Saturday, May 29, 2010

Favorite Photo Friday: "Te Amo"

Bryan and I met while we were in high school. He was a senior and one year older than me. Our first date was Junior Prom. We dated all summer and through the fall. Somewhere in the midst of Saturday night parties, hanging out at the park, eating icecream at Grannies and Vanilla Floats at TGIFriday's, Homecoming, numerous movies, a trip to Lake Powell, Sadie Hawkins, etc....we fell in love. So that by the time Bryan was ready to leave on his mission in January 1991, the thought of him being gone for 2 years made my heart just ache.

Bryan told me that he wasn't going to ask me to "wait" for him. It wasn't fair to me, he said. He wanted me to date, have fun. He wanted to write, certainly, and then promised to come find me at college, wherever that was to be, when he got home.

So we wrote letters. Weekly letters while he was in the MTC. But then things got busy, of course. And writing letters was never Bryan's strong suit. I continued to write him every week. He averaged a letter to me about once every two months. But when they did come.... oh, they would melt my heart. And remind me why, of all the other guys I was dating at college, none had come close to taking Bryan's place in my heart.

Bryan sent me this picture, taken in Philadelphia in February 1992, a little over a year after he had been gone. On the back side it said, "To Sarah, with love." And hot on its heels came this post card...the front side which, along with my address, said, "This is just a little love letter. You'll get a real letter soon." The picture and postcard went up on my bulletin board in my dorm room where they stayed for the remainder of Bryan's time away. And now, here we are 18 years later. Both the picture and postcard are safely scrapbooked away in an album now. But I love pulling them out occasionally to reminisce....

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Music Through the Decades"

This past January Rebekah and Julianne joined a local acting/theatre group. Last night they performed a music review. Each class had a different decade to cover. Julianne's group had the 1960's which meant costumes consisted of beach-y type wear and they sang and danced to songs such as "Surfin' USA", "Little Deuce Coupe" and "Don't Worry Baby" among others. Rebekah's group covered the 1970's disco era and did songs from ABBA, Earth Wind and Fire, Leo Sayer, Three Dog Night, etc.
I was quite interested to see this performance, this being the first time my girls have performed with this group. I was really impressed. Costumes, choreography, singing, staging...all of it was well put together and entertaining. I'm excited to see future shows.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Brandon and Larsen decided to dress up as "nerds" last night. I have no idea why. But it made me laugh.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Potty Training: Take 2

This little girl has filled up her potty chart. Which means that not only is she wearing cute little Dora or Princess panties pretty much every day but she also got to go to Super Target and pick out a special toy. She picked out a tea set...despite the fact that she has already has so many toy dishes and food that it seems like I'm tripping over them every time I turn around. I guess this means that the play kitchen we've got for her birthday will be a big hit next week.

And okay, okay. I admit it. It was way back in January that I briefly mentioned that I was starting the whole potty training adventure. I blogged about it specifically so I couldn't back out when things got hard. But after 3 days or so things did get hard. And I decided I wasn't matter if she was or not. We put away the stickers and the chart and the potty and pulled back out the diapers. And I breathed a big sigh of relief....while simultaneously holding my nose every time I changed a stinky diaper. But a couple of weeks ago I decided BOTH of us were now ready. We made a new chart. We bought more of those panties with her favorite TV characters on them and off we went. Success! Pretty much. I'm sure we're still in for some of those "but I was busy, Mom!" or "I couldn't hold it!" moments. But for the most part I think we're golden. Now if only I could convince her that those automatic flushing toilets at the store aren't going to suck her in and down....

Thursday, May 20, 2010

"Forever Young"

My favorite song in the whole world is Alphaville's "Forever Young." Yes, still.

Those who knew me well in high school know of the obsession I had with that song. You see, for Bryan and me, "Forever Young" was our song.

My college roommates could always tell when a letter would come from a specific missionary because "Forever Young" would be blaring from the stereo in my room. Over and over and over again...the upbeat, remixed version if I was happy, the slower, original version if I was sad.

At weekend dances, it was quite awhile after Bryan left on his mission before I deigned to dance with any other boy during that song.

