Saturday, May 31, 2008

halle's new look is on the "cutting" edge

About two weeks ago Halle mentioned she wanted to cut her hair. I was shocked--shocked--because it hadn't been more than a couple days since she'd talked about how happy she was her hair was growing long, "like a princess". Deep down, I loved the idea of cutting her hair, because as a preschooler, she'd always looked adorable with her little bob-cuts. I presented her with the pros and cons of short & long hair and bargained. I told her she had to think about it real hard for a week, and if at that time she still wanted it cut I'd take her to a salon. (I wasn't about to attempt this myself...a grown woman has a difficult enough time overcoming a haircut gone bad. Can you imagine what a dramatic 6 1/2-year old's reaction would be???)
A week later she said she was still thinking about it but that she thought she wanted it cut. I kind of ignored it, partly because I didn't really have the time. Then she didn't mention it again, so I assumed it had been simply a passing thought. However, out of the blue, while she was taking a bath last night, she shouted out sternly to me, "Mom, come in here!" I quickly ran to her bathroom thinking something was wrong. I was met with a resolved, "I've decided I want to cut my hair and I want to do it tomorrow." Ohhhhh-kay. It had been decided.
So this morning at 10:30, she said goodbye to her long locks and hello to a fun new "do".
Take a look:

Feeling a bit jittery.
I asked her, "Are you nervous?"
Her brave reply was, "Almost."

'Thank You' to my stylist, Heather at Serenity Salon,
for fitting us into her busy morning!

Halle's first glimpse. She was shy, but loving it.

I think it makes her look a little older.

What d'ya think???

getting a grip

Carson's been making progress (and a mess) each
time he tries eating with a fork or spoon

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

a memorable Memorial Day

Our Memorial Day "festivities" aren't exactly noteworthy to most, but I wanted to mention what a great time I had Monday afternoon.

Thanks to the wind & rain, we had a simple "indoor" BBQ with our good friends & neighbors, the Stewarts, and one of my kids' absolute most favorite people, "Cousin Joleen".

I was so happy Jo came over. I had invited her but with false hopes, because I didn't think she'd actually come. This spring she had been so busy she put beavers to shame, and so I guess I was kind of used to her not really having the time (she's been passing CPA exams left and right). Anyway, like I said, it made my day that she came. We were laughing over dinner about what a love-hate relationship she and I have had over the years. Being "aunt/niece" with birthdays two months apart often times felt more like attending the same grade K-12 with your sister. But as children we loved to play together, especially the days we survived our petty little arguments. I'm sure you can relate. It does sound a lot like a sibling relationship, does it not? And then...ahhh...then we lived together one summer. Boy, was that the straw that broke the camel's back! I think we both wrote pages of the book "101 Ways To Sabotage What Could Have Been a Great Roommate Experience". Seriously, with exception to a couple good memories, I know she'd agree that we both made a lot of mistakes that summer. But the good part is, we can talk about it now. We've admitted we were both in the wrong, and now I'm just thoroughly enjoying her friendship and the beautiful person that she is. I really admire her determination and success she's had in school and now career, and let me tell you...this woman can cook! I've gotten some of the most interesting, but tasty, recipes from "Jo's Kitchen". She's gorgeous, having developed this super-fun, classy sense of style...I asked her yesterday where she finds all her cute clothes! Anyway, thanks for coming, Jo...we had a lot of fun with you!

And then of course, there's the Stewarts. When you move into a new home, one concern you (or at least I) have is always "What will the neighbors be like?" Likewise, I'm sure they were curious just who had moved next door and prayed we weren't ax-murderers or worse, lawyers (just kidding, Shawn!). We feel like we got the real luck of the draw with Shawn and Kami. They are the perfect neighbors in all the right ways: they take care of their house, they take care of their yard, they have children that are not obnoxious, but rather so adorable I could eat them right up! Their two kids and my brood get along famously, which is good because we swap babysitting at least once a month. Thanks to Kami, I've gotten a lot of great advice on how to plant shrubs and flowers, and thanks to Shawn, we've extracted "free" legal advice from him on two separate occasions in less than a year. We'd better be careful not to take advantage of his generosity...he might start timing our phone calls! :) I've called Kami from "the road" before asking her to make sure I shut my garage and it makes me feel good that she's felt able to call me for small favors, too. They had a busy day yesterday, with family activities in the morning, so it felt wonderful that they'd make time for our little BBQ, braving a new recipe I tried (which, thankfully, turned out pretty darn good thanks to our other 5-Star neighbor, Jayme. Thanks, Jayme! The Blue Cheese Burgers were a hit!)

