handmade wontons and honey walnut shrimp! She’s amazing! She supports her husband’s family in from South America, and despite deep differences has been patient and loving…even working at educating them and helping them to become self-sufficient so that she won’t be kicking them out next month, but will be enabling them to support themselves in their own home. I believe her status as a saint is in discussions.
Sarah married her highschool sweetheart and they put each other through school, had four children, built a successful business, and continue to build an insanely beautiful home, all while continuing to travel the world, perform in world-renowned choirs, and embrace an exciting new opportunity as Mabel in The Pirate’s of Penzance with a leading man 15 years her junior! Yes, she can pull it off…she still looks that good! And, though she may not enjoy her husband’s firearms obsession, she looks Bond-girl-sassy holding a glock of her own when they go shooting. She’s amazing at running her home, fulfilling her own needs, AND supporting her children, giving them opportunities and adventures as a family. She even decided to start running and cycling, and has started journeys as a marathon woman. (I can’t even imagine standing in a bikini on a beach during a shore excursion from one of her cruises!) Fabulous!
Chellie also married her highschool sweetheart, and Chellie has four kids too, but where there have been adversities, she continues to fight and work and conquer while keeping her family strong. She waited to put her husband through school until he knew what he wanted out of a degree, and now she has learned the most amazing talent of living within her means, creating security and enjoyment for her family, even on a budget, and regardless of nights working into the small hours, she ensures that her kids do chores the next morning, everyone is well dressed and healthily fed! I honestly don’t know how she does it all…and she also continues to feature in local theater, read voraciously, and recover from random tendon tears, bone spurs, and tumbles down her stairs that land her on bed rest for weeks at a time. (How did a klutz like you end up dancing in so many performances?!) We all know that her amazing patience will pay off in the end, and we all marvel at her positive attitude despite any troubles. Her wry sense of humor wins out every time.
A friend of mine asked this morning about true friendships like these, and I had no real response. How did we end up as friends?…proximity for the most part…I guess we just grew up in the same neighborhoods and were the same ages. Still…what has KEPT us friends after all of these years?…I have no idea! There are times when we go months without talking. But, then, magically, somehow, beyond reality, our schedules align and we all have a chance to get together on the same night, and the talk picks up right where it left off. We see updates online, and follow each others’ blogs, and call each other now and then. It’s never enough! And, yet, it’s what we get because none of us can really do more. And, that’s okay.
There’s a strange comfort in knowing that even if I haven’t seen Chellie’s new haircut, I’ll hear the whole story next month when I finally get to see her again. It gives me some peace to know that even though Sarah has new friends and continues to branch out and do new things, she will still come back and include me in her news because none of them know her as well as I do. And, having a child not much younger than Kami’s little ones means that I will always have something to talk about with her…even if we never resort to discussions of diapers and pacifiers because there’s more to talk about than kids. There is longing and comfort at the same time, and that is sweet. I’m not some girl waiting for the phone to ring, hoping that the cool girls will include me…I have a sure knowledge that I’m one of the cool girls, and there’s no doubt that I’ll be invited when our timing works out. That’s pretty nice to know. In the meantime, I go back to my own busy life and create the situations that will make for great stories for the Musketeers at our next quarterly dinner.
I can’t believe how much I love these women, and how much I hope to be like them when I grow up. The leftover chocolate satin pie isn’t hurting my attitude today either!
Thanks again, ladies!!!!
(Chellie, Sarah, Lori and Kami 2005)
But what Lori didn't say, of course, was how fabulous she herself is. And I probably won't sound as eloquent as she but I'll give it a try.
Lori married a little later in life...but what an amazing man she found in Jon. He truly is her soul mate. They are perfect for each other. A year an a half ago little Hannah was born....a curly red-headed beauty with a mind of her own. And what a happy family they make. Lori and Jon run a wedding business ( and are doing so well that they are close to dropping their day jobs and doing it full time. I'm amazed, absolutely, amazed when I see the talent between the two of them. Lori is probably one of the most well-rounded people I know...she's fabulously interesting to talk to because she has read, watched and done so much. She's optimistic. She laughes constantly. She is generous and helpful. And I love her like I do Chellie and Kami. How amazingly lucky are we??