And so, even now, that song is so filled with emotion and sentimentality that despite it's age, despite other awesome music that has come out since, nothing can take it's place as my numero uno favorite song.

I have spent the past half hour on itunes looking up various versions of "Forever Young." Did you know that there is an acoustic version? A live version, a remixed version...all sorts of stuff. I feel like I am in "Forever Young" heaven.

An admission....the official "Forever Young" music video is seriously weird. I'm going to pretend it doesn't exist so as not to tarnish the shiny glow around the song.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


As I mentioned a few months ago, Julianne's grandparents (Bryan's parents) challenged Julianne to read the whole Book of Mormon before she turned 12 years old. She accepted and completed this challenge, as did two of her cousins. The reward, other than the spiritual gains from reading the Book of Mormon, was a two week trip to Florida. The beach, DisneyWorld and the Kennedy Space Center were some of the highlights.

Julianne was pretty excited about going to the Kennedy Space Center...they'd been studying about it pretty heavily at school right before she left. In fact, when her teacher found out she'd be visiting the center, she gave her the assignment to collect pamphlets and take lots of pictures and then give the class an oral report of sorts after she got home.Touching a moon rock. Very cool.

Disney World, as always, was tons of fun. Julianne got a big kick out of seeing all the different countries in Epcot. "I got a croissant in France, Mom!" (Croissant rolls are one of her favorite foods...) She loved Animal Kingdom...especially the "Bugs Life" 3D movie. Which made me laugh because when I took her to it when she was two years old, she was terrified!

They did the beach thing many different days. Julianne called home one day and told me that they'd been at the beach all morning. I had a hard time holding my envy in check seeing as it was 38 degrees and raining here at home!

She had an absolutely terrific time and made memories that will last her a lifetime, I'm sure. Thank you, Lynn and Carol, for providing the incentive to read the Book of Mormon and the trip full of amazing experiences. Mostly, thank you for loving our daughter so much!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Don't you hate it...

....when you're trying to send the kids to bed and you realize that there are no sheets on the bed? Because you stripped the beds when you were trying to be all sorts of productive earlier in the day, but then got sidetracked and forgot. And now the sheets are still wet in the washer? Don't you just hate it when that happens?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rebekah's birthday party

Funny thing about teenager birthday parties...they are pretty easy to put on. No real schedule or organization, really. Just make sure that they have some options...a few games, a movie or two, an available stereo, pizza and a bunch of junk food... and they are good to go.They also spent the great majority of the party with phones in hand texting. Not only were they texting various boys and then giggling at the messages, they were also texting each other! Go figure.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Crazy Saturday: Fight Night Party

And then, as if chocolate covered strawberry making and 60 mile bike riding weren't already enough, we hosted a Fight Night party Saturday night. And when I say "we," I really mean Bryan. Because 1) These were his friends, 2) He is the one interested in Ultimate Fighting...if it were me, it would be a "Twilight" Party or something, and 3) I was totally exhausted and went to bed pretty much right as it started. Regardless, all the men made a point to thank me for allowing them to come party at our house. I guess they thought Bryan must have obtained a kitchen pass for this evening to happen. (Okay, I only just heard the term "kitchen pass" for the first time a few weeks ago. Just in case you are like me and haven't heard it before, the Urban Dictionary defines it as: "Getting permission from your wife/girlfriend to go out." Funny.) I think about 13 guys showed up. All brought some kind of potluck food item to share and a few dollars to help pay for the fight on pay-per-view. And so as I drifted off to sleep I heard many deep voiced choruses of "YEAHHH!!!" and "Noooo!!" Made me smile.

Crazy Saturday: Strawberries

I wasn't the only one having a crazy Saturday. Back on the home front Bryan was staying mightily busy himself.
A little history:
Three years ago Bryan was serving as the assistant ward clerk in our old ward. The bishop gave him the assignment of coming up with a Mothers Day gift for all the women in the ward. He mentioned that chocolates might be nice seeing as flowers had been the gift of the day for many years. Bryan took that assignment to heart, and being the gourmet that he is, decided to make the chocolate gifts himself. So, the Saturday before Mothers Day (and 3 weeks till I was due to deliver Lilian!) Bryan took over our kitchen and churned out gift box after gift box filled with chocolate covered strawberries, toffee/peanut brittle and caramel. It was a huge hit with the mothers of the ward. The bishop was so pleased he joked that we were going to be given the Mothers Day gift assignment every year! (We moved 4 months later...)

