Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A dinner conversation with Lilian

We're sitting around the table last night, calmly eating dinner. All the sudden Lilian turns to me. "Mom?" she says in all seriousness, "Do panda bears eat bamboo or grass?"

Huh?? Lilian is 2 years old! How in the world does she know what panda bears are...let alone bamboo?!

My guess is that this query is related to something she saw on one of her little kid shows she was watching yesterday. It sure gave us a good laugh! She smiled and laughed with us...even though I'm sure she had no idea why.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Deja Vu

For the second year in a row Brandon chose to go to Jump On It for his birthday. I got a kick out of all the warning signs posted everywhere...more or less saying, "Hey! We have all these trampolines! Come pay us big bucks to jump your little hearts out. Oh...but have we mentioned that trampolines are hugely dangerous? We are absolutely not to blame if you get hurt!" You should see the wavier you have to sign just to set foot in the door!
But once again, Brandon loved it. Claims it was the best day ever.
Lunch at Pei Wei. Silly kid...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Favorite Photo Friday: Happy Birthday Brandon!

(Warning: Long post ahead... but seeing as this blog has turned into my journal/scrapbook/family history, I wanted to officially document this story.)

Brandon's due date was the 1st of April. April Fools Day. I thought that was appropriate seeing that expecting a boy was kind of a joke on me...someone who grew up with only sisters and had already had two daughters. March 23, however, the doctor informed me that I was dilated to a 3, that he was surprised I wasn't in labor already, and did I want him to get me started that very day? I hemmed and hawed and then said no. My last labor had been quite long...close to 20 hours...and if this labor was going to be more of the same, I did not want to be confined to a bed. I wanted to labor at home as much as possible before coming in. But I told him I would be more than happy to have him strip my membranes and see if that got things jump started a little bit. He did. And my contractions started immediately. A few hours later they were strong and coming every 6 minutes or so. I figured I'd wait a few hours more and head to the hospital, completely certain that we were having little Brandon that day after all. It's good that I waited. Because as time passed those strong, consistent contractions got weaker and further apart. And by the next day they were back to being just regular braxton hicks contractions. A few more days passed, by which time I was seriously kicking myself for not taking the doctor up on his offer to be induced. I had another appointment scheduled for Monday morning and was prepared to eat crow and BEG to be started.

I went to church on Sunday, everyone rather shocked to see me. I was as big as a house by this point. I figured church would be a good way to take my mind off how miserable I was. I was counting down hours to my appointment the next morning. At exactly midnight both Bryan and I were awakened to a loud popping sound. And then the feeling of liquid. My water had broken! Hallelujah! Bryan stripped the sheets and sopped up the liquid best he could while I got the sleeping girls and overnight bags into the car. About half way to my parents house the contractions started. WHAM! Every 3 minutes...a few even piggy backing on the one before. Hard enough that I was gripping the dashboard and doing some serious breathing to get through them. Bryan started worrying that we needed to just go straight to the hospital and have my parents meet us there to pick up the girls. No, I told him...I was sure I still had some time. My shortest labor at that point had been 15 hours. We continued on, dropped the sleepy girls off to my equally sleepy parents and, ignoring most stop lights on our way, made it to the hospital in record time. We told the on-call intern that my water had broken. She wanted to do a test to officially check. We felt this was ridiculous...this was not the first time we'd had this experience. "Do you want to go check our mattress?" was Bryan's frustrated question. But she insisted. And came to the conclusion that, yes, we were right. Then, so as to "not introduce infection" she decided not to check me to see how far dilated I was. And then, after hearing that my last 2 labors were longish....even with me assuring her that I was pretty certain this would be faster...more or less wrote me off as someone she didn't need to worry about overly much for awhile.