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Antelope Island

Told the kids yesterday afternoon that for Family Home Evening we were taking them on a surprise field trip. They were excited, let me tell you! I think the anticipation and wondering where we were going was just as exciting as the actual place...which ended up being Antelope Island. A place we'd long since talked about but never been to. We loved seeing the buffalo. At one point we had to stop the truck to let a herd buffalo cross the road...apparently if you are a big, lumbering buffalo, you get the right of way! Picking our way across the rocks and sagebrush out to the edge of the lake we encountered swarms of...gnats? Maybe? Swarms and swarms of them down on the ground. Every step brought up millions of them around our ankles. They didn't bite at all, it was just unnerving at first. Once into the water they were gone. The water was shallow and warm. We found oodles of flat rocks perfect for skipping. We watched the sun set at the edge of the lake. It was beautiful. And, more than anything, just fun to be experiencing it all together as a family.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Target Practice

Bryan let me tag along on a shooting trip Saturday evening. We headed up the canyon and set up targets on the side of the hill. I got to try a suppressor/silencer for the first time. You know when you read in books about guns with suppressors making a "pftt" noise? Yeah, they really do.

Does anyone else think the contradiction between me holding a big gun and wearing a peace sign on my shirt is funny?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"I Love to See the Temple, I'll Go Inside Someday"

Bryan and I took the family to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple open house yesterday. Seeing as we didn't make it to the Draper Temple open house a few months ago, we were really excited..this being the first time the kids had ever gone inside a temple. The whole experience was wonderful! So different than I was expecting. And just beautiful. The kids had tons of questions and it was amazing the spirit I felt as I answered. Julianne was fascianted by the decor, details and symbolism. Rebekah wanted to know all about the sealing ceremony. At one point while we were there Brandon turned to me, wrapped his arms around my waist and said, "Thanks, Mom, for bringing me here!" All of it was a huge reminder to me what life is all about, what is really, truly important. And it made me want to redouble my goals and efforts in strengthening our family.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Red-faced...but not from embarassment

Can you tell how red my face is? Do these pictures even do it justice? This is what happens every time I mow the lawn. And then it stays that way for a good 2 hours. Bryan laughs...he's always amazed at just how red my face can go. I watch the weather weekly and valiantly try to find the coolest day of the week in the early morning or late evening to get the mowing done. But my face always turns red to some degree. Sigh. I really don't handle heat well.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Computer Room

We recently installed these custom made cabinets, shelves and desk into our computer room. Den? Library? Actually, I'm not quite sure what to call it. But anyhow, turned out nicely, don't you think? Bryan was most concerned with having a huge, long computer desk. I was excited about making sure we had plenty of bookshelf space.

Apparently the desk also doubles as a bed....

The Workings of Julianne's Mind on a Boring Sunday Afternoon

The Superb Stoppers of Injustice

Zeus: Makes storms for the good of humanity and to stop the evil villains.
Sonic Boomerang: Uses boomerangs to put a stop to all things evil. Can fly but has to come back to the same place within an hour, like a boomerang.

The Masters of All Things Hot and Cold

Steam'n Demon: Makes an endless supply of fire and uses it to wreak havoc within the city.
Isis: Uses her cunning mind and sharp shards of ice to assist her partner in crime (Steam'n Demon) in demolishing all happiness.

(I should probably mention that the descriptions are all word for word out of Julianne's mouth. She has a pretty amazing imagination and vocabulary, don't you think?)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's been a crazy, busy week...