Fast forward to this year. In our ward here the Sunday School presidency traditionally has the assignment of providing the Mothers Day gifts. Just a few months ago Bryan was called to be the 2nd counselor in the Sunday School presidency. And in a meeting a few weeks ago when the subject of Mothers Day gifts came up, Bryan told his fellow presidency members about his chocolate covered strawberries of three years ago. Of course the other men thought doing the gift boxes with strawberries was a great idea! And so, once again, the day before Mothers Day my kitchen became gift central. I have no idea how long it took Bryan to put all those boxes together...I was out riding Goldilocks. But when I walked in, he had just finished. The two of us looked like haggard twins...each having had quite a long day. He said, "I've been standing in front of this counter for HOURS. My legs ache!" "Really? How interesting. I've been riding my bike for HOURS." I said. "My legs really ache too!" He smiled. And then we both gratefully sank into some chairs to share our experiences of the day.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Crazy Saturday: Goldilocks

This past Saturday was the big day. The Goldilocks bike ride. The plan? To ride 60 miles. With, hopefully, a lot less pain than last summer. I woke up 30 minutes earlier than my alarm was set to go off. I made a good breakfast...but then had a hard time getting it down. Was I nervous? Hmm. Didn't expect that. I pulled all my stuff together:

Two water bottles: one with water, one with a sport drink.
granola bar
2 packs sport beans
extra tire tube and tools
ibuprofin and bandaids
apple slices
cell phone

Mylissa's husband strapped our bikes into the rack on top of the car and off we went. It's always rather exciting to get to an event and see so many bikers in one place. We met up with Mylissa's sister Rachel and her friend Michelle and began our journey.
I had some fears. Certainly we were so much more prepared to do this big ride than I was last year. I was better trained, more experienced than last summer, right? But I couldn't stop myself from worrying..what if? What if it's last year all over again? Last year, during the course of those 60 miles, I went from enjoyment, to endurance to sheer misery. What if the hills were ginormous and I couldn't hack it? What if the wind started blowing horribly? What if I just got so plain tired that sheer misery set in again? I was hoping for something better this time.
Funny thing...we did get some heavy duty hills. And we did get some serious head winds. But it didn't ever get too hard. Every time we got to a rest stop, I was amazed at how good I still felt. And not that I wasn't getting tired....because, honestly...60 miles? Of course you're going to get worn out. But I could hack it! I never hit sheer misery. I'm not even sure I got too far into plain old endurance. I enjoyed the great majority of that ride...tough hills, exhilarating downhills, headwinds, beautiful scenery, etc. Okay...maybe not the headwinds. Those are never fun. At one point we were heading up a mighty steep hill going north past Thanksgiving Point. I was switching my gears down to make my pedaling easier when half way up that ginormous hill my chain just completely fell off! Which left me pedaling but with no forward motion...on a hill! Being clipped in to my pedals, I thought for sure I was going down. I must have yelled out in my panic. And then somehow, somehow...clipped out in time to save myself from crashing. The ladies riding past me were shocked. "I've NEVER seen someone clip out that fast!" one of them said. "I thought for sure you were going over!" Luckily for me re-attaching my chain was not a big deal and we continued on our way.
At mile 55 Mylissa accidentally rode through a pile of shattered glass as she came around a corner and popped her back tire. Sigh....mile close! I'd changed a tire before. But only with copious, frustrated tears and lots of help from Bryan. And it was the front tire. The back tire is more complicated being attached to the gears. But between the 3 of us, we pooled our knowledge and experience and somehow got that tire fixed. It took us a half hour to do it... but still! And here we are at the end. Tired, dirty, sunburned and stinky. But happy!! 63 total miles completed with never having hit sheer misery! Honestly, it was like night and day difference from my 60 miles last summer and I was exhilarated! To celebrate, we stopped at Paradise Bakery on our way home and bought some cookies. Oh my. I don't think a chocolate chip cookie has ever tasted so good!
Next up... Little Red Riding Hood ride the first weekend in June. 100 miles. Here's hoping...