Sunday after dinner, we'd driven the kids up to Hooper to see Brett's grandparents graves. It was a seized opportunity to talk to our kids about them (Halle was only two when they passed away) and also discuss the importance of temples and eternal families. Surprisingly, Halle was genuinely interested in them. I would think a 6 1/2-year old would have rather joined her younger brother on his walk around the cemetery to look at the different flowers, etc. placed by the headstones. Especially since she'd insisted on bringing her new "bug catcher" with us. But once Brett started talking about Grandma and Grandpa Taft, all she wanted to do was sit next to Brett at their gravesite, asking him questions about them, and the occasional question about heaven and the Plan of Salvation. On the way home, we drove by their house (which I'd never seen so I definitely loved seeing the square red-brick home near Roy High School) as well as Brett's maternal grandparents home, which she did remember. "Is that the house I went to where I got to play with the Jack-In-The-Box?" After we got home, her fascination continued. She'd disappeared for a while upstairs, reappearing about fifteen minutes later with a scrapbook page I'd done with Mack and Hazel Taft's pictures on it. "Is this them?" she asked Brett. Then she sat on his lap and asked more questions. It made me think about my own grandparents, and my brother, who have gone on ahead, paving the way for us on the other side, and how richly blessed I am to be tied to spirits with such strength and honor. The best question I'd heard all day was as we were walking to the car at the cemetery. I had mentioned the reason temples were so important was that they made it possible for us to be together forever with people that we love, even people that have already died. In childlike enthusiasm, she stated, "Oh! I get it, Mom! So because Grandma and Grandpa were married in the temple, they got to be together again? And I'll get to meet them some day? And then Wyatt and Carson will get to know them, too? And then I'll get to be with them forever!" I'm so proud that even at her young age, Halle is already grasping the significance of a noble heritage and the importance of making that connection with those that have gone on before!

So there's our Memorial Day weekend in a nutshell. Nothing earth-shattering, but leaving us at the end of the day feel extremely blessed to have certain people in our lives.

Hope yours was memorable, too!

P.S. If you've noticed the time, don't be alarmed. Between Wyatt's last awakening and my flu-like symptoms, I decided it wasn't getting me anywhere tossing and turning in bed. Now that I've been up twenty minutes, I'm ready to go back to sleep. So mission accomplished!

Monday, May 26, 2008

GNO: Foxboro-Style

So May was our first Girls-Night Out and can I just say it was
so much fun? It's no secret I've really missed my GNO group in
Arizona, so I finally decided to put one together here.

For May, we had 12 ladies at Macaroni Grill and I couldn't
have been happier with the turn-out. They are all people I've wanted
to get to know better, each one bringing a fun, unique and
wonderful personality. Wasn't it Sister Hinckley that said
"Women need other women"?
So true!
For now, we've decided to do it every 2nd Thursday of the
month and I can't wait for June! See you there, ladies!
It was very important to me that it does not feel "exclusive".
I don't want anyone to feel as though they want to participate but can't.
I've been part of groups before that felt, I don't know, maybe "CLIQUE-ISH",
and I just wanted something warm and welcoming
to everyone in our neighborhood.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Yardwork, Pirates, & Bears, OH MY!

A week or so ago Brett's dad and brothers came over for a modern-day "barn-raising". Or in our case, a "shed-raising". Not only were they helpful with the shed, but nobody came empty-handed. Dad brought some tools, Tyson brought Mack, and Tanner brought personality and...a bear (explained below).
And there is Tanner's afore-mentioned PERSONALITY. What a ham.
The kids kept busy with the ultimate kid-entertainment: large, empty boxes! They decided to play pirates. Here they are decorating their ship with stickers and crayons.

Yo-Ho, Yo-Ho, A pirate's life for me!
Have I mentioned that I love this kid?
And I have I mentioned that I really, really love this "kid"?
Here is that bear I was telling you about. Tanner hid underneath a box and started growling. The boys were going absolutely nuts waiting for the rabid beast to emerge!
As he escaped from his lair, the boys anticipated their "grizzly" death from bear attack.
"Grrrrrrrrrr!" The bear was fearsome and showed no mercy.
The boys, of course, loved it.
It was hysterical!
Tanner is basically the most adorable uncle in the world. I keep telling him that after his mission, all he has to do to impress a girl & melt her heart is to let her watch him with his niece and nephews.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

What is the "sign" for SWIMMING LESSONS?

