Friday, May 29, 2009


I love that Brett does stuff like this with the kids.
And even more that he loves it.

Monday, May 25, 2009

thanks, n@.

Last night the Foxboro 4th Ward, along with other wards from our stake, was graced and honored by the presence and words of Ms. Natalie Hill at a Youth Fireside. Some of you might recognize Natalie from either her blog, "Mormon in Manhattan" (a.k.a. "NO Sex In the City"), or perhaps from her most recent stint as the amazing Ellen in Pioneer Theatre Company's Miss Saigon. After communicating via blog and email for the past couple months, Natalie and I were able to arrange this lovely fireside sponsored by our ward. Natalie, I hope you got a feel of how AWESOME and INSPIRING your words were when, after the closing prayer, you were practically mobbed by the group of teenage girls. They were obviously enamored by your personality and admired your ability to "stand for something in a world that stands for nothing". I was especially grateful for the advice you gave to the youth on how to be a friend to others, genuinely loving them despite the fact that they may not share our values, and yet still upholding your own standards, being an example to them as you remain true to who you are and who Heavenly Father wants you to be. I enjoyed your analogy of the tree and our values. My favorite was how you compared FAITH to the leaves of the tree...grounded to our INTEGRITY and DIVINE NATURE, yet somewhat putting ourselves out there, to be tested by the wind. So, thank you, Sister Hill, for making time for us. Your schedule has been insane lately, so I truly appreciate you. I hope the late flight home didn't feel too much like a "red-eye" and that you enjoy being back in New York. Break a leg at your audition today with Uncle Jesse! (yum.)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

elder baconator.

A couple weeks ago while at Wendy's drive-thru, Brett had a sudden attack of sentimentality when he saw the picture of "The Baconator" hamburger.
"Oh, man...Tanner loves these. I mean, seriously LOVES these."

So we got the camera out of my purse. Then we mailed a photo of it to Brazil as a special kind of teaser to Elder Taft.

P.S. I personally think this burger looks gross. Has anyone tried it? Like it? Love it? Hate it?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

a kind act of service.

I've been very touched to know Mr. Robert Barrus, an elderly gentleman who volunteers his time every Wednesday in my daughter's classroom to help children learn to read. The children love him! They actually wait in line to read with him! You can tell he has become a pseudo-grandfather to many, to one blonde boy in particular who obviously feels comfortable with Mr. Barrus and will only read with him. This man is tender and loving towards these children, making them laugh with the silly jokes he makes or boosting their self-esteem by complimenting them on their "pretty pigtails" or improvement in reading. At first I thought he might have a grandchild in the class, but through our conversations I have since learned that in his ward an announcement was made that local elementary schools did not have enough parents volunteering to assist in classrooms during reading time. Although he must have other things he could be doing with his time, he has chosen to serve his community and a future generation in this dedicated way. I feel privileged to have worked with him over the past school year (I volunteer every other Wednesday) and because I know he'll never read this, I'm hoping to come up with some small token I can give him to express my gratitude for his kind and selfless service. Any ideas?

Monday, May 18, 2009

matters of the heart.

So last night (a.k.a. early this morning) was interesting, to say the least. Yesterday at 8:30 p.m. I returned home from a weekend in Vegas with Brett (to be blogged about later), delighted to see my kids, who had been spoiled and excellently taken care of by their Grandpa John and Grandma Dixie. I couldn't have been happier to see them! I got home about their bedtime, but selfishly couldn't send them to the land of nod without some snuggle time. We read stories and cuddled on the couch watching the first half of the old Parent Trap movie until 10:00. By then I figured I'd better be a good parent and finally let them get some rest since a school day loomed over the horizon. Besides, I was ready for bed myself. We all quickly finished the bedtime routine and by 10:20, the kids had been tucked in and I crawled between the sheets. It didn't take long before I was out.