P.S. Just because everyone assumes or asks... Nope. My tail end does NOT hurt! Yay! I can sit just fine, thank you very much! (Last year I couldn't sit for 2 day afterwards so these questions are not without cause...)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Busy Rebekah

Rebekah's been kind of busy lately....

She ran a 5K ..the Knight Trek...sponsored by her Jr. High. It was COLD! But at least the rain held off until AFTER the run.
For two solid weeks she and her friend Casey worked on their combined science project. I was heartily relieved when it was done. Judging from the look on her face, so was Rebekah. Either that or she was annoyed that I was making her stand in the hall for a photo op with all her friends walking by....

A couple of weeks ago Rebekah auditioned for Choraliers...the show choir for her Jr. High. It was a pretty tough audition. A solo, sightreading, clapping out ryhthms, holding her own part with a bunch of other singers. I thought she did amazingly well. And when the list went up a few days later, her name was on it! Today was the Spring Concert. Rebekah ended up singing a solo with her Concert Choir. She was also introduced as a new Choralier for the 2010-2011 year, presented with a rose and then invited to sing a combined number with all outgoing and incoming Choraliers. It was a fun Disney themed concert...hence the colorful ripped shirt and the fancy princess dresses.

This is a picture of a proud mom.

And this is a picture of Rebekah wanting proud mom to be silly with her.

She also was invited to the school's awards night where she was to be recognized for being on the high honor roll all year. I have no picture of this, however, because she decided to skip this honor so she had more time to work on her science project. How very apropos. So you will just have to use your imagination and pretend there is a picture here of Rebekah, looking beautiful..all dressed up, smiling proudly as she holds up some fancy award. Can you see it in your head?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mothers Day

Woke up this morning, early. We have 9:00 church. Lilian had crawled into bed with me around 4:30 AM. Bad dream. Don't usually like it when she sleeps in my bed. I don't tend to sleep as well with her there. But she was sobbing, she was so freaked out. When the alarm went off a few hours later I found myself facing Lilian...her little body nestled into mine. Her sleepy face calm and peaceful. My heart swelled. I wrapped my arm around her little body and and I allowed myself to lay there and enjoy cuddling with her for a few minutes.
Went downstairs to wake up the other kids. Found Rebekah and Brandon in the same bed...Brandon having zonked out there late last night while hanging out with his older sister. Cute. Quietly tried to wake Rebekah. She moaned and groaned. "I'm so tired!" Which I have no doubt that she was, having stayed out late last night at a church dance. It's her birthday today. She's turning 14. I climbed into bed next to her, pulled her into my arms and sang "Happy Birthday to you." I love it when Rebekah's birthday falls on Mothers Day. It makes the day extra special for me seeing as her birth made me a mother for the first time.
Went across the hall to Julianne's room. Bryan picked her up at the airport last night at midnight. It was the first time I'd seen her for a full two weeks. I thought she'd be jet-lagged and therefore hard to get up. But she popped right up...her body feeling like it was on Florida time. "Mom, hug me!" she demanded. I crawled onto her bed to hug and kiss my traveler home. She told me stories of her experiences. I told her what she'd missed at home while she'd been gone. A glance at the clock told me that the minutes were quickly ticking away...I now had nowhere near as much time as I like to get myself and everyone ready for church. "So what, " I thought. "It's Mothers Day and it's worth it."
Finally I went back upstairs to wake Bryan. I sat on the edge of the bed and told him of my morning. I got emotional talking about the kids and realized that I was dangerously close to crying. Bryan smiled. "You are finding joy and rejoicing in your posterity, aren't you?" he asked. "Yeah...I really am." I replied.
We were 5 minutes late for church and had to sit in the very back. But it was a great Mothers Day morning.