* Went on two early morning bike rides with a of which rendered me sore and pretty much wasted for the rest of the day. Bribed my girls to watch Lilian while I took a much needed nap.
* Picked up Brandon from cousin camp and happily listened to his stories of all the fabulous things they did....camping, river rafting, laser tag, etc. The kid was practically glowing, he had so much fun.
* Did a bunch of babysitting for my sisters. One day saw 5 extra kids here aged 7 and down...two of which were under the age of 1. Cute kids, all of them, but thank heavens for Rebekah and Julianne's help.
* Celebrated mine and Bryan's 16th wedding anniversary. Have I mentioned lately how much I love this husband of mine?
* Spent a day at Lagoon for the first time in 4 years. Still don't like the Wild Mouse. Love the feeling in my stomach I get from the Tidal Wave. Got a sore throat from the screams that were unintentionally ripped out of me while riding Wicked. And got drenched riding the Cliff Hanger over and over and over again with a huge grin on my face. Oh. The kids had fun too. :)
* Went to 4 rehearsals for "Pirates of Penzance".
* Went to lunch with some sweet choir friends.
* Went to "Hello Dolly" at Hale Centre Theatre with my sisters.
* Spent a day at Cherry Hill and let the kids talk me into riding the Cardiac Canyon waterslide.
* Dealt with Lilian's 2 days worth of 104 degree fever.
* Became the schedule keeper for Rebekah and Julianne as they tried to juggle numerous babysitting jobs for various neighbors.
* Watched the laundry go undone, the dishes pile up and the grass go uncut....
Tomorrow starts a new week. Fresh, uncluttered and open. Looking forward to seeing what we can make of it.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

16 Years!

Bryan and I have been married 16 years today! And honestly, it has been a wonderful 16 years! I couldn't have married a better man. He is an amazing husband and father and I am SO blessed, really, to be the girl that gets to have him and hold him for this life and eternity. I love him...oh, how I love him!!

I loved my dress. It felt romantic and sweet to my 19 year old self. Bryan was with me when I tried it on. Apparently I didn't put too much stock in that whole superstition that the groom isn't supposed to see the bride in her dress till the actual wedding. I tried the dress on and marched right out to show him. As soon as I saw his mouth drop open and the look that came over his face I knew I had my dress! In hindsight I'm guessing it might not have been the particular dress but more the picture of ME IN a WEDDING DRESS that did it.

I had always dreamed of getting married in the Salt Lake Temple but it was closed for cleaning on our wedding day. We chose the Jordan River Temple instead. And I'm really glad we did. There were only two brides getting married that day. No rush, lots of attention from those sweet ladies helping me get ready in the brides room, no waiting for picture spots. And the uniqueness of being married somewhere other than the Salt Lake Temple where just about everyone else is married!! It makes the Jordan River Temple extra special for us.

My Uncle Ron took this candid picture as we were coming out of the temple after the marriage ceremony. I didn't even know he was taking the shot...but it has ended up being my very favorite picture of all the ones we got that day, candid or professional.

We had a REALLY long reception. We debated two different times for the reception... either 6:00-8:30 or 7:00-9:30. When we sent the announcement to the printers we accidentally combined the two and ended up from 6:00-9:30! But my parents will always say that it was a happy accident. The reception was in the Lion House garden and it was so cool and shady there that people came, sat and just stayed since the reception was so long. No one felt rushed or hurried.

We honneymooned in Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida. I'd never been on a plane, I'd never been to Disneyland/World so it was quite an adventure for me on a whole bunch of different levels! We had such a wonderful time! Julianne looked at this picture yesterday and said, "Mom, you and Dad look happy but you sure wore weird clothes!" :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Last Sunday we had the opportunity to attend church in our old ward. Kevin and Kari bought our old house and therefore, are members of that ward. Last week they blessed our sweet nephew, Cameron, hence our reason for being there. It was a wonderful experience to be back and I found myself close to tears through all the meetings. Not necessarily because I miss everyone, although, I do. I know that where we are now is the place we are supposed to be. It feels right and good. But the people we associated with in that old ward and neighborhood for those 8 years are some of the very best people I've ever met. And frankly, it was just nice to see them again and feel of their spirits, you know? So I've been thinking a lot this week about the houses and neighborhoods we've lived in during these last 13 or so years that we have been raising our family. We have been amazingly lucky! The associations, friends, relationships that we have made in all three of our homes have enriched our lives so much. And we lucked out again with this most recent move. I look around the ward and neighborhood that we live in right now and think about the fact that these are the people that will be a part of our lives through dating, missions, weddings. These are the people we will most likely grow old with. That thought makes me smile. And feel very content. Sept. 1995-Sept. 1999

Sept. 1999-Sept. 2007

Sept. 2007-present

Saturday, July 11, 2009


A sense of personal style, a discerning eye, excitement at the prospect of a trip to the mall....I'm seeing the beginnings of a master shopper in Julianne.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Showing Patriotism

Amendment II of the Bill of Rights states in part "...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Bryan takes this right seriously and decided that bearing said Arms was the perfect symbol to show his patriotism while celebrating the 4th of July at a local parade.