Suddenly, at almost exactly 11:00, I sat up in bed, grabbing my chest with this incredibly painful "pinching" sensation at my heart. Panicking that no other adult was in the house to help me, I reached for the phone and in a knee-jerk reaction dialed "9-1-1". The operator answered and the pain was so severe I could barely muster out "I'm having chest pains". She asked from what city I was calling and after I told her she said she'd transfer me to North Salt Lake's dispatch center. By the time the transfer went through, I'd been awake for about 60 seconds and the pain had finally subsided. At this point, what do you do? I no longer had pain, but my heart was racing. However, was it racing because there was truly something wrong or was it fast because I felt panicky and full of adrenaline? I spoke with the operator and explained how I'd felt, but that now I wasn't sure I needed medical attention anymore. He didn't want to take any chances and said he'd already dispatched an ambulance and that he believed I should be checked out. I'm feeling like the biggest idiot at this point, so I say to him, "Can you at least tell them to turn the sirens off?" He made no promises but said he would try.
With every minute that passed I felt more and more like I'd overreacted, but at the same time very unnerved at what I'd just experienced. Just what the heck was that??? While I waited for the ambulance, Wyatt woke up with a nightterror, so I put him back down and tried calling Brett in Las Vegas. Just as I was dialing, the ambulance (with no sirens, thankfully, but an obnoxiously loud engine) parked in front of the house. I opened the door to see two paramedics anxiously waiting to treat a patient who they probably assumed was in much worse shape. Feeling very sheepish I explained how the dispatcher had insisted they come and they tried their best to make me feel like it was better to be safe than sorry. They checked my blood pressure and pulse and asked a billion questions, finally to conclude that at least at that moment, I was "normal". Then they were on their way, with a final reassurance that I should not hesitate to call again if the symptoms returned.

Too wound up to sleep, I called Brett--just hearing his voice on the other end of the line was a major comfort. We talked for a while and I poured out how I wasn't feeling pain any more, but that I still felt weird, kind of "out of sorts". Just that something was off. I was torn as to what I should do and confessed I was afraid to go back to bed in case we had a repeat of before. Finally convincing me to just put in a movie or something, we hung up. Within twenty minutes, my uneasy feeling began to escalate and my heart began to race. Feeling short of breath, something inside me said I shouldn't fool around with this and that I needed to get to a hospital. I contemplated calling a neighbor since I wasn't 100% sure I should be driving, but then realized I needed someone with the kids, too. Poor John and Dixie got a phone call from me around midnight.

I'm so grateful for a good family and incredible support system. I know they were exhausted after having the kids all weekend, so to be awakened in the night like that was a great deal for me to ask. My only hope is that at least Dixie got a little sleep, since thankfully (and surprisingly) my kids never woke up through this entire ordeal. She has her piano recital later today, though, and I feel I've deprived her now of the energy she would have liked to have had for that. Hopefully it goes okay.

My heart continued to race and although I wasn't in pain, the only thing I can describe is that I felt like my heart was working very, very hard. It lasted for about 20 minutes, subsiding just a couple minutes before John & Dixie arrived.

John drove me to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray where we checked into the Emergency Room. It was nice to find it a slow night, and they took us right back. They jumped into a whole gamut of tests, poking and prodding (translation: $$$ CHUH-CHING $$$!!!). They ran bloodwork,

an EKG,

and topped the night off with a CT Scan
since my bloodwork indicated a possibility of blood clots. That obviously made me very nervous. It wasn't something I was expecting to hear as a possible diagnosis, but in a way it had made some sense since I had travelled so much this weekend, and Saturday after walking the strip all day, I'd had an experience where my feet had swollen up to a laughable state and remained such for 24 hours. Imagine my relief when the CT scan showed normal lungs with no signs of clotting. At that point, there was really nothing more they could do. It was 3:30 a.m., I'd gotten very little sleep, John had gotten even less sitting in a typically uncomfortable hospital chair. So they sent me home.

It's a frustrating situation: on one hand, I'm relieved of course that there seems to be nothing to diagnose, but on the other hand, it's extremely unnerving. Especially since I still felt that "uncomfortable" feeling in my left chest even as I was being discharged. I still can't help but wonder what was happening to my body and if I should have been doing more. But what? They pretty much did everything you can do short of open-heart surgery in the ER. Uneasy and a little afraid, I did the best I could by saying a prayer asking Heavenly Father to either help put my mind at ease by taking away the feelings in my chest, or to help me know definitively if I should pursue the matter further by going to another doctor today. When I woke up this morning, the feeling was still there to a certain degree, but definitely not like it was last night. After talking with Brett, we decided I would make some phone calls and see if another doctor could review last night's test results just to make sure we didn't miss anything. In the mean time, I'll just keep praying that the Lord will take care of me and hope that I'm in tune with what He's trying to tell me. I've never, EVER dealt with anything like this before. The fact that my kids slept through it almost makes it seem like last night was just a dream. A very bizarre, very scary dream. Hopefully it was a one-time deal...but it sure puts a person on edge.