Favorite Photo Friday: Rebekah's birth

May 9, 1996.
This is my favorite picture of all time. Which maybe seems a little strange seeing as not a single one of us is actually looking at the camera. Plus, it's kind of on the verge of being slightly graphic. But I purposely did not crop out the blood, my leg, and the doctor's hand. Because that shows just how new that little baby really is. My favorite part of the whole picture? I LOVE that Bryan has one hand on his new, first born, minutes old baby, and one hand on me, his wife...the two most important people in his life. I don't know what was going on in his head at that exact moment. Heavens, I don't even remember what was going on in mine! But I do know that it was an emotional moment. Getting Rebekah here took a lot of years, a lot of praying and fasting, and even infertility testing. So when that little bundle of joy finally arrived, it truly was a miracle in our lives. Now here we are 14 years later and she is still a bundle of joy...albeit a much larger bundle!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Am I crazy??

My friend Mylissa and I have signed up for the 60 mile route on this Goldilocks ride. It is this Saturday. We are excited. And a little bit scared. I keep telling Mylissa that I did 60 miles last year on only my 3rd ride ever. And yes, I couldn't sit for 2 days afterwards. But I did it. Certainly we are so much more prepared now than I was then! Mylissa hasn't ever done a race like this before. I think she's dealing with fear of the unknown. And I can relate with that because....

...last year I had that same fear of the Women of Steel triathlon. I trained and I worried. I worried and I trained. I was so preoccupied with this triathlon, mentally and physically, that I think even Bryan was sick to death of hearing about it. But I did it. And it was nowhere near as bad as I thought it might be. So while most of my neighbors were signing up for a half marathon, I let another friend, Brenda, talk me into doing Women of Steel again. Running and biking? A cake walk this year. Even swimming would be easier, although I knew I had a lot of work to do in that area. But then...I got busy with "Power In His Touch." And my mornings were taken up with those Insanity workouts. And I was much more interested in biking than swimming. And then....Brenda? She pulled out on me a few weeks ago. She was having surgery. And all the sudden I found myself at a loss. Yes, I could still do this on my own. And yes, officially I am still registered. But I can't for the life of me seem to find the will to get my tired body out of bed and go swimming on my own. I'm thinking I might skip it. And I feel conflicting emotions about that...sadness, relief, guilt. All the same, I am hugely grateful to Brenda for one big thing...if it weren't for her, I would've signed up for that half marathon. And oh, how glad I am that I'm not doing that!!!

I did Little Red last year. That was my big 60 miles I referred to earlier. This year Mylissa and I are shooting for 100. Once again, we are excited. And a little scared. I think Goldilocks will be a good trial run/training ride. And although last year my legs cramped up, and my shoulders ached, and my bottom end screamed in rebellion...I have fond memories of the whole thing. I really think we can do the 100 miles. I just hope, hope, hope that it isn't as windy as it was last year!

Ragnar...or the Wasatch Back as it's called here in Utah, is a running relay. I was invited by an old college friend to be part of their 12 person team that runs from Logan to Park City over the course of 2 days. Each member of the team runs 3 different legs...some of which end up being in the middle of the night. As complicated as it seems, apparently it runs rather smoothly. I've been told that it's quite the crazy party...I'm assuming that is because every one is slap happy from lack of sleep! Routes are varied and different. Some runners have routes that take them straight up the canyon. Some routes are looooong. Combining my 3 routes together I think I go total of 12 miles which isn't too bad. My middle of the night route takes me uphill...but not straight up, thankfully! I've discovered through all of this that I enjoy biking more than running. However, running is getting easier and I am pretty excited about this race.

I got my confirmation just today that I will be doing the LOTOJA bike race in September. Apparently it is so popular... people come from all over the country to do this race...that they have a lottery to decide who get the chance to ride. It's a 206 mile race from Logan to Jackson Hole in one day. And no, I'm nowhere near crazy enough to try doing it on my own. Luckily for me, you can do LOTOJA in a relay of up to 5 people. I'm on a team with four other ladies in my neighborhood. My route is the first one...35 or so miles to Preston, Idaho. No canyon climbing for me. I'm nervous about this. It's a BIG race. But I'm also super excited....and rather relieved that I have till September to build up my speed and endurance.