Personally, I was a little nervous about this show of patriotism. Bryan, on the other hand, was excited about the possibility of educating his fellow Americans of their rights. A few second glances and one conversation with the lady sitting next to us was all that came of it, however. And really, how dangerous could Bryan possibly look surrounded by such non-threatening looking people as these?

Saturday, July 4, 2009


I had a brutal reminder last night that I am NOT a dancer, nor am I very graceful. I was at a rehearsal for "Pirates of Penzance" working on blocking and choreography for the duet between Mabel (me) and Frederic. We were doing this on the grass outside the Community Center....kind of nice, actually, to be out in the fresh air and shade instead of shut up in a stuffy room. Also kind of fun to watch the expressions of people walking by as they watched us singing and dancing out on the lawn! But, I digress.

All went well with rehearsal. We had fun learning the choreography, we laughed a lot. I went home with a slight headache and a kinked neck from all the spinning and twirling...mostly a cause of me trying to twirl or spin the wrong way and having to whip my head back around the way I was supposed to be going....

Then in the middle of the night I realized my foot was aching. I got up to walk around a bit and realized that it hurt quite a lot. I assumed that I had tucked it up under me strangely as I slept, that it would feel better soon and went back to sleep. But the ache woke me again around 6:00. And I started vaguely remembering a specific twirl last night where I caught my pinky toe in the grass as I moved. No horrific pain at that moment. Just kind of a "Whoops...that didn't feel good." But then nothing. Back to twirling and spinning I went. But this morning? Oh my, I think maybe I broke or dislocated my toe. No bruising but some slight swelling and a big OUCH and major limping when I walk.

Kind of funny, really. Rebekah and I originally had considered running a 5K together this morning. But last week at our neighbourhood carnival she landed funny after a jump off an inflatable and as has been walking with a limp all week. We decided against the 5K because of that. I'm glad we saved the entrance fees because obviously, all of the sudden I'm not in any position to do any running either. Here's hoping I can get through all of our Independence Day festivities today!

An update:
This morning, Sunday, my toe feels more or less, fine. As I made my way through the day yesterday the pain got less and less and by this morning the swelling has gone. Looks like I didn't break or dislocate it after all. I only feel a slight twinge every now and again when I step on it wrong. Strange...I could hardly walk yesterday morning and then by evening I was back to normal? But I am grateful.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Summer is not my favorite season. I don't do heat well. I don't do fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants-with-no-schedule-because-the-kids-are-out-of-school well. But I DO like the fact that I live in a place that has four distinct seasons. I look forward to and enjoy all sorts of different things in each of those distinct seasons....including, I realized recently, summer.
Some good things about summer:
*Swimming. There is something relaxing and refreshing about even just looking at a pool filled with softly rippling, blue water...let alone actually climbing in on a hot day.
*Summer foods. Watermelon, corn on the cob, snap peas, strawberry shortcake, raspberries, BLTs, icecream cones....
*4th of July. I am a sap regarding any and all things patriotic.
*The smell of newly cut grass. I may not enjoy doing the actual cutting but I like the smell.
*The peaceful, calm and cool of early summer mornings.
*No homework. That's probably a given.
*Summer rainstorms.
There. No one can say I don't try to look for the good in things!

Not Sleepy

"Lilian, are you tired? Do you want to take a nap?" This was wishful thinking on my part. Naps are few and far between these days. So when she said "NO!" I wasn't too surprised. Five minutes later, however, I found this:But hold onto that whoop of glee.... I've just realized she has a stinky diaper. Which means as much as I'd love to transfer her to her bed...or even just leave her all cozily (?) cuddled up on the kitchen floor, I'm going to have to wake her up to change the diaper before she gets a rash. Sigh.