We hadn't been there long before I was already getting to the point where I couldn't handle the contractions anymore. Usually I can go for quite awhile, only getting the epidural for the last few hours. I felt like a bit of a wimp when I asked for the anaesthesiologist so soon after arriving. It took 3 tries to get an IV into my arm. Bryan and I were both getting whoozy, my pain getting worse and worse. And then, laying on my side waiting for the epidural, I started panicking. I felt like I'd lost all control of my body. The contractions just wouldn't stop. Bryan, who was sitting on the other side of the room, not being able to handle watching them poke needles into the woman he loved, saw the look on my face and heard the panicked whimpers I was making and could tell that I needed help. He rushed over to take my hand. It felt like I was sinking and his hand was my life-line. All the sudden I had the overwhelming urge to push. I'd never felt that before! I'd always had the epidural before that. I mentioned this bit of information to all the medical personnel hovering over me so the nurse checked me, FINALLY. "Oh my!" she said. "You are at a 10!" The anaesthesiologist asked if I still wanted the epidural at that point. Had I been in my right mind maybe I would've declined and just pushed that baby out. But I was still brain befuddled and panicked and said "Yes, oh YES!!!" He got it in and it started working miraculously fast. Two contractions later my doctor got there and I started pushing. About a contraction and a half after that, little Brandon was born. 3:45 AM on the dot. My shortest labor by quite a lot! Brandon cried. We cried. They weighed him...8 lbs exactly. My doctor seemed surprised that I could have a baby that big. "Where were you hiding all that?" he asked. I laughed. I'd told him and told him I'd felt bigger this time around.

So my little Brandon was born on the 26th of March. It was 6 months to the day after my grandfather had died...an event that had been particularly emotional for me. We decided Brandon's middle name should be James in his honor. Brandon is very aware that he holds my grandfathers name. He asks about him a lot, wants to learn more about the man he is named after. Seems to be very proud of his middle name. I don't know if Brandon realizes how much that means to me, that he honors his great grandfather like that...a man he never even met in this life.

And now here we are, 9 years later. Brandon has given us such joy, as parents. He is such a good kid, such a sweet boy. And such fun to have a boy in the midst of all these girls. Bryan and Brandon have a special father/son bond. Brandon absolutely adores and idolizes his dad. He dresses like him. He matches his hobbies to Bryan's. When you ask him what he wants to be when he grows up he says, "A computer business owner...like Dad!" I'm grateful for my boy. I can't believe he is 9 years old already! I love, love, love him!! Happy Birthday Brandon!!

Julianne amplified

We had dress rehearsal for "Power In His Touch" last night. A long 7 hour rehearsal that got us home around 12:30 AM this morning. Shocking as it may seems, me being the stickler about school and all, I let Julianne sleep in this morning and go to school late. She was exhausted! But see this picture? This is Julianne last night with her bangs pulled up, her hair sprayed brown, and wired up to a body mic. She has a little solo in one of the songs half-way through Act I. Can I tell you how thrilled she is about that body mic? She did NOT want to take it off! Luckily she gets to wear it four more times.

Just FYI in case anyone is interested: www.powerinhistouch.com for ticket information. Tonight and tomorrow we are at the Peery Egyptian Theatre. April 5-6 we are at the Rose Wagner. I really think it will be an amazing show...a wonderful way to feel the Easter spirit.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Last Saturday I was downtown at the "Hosanna" concert. And if you are scanning the choir trying to find my face, well..it's not there.

I'm sitting down here:
And even knowing whereabouts I was in the audience, it was still hard to pick myself out in this shot.
But I have been thinking of this concert numerous times daily all week.
I was conflicted, going to this concert. My sisters and friends were all singing. I was pretty heartbroken about not being able to sing with them. At the same time, I was rather excited about seeing/hearing from an audience perspective. This music...I've never had anything affect me quite as much. I cry every time I've performed it. But I wondered if that was because I was so involved, being in the production.
So I arrived. And I went back to visit with my sisters and friends. And my voice quavered and my emotions were high as I saw them all in their fancy concert attire. I wished them all luck and went to my seat. The concert started. And I realized that as wonderful and amazing as I always thought the music was in the past, as much of a spiritual high I always left with....it was totally different being in the audience. I thought that much of my expected emotion would be because I was feeling sorry for myself but once the music started I didn't even think of that. I lost myself totally and completely in that music...and sobbed. The production was THAT amazing..the Spirit was THAT strong. At one point I realized I had my arms wrapped tightly around myself, almost as if I was trying to hold myself together, I was shaking so hard with emotion.
I know that maybe you'll think I'm biased, but I think Lex de Azevedo is a musical genius. And I think he was inspired to write this music. And I feel immensely blessed to have had the opportunity to be a part of "Hosanna"...as a performer and an audience member.