Friday, May 15, 2009

stating the obvious.

i love my kids.
i love the silly things they do.
i love the talents they are developing.

i love how they love each other.

i love the way they show love to me,
especially through their forgiveness
of my shortcomings.
i love the moments they make me
from way down deep inside.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

park it.

Over the Easter weekend, Brett's
sister Ashlee was in town with her family.
We love them and had a ball going to
Bountiful park with Ash & her little man, Jace!This is Brett giving a Monkey Bar pep talk to Halle.
For some reason, she's intimidated by the Monkey Bars.
Every time we go to the park, she has this longing look
in her eye--it's obvious it's something she'd like
to master...she's just got to get up the courage to try.
The boys walked circles around this tree
for a good twenty minutes!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

If you're a fan of any of the following:

* period pieces/films with an exceedingly British flair based on
* classic literature, more specifically: Jane Austen.
(Persuasion was Austen's final complete work, published after her death. I find this telling and incredibly romantic!)
* the Thompson sisters (as in the incomparable Emma & Sophie)
* an understated heroine who is "intelligent, quiet, and generously caring"
* irresistible romance
* chivalry
* star-crossed lovers
* second chances
* undying love

...then you need to rush out and buy this movie, which just so happens to be on sale at the Bountiful Shopko right now for a mere $9.99! Totally made my week to finally have it in my possession!In case you need further persuasion, here are my favorite quotes of the movie:

Captain Harvile: "I won't allow it to be any more man's nature than women's to be inconstant or to forget those they love or have loved. I believe the reverse. I believe... Let me just observe that all histories are against you, all stories, prose, and verse. I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which did not have something to say on women's fickleness."
Anne Elliot: "But they were all written by men... If I may, so long as the woman you love lives, and lives for you, all the privilege I claim for my own sex, and it is not a very enviable one - you need not covet it, is that of loving longest when all hope is gone."

Anne Elliot: "Are you here for the concert?"
Captain Wentworth: "No, I am here for a lecture on navigation. Am I in the wrong place?"

And finally, the BEST part of the entire movie...
Captain Wentworth: ...(Yeah, right! As if I'd give you the best part and spoil the entire film! Go out and watch it for yourself. You'll know the part of which I speak the moment you hear Captain Wentworth's driven whispers.)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

it was wicked good.

For Christmas, John & Dixie generously gave their children tickets to the National Tour of "Wicked". Unlike most people (women) I was actually unfamiliar with the majority of songs and storyline (I had seen Kristin Chenowith perform "Popular" on the Today Show, but that was the extent of my "Wicked" exposure). Now that I've seen the play and heard the incredible music by Stephen Schwartz, I can certainly understand why so many were hooked (some even obsessed). It's hard to choose, but I think my favorite song was, "I'm Not That Girl" (see YOUTUBE video below). It was fun to share this "evening of culture" with my best friend and sweetheart, Bretty Boy. In addition to our fabulous tickets, we, along with Brett's siblings and their spouses, were also treated beforehand to a yummy steak dinner by my in-laws. It really was a fun night--what a great gift to receive. Thanks, Mom & Dad!
I had a passerby take a group shot of
all 7 of us, but it turned out fuzzy.
Hopefully somebody else's
camera got a good photo???
* * * * * We decided the base of the chandelier looked like a golf ball.
Can you imagine that deduction coming from this family?
Shocker. :)
Here's our view from our CENTER seats.
We saw several people from our ward and as luck
would have it, next to my seat was none
other than Lisa Glassey from Foxboro...couldn't have
asked for a better "Wicked" neighbor!


why does my heart with gladness sing?

Why is the sky so blue and clear?
Why is the robin's song so dear?
* * *
Why is the sun so warm and bright,
Filling the earth with glorious light?* * *
Why are the fields so green today?
Why do the clouds all float away?
Why does my heart with gladness sing?
Only because it's SPRING!
* * *

Monday, May 4, 2009

more s'mores, please!

I know it's not summer yet,
but I just have to say I love it.
I love it because it means we can do things
like this--cooking hot dogs and s'mores
over a fire pit in Grandpa's back yard.I love how the kids get all messy with the sugary marshmallows
and then continue to play, despite the dirt and grass
that is attracted to their sticky fingers! The kids aren't the only ones who
get messy with the marshmallows.
"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