Thursday, April 28, 2016


Bryan and I tried out flotation therapy last week. Never heard of it? Me neither. But Bryan came across a groupon for the Salt City Float Spa and thought it looked interesting. I'm always up for an adventurous date night...or afternoon in this case. And really, other than the drive up and back, we were on our own during the actual floating. But still a fun experience to share.
Floating takes place in this alien looking pod. It is filled with 10 or so inches of heavily concentrated salt water. Like, Great Salt Lake salty. The water is warmed to 95.9 degrees, or surface skin temperature. You climb in (swimsuit or not, totally up to you...I went with not) and close the pod lid. Because I was slightly worried about claustrophobia issues, I left the lid open a crack. There is a light inside the pod that you can turn off if you like. I left it on because it was just a nice blue color that reflected off the white roof of the pod...and it was kind of soothing.

Because you are floating, but the salt water is skin temperature, once you settle down and the water stops rippling around you, you can't feel it at all. And it suddenly seems like you are weightless, like floating in space. It is the most surreal feeling. You are meant to spend the hour in complete relaxation and meditation. It reminded me a lot of savasana...that final "corpse pose" at the end of yoga practice. I spent my hour in the pod focusing on my breathing, thinking about each area of my body and how to let go of any tension that might be there. I tried to let everything empty out of my mind and get to the point where I was just completely and totally relaxed. In fact, some people fall asleep while floating. Some soothing music starts playing in your room during the last 5 minutes of your float to let you know that your session is almost over...and to wake you up if you've dozed off. I did not fall asleep, but I was still very surprised at how quickly that hour went by.

I don't know if floating is something we will ever do again...but it sure was fun!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Prom for the last time...

Ah, Prom. Julianne's last of her high school years. And my last for awhile as well. At least in terms of formal dress shopping. Strange as this thought is, chances are good I will be wedding dress shopping before I prom dress shop again. Brandon will be 16 in a year, but in his case we'll be learning the ins and outs of tux rentals. Life is a'changing.

Julianne was asked to Prom by her boyfriend Bryson who sent her on a scavenger hunt around town before coming home to find this message on our garage spelled out in post-it notes. When Lilian caught Bryson and friend Alyssa outside with said post-its, they let her help out. Julianne was delighted when she arrived home and laughed hard when Bryson and Alyssa (who had been hiding out down the street) drove past and Alyssa let out a war whoop through the window.

Julianne decided that in order to catch Bryson off guard, she was going to answer him that very night! So she called up friend Jordan (Alyssa's boyfriend) to help her, thinking it only appropriate. She made a big poster that said something like "It would light up my night to go to Prom with you!" and then actually lit his street on fire. Did you know hand sanitizer could burn so prettily? And then when Bryson was outside with his younger siblings checking out the burning YES! Julianne and Jordan (who had been hiding out down the street) drove past and Jordan let out his own war whoop. Because, you seemed fitting.

From the stories Julianne has shared, Prom was an incredible weekend and the two of them had the best time. Just a truly memorable night. When Bryson came to pick up Julianne I had to hide a giggle when I heard his reaction as Julianne came around the corner and he saw her for the first time. They looked stunning together. After letting me take a few pictures here at home and then meeting up with the rest of the group for official pictures together, they headed to dinner at Parkstone at Station Park in Farmington. Julianne said the food was amazing and they laughed a lot. The dance was at the Capitol Building in Salt Lake City. The night was warm, the trees were all in bloom and the view of the city is stellar from the Capitol. As much fun as they had dancing, they also enjoyed people watching. She said Prom, the biggest dance of the year, is kind of the red carpet version of all the dances. Checking out the fancy dresses, watching to see who is with who...and which are officially couples and which are just dates for the evening.