The kids are taking swimming lessons at the Davis Rec Center (a.k.a. "The Bubble" to you long-term Davis County residents). I feel like I have two little "fish"--Wyatt and Halle both love the water!
Normally, a parent might be bored while sitting and waiting the 45 minutes on the sidelines. However, I've had the opportunity to visit with a deaf mother who's two (hearing) children attend lessons at the same time as my kids. She reads lips and speaks as best she can. At times I struggle to understand her, but we get along just fine. Her husband is also deaf and serves as the branch president of an LDS Deaf Branch in Salt Lake City. It made me appreciate the challenges deaf parents with hearing children must face when trying to find the right place for their family.
She is delightful to visit with and when I had to sign Halle's name, it made me feel good that I'd paid attention to all those "SIGNING TIME" episodes, as I was able to communicate via my hands and this woman actually understood me! It made me want to learn more. I know my sister-in-law, Laurie, had a deaf friend for a number of years and enjoyed a friendship with her. You might think I'm a total dork, but I really have been DVR-ing "Signing Time" so I can brush up on the everyday basics. I love "talking" to this woman (I really should find out her name...I know her kids' names, but not hers. Dumb, I know). Anyway, I love talking to her. She's funny and cheerful, and I feel has opened an opportunity for me to forge a friendship in more than one way.
Kind of a pointless story, but an experience I wanted to share, nonetheless.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

"Hope's Day" & "Mom's Day"

Last week was my 28th birthday. Interesting how as you get older, birthdays seem to be less significant? I think my kids got more excited about it than I did! But thank heavens for their enthusiasm. They make this mama feel extremely lucky and loved. All I really wanted for my bday was to go out to dinner with my family. I was in the mood for pizza, so we stopped by Fire House Pizza in Centerville for some tasty breadsticks and pizza pie. I'd spent 5 hours outside gardening (the front yard is almost completely landscaped...HALLELUJAH!), so you can see I'd gotten some sun! I also appreciated all the cards and phonecalls that I received from so many beloved friends and family. I was overwhelmed at the number of people who so thoughtfully remembered me and wished me a happy birthday! And both our parents were once again far-too-generous in their gifts. However, I took them anyway. I mean, I didn't want to be rude! :) Thanks again, everyone,or making my day special!

Carson enjoys a mouthful

Wyatt let us know: Boys on one side of the booth, Girls on the other

Then there was Mother's Day Sunday.

The day before I'd been a little bummed that I had to miss a special surprise dinner my dad was doing for my mom out in Vernal, but Brett helped get my mind off of it when he and the kids brought my breakfast into the bedroom singing, "Happy Mother's Day to you, Happy Mother's Day to You..." The kids had made me some adorable cards, and of course, Brett's card made me melt. That afternoon we enjoyed gorgeous weather, along with a tasty new recipe: Pomegranate-Glazed Grilled Pork Tenderloin. Super-Yum! Brett was the GRILL KING, as the pork came out so tender and juicy, all you needed was a fork. No knife required! Thanks Brett & Kids, for reminding me that I am the luckiest mother in the whole entire WORLD!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

purty tasty Pizza!

Marija Restaurant and Pizza
(801) 397-0226
385 N Redwood Rd

I just wanted to give a little "plug" for this sweet, family-owned Pizza place that recently planted roots across from our neighborhood on Redwood Road. It's called Marija (pronounced Mah-ree-uh).

Monday night we knew we wanted something quick for dinner while Brett, his dad, and brothers put up the shed in the backyard. We decided it was high-time we ordered from Marija's, if nothing else but to let them know we support them and are grateful that they are bringing business so close by (it's a 10-minute drive into Bountiful, so we're happy for anything more convenient). Anyway, I thought the price was competitive to the major chains and quite reasonable. We ordered 1 large combo pie with all the fixins and 2 mediums, cheese and pepperoni. I can't remember our exact total, but I seem to recall it being something like $25 and change. It was ready within 15 minutes for pick-up (from what I understand they are hoping to offer a delivery service sometime within the next month, but for us, pick-up couldn't be closer!).

I spoke to the owners while a polite employee rang up my order. This husband-wife team were delightful to visit with. They were happy and jolly, speaking with a beautiful thick accent. They told me they have lived in America for ten years, but originally came from Croatia, across the Adriatic Sea from familiar boot-shaped Italy.

I have to say we thoroughly enjoyed the food--in fact, in true-blogger fashion, I was wishing I'd taken a picture of the pies for the blog, but now all I've got to show for our meal are three empty boxes. What can I say? The pizza was hot 'n good and went quickly! We will definitely be ordering from there again.

Anyway, if you live in the Foxboro area (or even if you don't) give Marija's a try sometime. Until then, just know "Ja to volim!" (Croatian for "I liked it!")

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

same old story: night terrors (sigh)

So here's a video I found on that is very similar to what it's like when Wyatt's experiencing a night terror. You won't want to watch the entire thing. Just 30 seconds will give you a good idea and trust me, you'll be ready to push "pause". It's unbelievable that Wyatt never has any sort of recollection of it afterwards. But I suppose that's really a blessing in the end.