Monday, March 22, 2010


This is what I did today. Five hours worth of weeds. I'm dirty. My lower back aches. My fingers are sore from prickly weeds. And I'm afraid I'm going to be mighty tired at rehearsal tonight. But now all those plans in my head for landscaping that flower bed can actually come alive. Now comes the fun part!

Union Station

This is where Julianne and I have been spending the great majority of our evenings for the past few weeks. It's a very old train station that has been converted into part museum, part conference/convention center. There is a fun little cafe in the bottom south corner of the huge building. And right above that is where we rehearse for "Power In His Touch." The stairs are old wood and steep...we are puffing heavily by the time we make it up. The floors are creaky. Rumor has it that ghosts inhabit the building...supposedly there are eyewitnesses. But it's a charming place. And I love seeing the trains each week. Tonight is our last time here before we move rehearsals into the actual theatre. I'm excited to be on stage at last...but I think, maybe, I might miss this place a little bit.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Favorite Photo(s) Friday: K-I-S-S-I-N-G

Two little lovebirds sitting in a tree
First comes love, then comes marriage,
then comes the baby in the baby carriage.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Lilian: "Hi Mom! How're you?"
Me (distractedly): "I'm good."
Lilian: "No Mom. You're great!"
Me: "Okay, Lilian. I'm great. How are you?"
Lilian: "I'm GREAT!" and then.... "Mom, you are great, I am great...we are great together!"

In Lilian's world there is no such thing as fine or good.

Level 4 Team

This is Brandon's gymnastics team. Brandon has never been much into team sports. Never interested in playing baseball or football. Tried Lacrosse and soccer, and while he enjoyed them, he didn't want to stick with them. Funny, that even though he is one of the most social little 8 year old boys that you'll ever meet, he is more attracted to individual sports. Gymnastics is interesting. You compete individually AND as a team. So although he works immensely hard on his own individual routines he's also very involved with the other boys on his team. They warm-up and do conditioning together. They help each other and root each other on. And at meets, not only do they work for individual scores, they work together for team awards as well.

Over the past few months I feel, on a small level, that I've got to know these boys. I watch them closely. I know their names. I know their strengths and weaknesses. I'm starting to be able to predict how they'll react to a great routine or a mistake. Cute boys, all of them. I LOVE going to these meets. I love watching Brandon compete...he gets such joy out of it. And part of it, I'm sure, is this combination of being able to compete individually but also make such great friends with these boys on his team.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Under progress

I'm messing with my blog a lot lately. Sorry if it's making your head spin. I get all sorts of particular with what kind of background I want on there... takes me awhile to find something I really want to stick with. Be patient with me.

Favorite Photo Friday: Rebekah tree'd

May 2008. This is my Rebekah. My first born. The one that first turned me into a mother. She's almost 14 now. And I've realized something. You know how parents dread and/or complain about the teenage years? And yes, I know she's not that far into them yet...but, I like them! Or maybe it's just her. She's definitely your stereotypical teenager, certainly. She's a social butterfly...always wants to be with friends. She complains about curfew. She goes through numerous outfits daily and throws half the contents of her closet onto her floor or bed. But she's a good girl and I like to be with her. As a daughter, yes, but also just as a friend. I'm interested in all her experiences with her friends, boys she likes (or thinks are gross) and classes at school. And so far, she is happy to share it all with me. So far she isn't embarrassed by me. Amazingly enough, I'm fairly certain that she and her friends think I'm cool. Well, as cool as a 36 year old mother can be. I'm so glad that she feels comfortable enough to talk to me about anything and everything. That she trusts me. I hope that continues for a long time to come.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Pretty flowers

One of my very favorite things...a vase full of fresh flowers on my bedside table. I love how they look, I love smelling them as I lay in bed. It just makes me happy. I bought these tulips yesterday. Tulips remind me of spring and Easter. I love tulips. Aren't they pretty? They make me smile every time I walk into my bedroom.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sweet Bryan

Last night. Lilian was asleep. The other kids watching TV downstairs. Bryan and I were working side by side on our respective computers in the den. Peaceful. Bryan cued up a playlist from the music he had on his computer. First song. "Oh! I really like this song!" I said. "Yeah," Bryan replied, "I know." Next song. "Hey..this is one of my favorites too!" Again, "yep, I remember." Song after song. All songs that I like. All the sudden I realized that this playlist Bryan has created...he's gone out of his way to make sure it's stuff I really like. Stuff we haven't listened to in years, some of it, but he's remembered what my favorites on each album are. Remembered my random comments of my likes and dislikes...even after all this time. He knows me well, that man. I was really touched by his sweetness. And something as silly as a music playlist had me smiling like a giddy teenager in love and fighting back tears like a sentimental sap.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Cabela's vs. REI

Up until last summer, sporting goods stores were not high on my list of places I enjoyed shopping. Mostly just because I was rarely in the market for anything they were selling. That changed a few months ago as I entered the world of biking and triathlons which put sporting goods stores on my radar. My sister Melissa and her husband Scott have always joked that Cabela's is the Republican sports store while REI is the Democrat sports store. I've patronized REI numerous times in the past year but today I visited Cabela's for the first time. Bryan and his brother wanted to pick up some gun ammo. I was hoping to check out any triathlon or running clothes they might have. Can you guess who was more successful with their shopping list? And so although I count myself as a Republican, and though I own a gun and happily join Bryan on jaunts up the canyon or to a range to go target shooting... looks like I am more of a REI customer. Hunting, fishing, camping? Nope. Biking, running, triathlons and yoga? Yep, that's more me.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Temple Night Social

The first Friday of each month our ward has a temple night. And as added incentive to make this particular Friday a date night to be looked forward to, there is a social afterwards....ward members taking turns hosting. Tonight was the night Bryan and I had offered up our home. And what an easy party to host! All I had to do was clean. Another couple is in charge of organizing and planning each month. They pick a theme (tonight was breakfast) and then send around clipboards in church for people to sign up to bring the food. We had 40 or so people here and we all had a great time. Good food, good company.

Favorite Photo(s) Friday: The Crack

We took a trip over Martin Luther King Day 2005 to St. George to visit some friends. They took us exploring in the red rocks above town where we climbed up through "the crack."
It was skinny enough that Rawlin with his broad shoulders/chest and Heather with her pregnant belly couldn't fit. In most places I literally scraped my way through sideways. We were about 1/4 of the way through when Bryan said, "Gee, wouldn't it be awful if there was an earthquake while we are in here?" Oh my. For one like me who counts claustrophobia as a pretty intense fear, and who was already sending up prayers to stay calm...it was not a happy thought! A few panicked words from me quieted that line of conversation pretty quickly!
But wow, right?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Looking forward to spring

It's felt kind of like spring around here lately. I've been on 2 bike rides in the past 3 days. I rode past someone mowing their lawn, which seemed kind of funny seeing as it was the first day of March...but oh! It smelled like spring. The temps have been in the mid 50's. Which actually seems warm this time of year as opposed to October when 50 degrees feels like you should pull out the coats, hats, and gloves. And as much as I love winter and snow I will admit, I am SO ready for spring. Today was supposed to get up to 57 degrees so I planned a little afternoon jaunt to the neighborhood playground with my friend Mylissa and her daughter Julianna. But by the time we made it outside the wind had picked up, the clouds came out and our warm day...well, it was a bit chillier than we would've liked. We enjoyed ourselves all the same.
Here are some pictures:
And here is a picture of Lilian and me. It was taken during dinner at Wingers last Saturday and has nothing to do with the park or anything else, really. It's not enough to merit its own blog post. But I just kind of liked it. So there.