After the dance their group broke up to do their own thing. Julianne and Bryson headed to his house where sat and talked out on his back patio for awhile. Around midnight they arrived at our house and ended the evening dipping graham crackers in milk, which made me laugh. Except that Julianne said that it was kind of perfect...because she just loved how comfortable she and Bryson were together the whole evening, so relaxing and fun. So, graham crackers and milk in their fancy dress and tux.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Here we go again

He got his learners permit on the first try...he was very pleased. I guess it pays to study up a bit. I made him take a picture because I made his sisters do the same thing. And you know, traditions. He didn't seem to mind...

I'm torn. I love the idea that he is getting closer to being able to drive himself to gymnastics. Because I have been making the drive to and from Bountiful at least once if not twice, every. single. day. For many years. And it's getting old.

But teaching teenagers to drive is not my favorite thing to do. Truth be told, I'd kind of rather potty train a toddler, as strange as that sounds.

But Brandon is excited. So bring on the 40 mandated, parent supervised, practice hours. Here we go!

 Rebekah is driving
Another one driving

Monday, April 11, 2016

St George girls trip

Spring Break in my neck of the woods tends to mean vacation. A week off of school has families planning vacations to Bear Lake, Las Vegas, Disneyland, St. George, New York, etc. Some go all out and head to Hawaii or on a Caribbean cruise. If you stay home, chances are good the neighborhood feels very similar to a ghost town. And most of the time, we do indeed live that ghost town experience. But this year our family actually headed out of town for spring break. We segregated, interestingly enough...with Brandon and Bryan driving to Colorado Springs and the Olympic Training Center for Brandon's regional gymnastics meet. And Julianne, Lilian and I making our way down to St George with Alyssa and Liz in tow. Realistically, this was more of a girls trip with Lilian and I along for the being their wheels down and the one holding the wallet.

Maybe you remember Alyssa and Liz from our trip to NYC last summer? The four of us were roomies on the high school theatre trip in June and we had a great time. So this was a bit of a travel deja vu. Just with less Broadway shows. 

Because the weather was a bit on the chillier side (at least it wasn't snowing in St. George like it was at home...) we didn't end up being able to do as much swimming as we had hoped. Thankfully there is an inside pool and hot tub. But cooler temps and a bit of rain did not dampen enthusiasm for shopping, lots of movies, a trip to the temple for baptisms for the dead and some exploring in Snow Canyon and hiking up the famous St. George Narrows "Crack" and Dixie Rock.

Prom was the weekend after spring break so these girls spent a lot of time shopping for Prom make-up and discussing dress colors and hair options, etc.

 Lilian and I moved into the big pool when some cute boys came in and wanted to hang out in the hot tub. Didn't want to cramp anyone's flirting style. Granted, though the girls admitted the boys were very attractive, all three of them had boyfriends at the time and didn't go out of their way to do much flirting. So much for me being all helpful and considerate...

Elle, another close friend who also came to NYC with us last summer, happened to be in St. George with her family. She joined the girls at the temple, and also when we hiked up and around the red rocks above town.

Behold the many pictures we took of hiking the crack.
And yes, it is every bit as terrifyingly claustrophobia inducing as it looks.
...deep breaths, deep breaths....

"Hit the crack!!!" Inside joke. There is choreography associated with the phrase. And yes, I do have video. But no, Julianne refuses to let me post it.

Dinner at some noodle place that for some reason I'd never been to but Julianne insisted we must eat at because it was tradition whenever she came to St. George with cousins and grandparents. It was super yummy.
No trip to St. George is complete without a stop at the sand dunes in Snow Canyon. I wish we'd had more time to hike some of the trails, but Lilian was puking (due to the noodle restaurant the day before? I'm not sure) and we still had a long drive home that evening and some packing and cleaning to do before we left.

But hey, it was a fun spring break. These three are heading off in different directions come fall...SUU, WSU and UVU respectively. But we'll need to get together at some point and plan another getaway seeing as after NYC and St. George, clearly we make good travel companions. ;)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016


I got my ears pierced when I was 9-years old...only thanks to my little sister Melissa, who was 6 at the time. Imagine my father with a bunch of daughters, all clamoring to get their ears pierced...and he was resisting, not sure he was ready for that yet. One evening Melissa was trying her best to convince her Daddy that young as she was, she was ready to take this big step when my Dad pulled out a big safety pin. One of those enormous ones that were used when pinning cloth diapers. He said something along the lines of "Okay, if you want your ears pierced so badly, I'll just do it right here and now." He was clearly bluffing. But Melissa balled up her fists, screwed her eyes shut tight and said, "Okay...I'm ready!" Bluff called, my Dad was very impressed. If she was serious enough about getting her ears pierced that she was willing to let him do it right then and there with a safety pin, well maybe she really was ready. My mom took Melissa and Katie to get their ears pierced a few days later, and me a few days after that.

When Rebekah and Julianne started talking about earrings, Bryan resisted just like my father. He liked the idea of maybe waiting till they were 18-years old. I told him I got mine done at age 9. We decided to compromise at 12. But just like Melissa did with my father, Julianne and Rebekah both went about softening up their Daddy. It was Julianne's 8-year old logic and reasoning that convinced him, rather than the puppy dog eyes that 9-year old Rebekah was employing. Julianne gave him all the reasons why she wanted her ears pierced, how she would maintain care as they were healing, and the ways in which she would show responsibility in keeping track of and taking care of her various pairs of earrings as she collected them over time. Julianne's well thought out answers impressed Bryan in the same sort of way that Melissa's bravery impressed my father. And Bryan relented. I took the girls to the mall a few days later.

Lilian turned 8-years old last summer. She'd already been talking about earrings for a few years. I knew we'd have to wait until at least 8-years old before Bryan would reluctantly consent to letting his baby get her ears pierced. After the skipping over Brandon years, enough time had passed that he was back to the "are you sure we can't wait till she's 18?" line of thinking. When I did finally tell Lilian that she was old enough, she was so surprised with the change from "not yet" to "okay sure...want to go today?" that she actually backed off for a few months more...not truly sure she was ready after all. Fear of pain and all of that.

But eventually, Lilian decided she was ready and schedules aligned enough that we found a small window of opportunity to run over the mall on a Monday evening after taking Brandon to gymnastics. Julianne came along for moral support and a hand to squeeze. We went to the same little kiosk where I had taken her older sisters years earlier. And after picking out some pink sparkly star studs (because Lilian is all about anything that sparkles) she settled herself onto the tall stool and prepared herself for the big moment. The piercing lady assured her that she would hardly feel it, so she was a little annoyed when it hurt more than she was led to believe. A loud and indignant "Ouch!!!" came out of her mouth. But the pain was not enough to bring tears...and probably was exactly as much as Julianne and I had previously told her that it would hurt. She was absolutely delighted to see the end result and stared at the mirror with a big grin on her face for quite awhile after the deed was done.

We're still in the cleaning and twisting phase of healing. Three more weeks or so until she can take the studs out and pick other fun earrings to wear.

Friday, April 1, 2016

"April Fools!"

We're not practical jokers, really. April Fools Day is not a holiday we tend to do much with other than go through the day with a healthy dose of skepticism regarding anything we read on-line or hear on the radio, etc.

But ten years ago today Bryan and I played an April Fools joke on his family. It was a simple one. Just a quick email to them all with a message that went something like this, "Well, Sarah's mom got pregnant on an IUD. Like mother, like daughter...."

Brandon, our youngest, had just turned 5-years old. We'd been pretty open about the fact that we were done having children. And it was somewhat common knowledge within the family that I had an IUD. So an announcement that I was pregnant would look like a really big, "Whoops!" And it did. We immediately got all sorts of phone calls and emails from Bryan's family...resulting in a hearty "April Fools!"

But the joke was on us. Because just a few months later, I started to feel like maybe there really was another baby meant to come to our family. Bryan and I decided that despite the big age gap that would result, we'd try for one more. And then when we found out we were expecting and told everyone....they didn't believe us.