I really feel for this poor mother in the video--the longest Wyatt's ever had one was about 25 minutes. And that was long, even for him. Usually, he calms down within a two or three minutes of me coming into his room. The other difference is that Wyatt's eyes are always open and he's typically not walking around. Most times he is sitting up in bed, perspiration all over him.

It's common for him to have around 3 night terrors before midnight, maybe 1-2 days each week. But they are usually not days in a row. I know we're going through a "bad patch" when we have more than 2 nights that we're up a lot. This time, we're on night five. I've got to admit it, it's really starting to wear on me. I just have to keep reminding myself that my sweet little boy has no control over any of this and that the One person who is in control will keep me sane until Wyatt finally grows out of them.

(I saw on "Oprah" once a doctor who claimed some children never grow out of them. That was the day that I decided I hated "Oprah".)

Monday, May 12, 2008

BYU Women's Conference

For the first time I attended Women's Conference. It definitely won't be the last. They were two wonderful days, packed with lots of laughter, inspiration, and fun. I've been blessed to marry into a family I love as much as my own, so of course I was excited to go with my mother- and sister-in-law.
We attended some memorable classes, hearing speakers that had obviously put much preparation into their messages. It was especially fun for me to hear a former institute teacher, Sue Egan, who began an institute class for young mothers in 2001 (the year Halle was born). It was breakthrough because you could actually take your baby with you, which was so rewarding and wonderful to be able to attend an institute class without worrying about having to make babysitting arrangements. I had always enjoyed her class at "the U" and seeing/hearing her again was as fantastic as I'd expected it to be.
The concert Tuesday night was a riot. Hilary Weeks hosted and she kept us in stitches all night! As part of her "hosting", she kept with the theme of FASHION and between performers, she'd come on stage dressed in a new "fashion statement"

(once was a medieval gown, once was pajamas, and the grand finale was Bo Peep, just to give you an idea). Add to that the amazing performances given by Hilary, Jenny Jordan Frogley, Michael McLean, Kenneth Cope, and Eclipse, and it truly was a night to remember! Throughout the concert I tried taking pictures of the performers, but being the Marriott Center we weren't exactly "up front and personal", so I found the best pictures were actually of the performers on the Jumbotron. Kind of lame, I know, but was the best I had to work with considering my camera. Oh, and Dixie's gonna KILL me, but we were laughing about how people were waving the lights from their phones in lieu of lighters to show their enthusiasm for songs. So here's my favorite shot of my fun mother-in-law getting "into it" (or at least appearing to!). Guess you had to be there, but it was too funny. I love the look on Ashlee's face, too. It's like the teenager eye-roll!


In conclusion, I would highly recommend WC. I will try to go next year, too. I had "the moment" I was waiting for. You know that moment where you suddenly hear a message that you somehow know was just for you and you think, "Yep. That's it. That's the reason I needed to come. To hear that." The ironic thing is that I went thinking I'd receive some answers to another dilemma I've had for a while now and instead I walk away with something totally different, but so completely more important to my life and necessary for my soul. I don't want to share too much because I almost feel the tender mercies Heavenly Father granted me are sacred and so dear to my heart. But the jist of it was this: HOW AM I SPENDING MY TIME? DOES IT TRULY REFLECT THE WAY THAT I WANT TO BE IDENTIFIED? WHAT KIND OF BLESSINGS, OR EVEN CONSEQUENCES, WILL COME FROM THE WAY THAT I CHOOSE TO PRIORITIZE MY TIME? I had a little journal with me and when this "epiphany" hit I couldn't scribble the thoughts in my head fast enough. I know--KNOW--the Lord was speaking directly to my spirit and I am so eternally gratefully that out of the billions of people in the world, He makes time for me. Time to whisper tender mercies to my heart and gently remind me of the what is most important in my life. And the best part is, His gentle reminder did not make me feel guilty, and guilt is something that I feel all-too-easily sometimes. Maybe it's because I'm a woman, some might say it's because I'm a mormon woman, but there are days where guilt is my default emotion. But in this case, instead, I just felt His love for me, and His desire for me to feel good about the things I'm doing in my life. I came home, made a list (man, do I love lists!) and over the nearly two weeks that I've been home I'm proud to say I've made an effort--a real effort--to make the inspired changes I felt I needed to and I've felt so peaceful about it. It's borne testimony to me that God truly does answer our prayers...even if it's not the prayers we think we're going to have answered.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

MY OWN "SUPER WY": pause my playlist & listen to the li'l duder pay tribute to his #1 superhero!

Halle & Wyatt's absolute most favorite show right now is PBS's "Super Why". If you haven't ever seen it, try to--it's a fabulous kid's show and really helps them with words and reading, even at very young ages. Even Carson gets excited when it's on! Here's my "Wy" singing the theme song in his very most manly voice!

"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson