Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Too much, Too much!

I get so darn behind on posts, that they all sit there half done and then I don't know where to start. I really need to be doing soo much else right now, but I needed to post a couple of pictures.

On Sunday Saroya & Jaleigh had their end-of-year gymnastics show. They were so excited! Saroya's routine was to "The Jetsons"

They got a little behind and didn't finish the routine before the song was over, and you can see how bummed Saroya was walking away.

Jaleigh's routine was to the song "I like to Move It" and boy did she!

At the end they passed out trophy's to the kids. Jaleigh thought she had won an olympic medal. She was so funny.
Good work girls! You did a great job. Also- thanks so much for our "Adopt-a-Granparents" Jackie & Cary for coming to support us! You guys are so thoughtful..

Also- just a couple pictures of a photo shoot I did for a 2 month old . Isn't he the cutest?

Ok- I promise I will be back soon.... :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Word to my MOTHER!

SO!!! My Mom is having a birthday today and I would like to celebrate her day by doing a tribute post. Since she would NOT like me to divulge or to focus on how YOUNG she is, I will exploit myself and list something about her for every year she has been MY mother!

33 Things, here we go....

1. SHE IS A SHOPPER! She loves to look, touch, feel, try on, everything. When she is stressed- Shop, When she is sad- Shop, when she needs a release- Shop, when she is happy- Shop. There is never a bad time, and doesn't necessarily buy something all the time, but she loves to shop.

2. In addition to being a shopper, she is a HUNTER! A true blue Bargain Hunter! She can find a great deal on just about everything, and doesn't buy it if it isn't a good deal. In fact, it's almost a disappointment if you didn't get a deal! I can certainly relate to this!! :)

3. She is on the cutting edge of fashion ALWAYS! She is always telling me what is "big" this season, or what is "out". I wonder who tells her... I don't know, but she always seems to know! And she looks great!

4. She is very spiritual. She is sensitive to the things of the spirit and is always sharing stories of faith or quotations from prophets and apostles.

5. She is a great speaker. I have heard some say after she has spoken in a church meeting, "It was just like listening to someone from the General Relief Society Presidency." She really is THAT good....

6. She is a determined person. She lost over 75(?) pounds on weight watchers several years ago and has kept it off. She has actually inspired others to do the same!

7. She is a sporty car kind of grandma. She had a wanted a Saturn Skye
but then remembered that she would need somewhere to put the grand kids, so she decided on a Saturn Vue. Maybe next time....

8. She has terrible teeth. Now don't get me wrong, they don't LOOK terrible, they look great! But because of this, I can blame my OWN bad teeth on genes. Plus- living with "Mr. Nothing has Ever Been Wrong with even ONE tooth of mine", it is nice to be able to call my mom and get sympathy and understanding. :)

9. She loves peanut butter, pistachios and pasta. Unfortunately none of these things are very nice to her...

10. She has these little pear and apple shaped perfume bottles that I loved to look at as a kid. And a tall black bottle of Chanel #5 on a little mirrored tray on her dresser.

11. She is a great Grandma and loves her grad kids soo much! She makes things with them, shops for them (ALL of our kids have a t-shirt for 4th of July, Valentines day, Halloween etc.) and with them (My kids about went CRAZY when she said they could pick out 3 of anything they wanted from the dollar store!!) and loves to have them for the weekend- even without us!

12. She sends a card for every holiday complete with a sheet of stickers.

13. She might not be an athlete herself, but she can cheer with the best of them. She did for me, my sisters and her grand kids.

14. Even though she has very little time to herself, she is a temple worker every other Saturday at a temple 2 hours away, and loves every minute of it. (Plus the fact that there is a great outlet mall on the way home is a bonus too!!)

15. She is resourceful. When they had their house for sale and she had someone that wanted to come over for a showing at the last minute, she started making some homemade spaghetti sauce to make the house smell good. Well- they happened to be Italians and bought the house!

16. She is a leader. She has served in many leadership roles in church. In fact- I am sure she will be called as the General Young Women's President before too long.... At work she is a leader too. Except she pretends not to be. She makes the boss look good, all the time knowing it was HER who did it. :)

17. She fell in love with my dad when she was Mary and my Dad was Joseph in the ward Nativity re-enactment. Actually- I think she said EVERY one was in love with my dad then, she just got to be Mary..

18. She fell in love with my dad for good when her boyfriend put my dad in charge of "looking after her" while he served a mission. And after all these years, he still is. (Thank GOODNESS you didn't wait for that other guy... Geesh!!)

19. She is the most thoughtful gift giver. She doesn't like to give gift cards because she thinks they are too impersonal. You will never forget what my mom got you. It means even more because you KNOW she put a lot of thought, effort, and bargain shopping into it.

20. She works against all odds to help look after her aging parents. She loves and cares soo much about them regardless of the resistance she has to go through to do it.
21. She has worked at the same business for 30 years even though the company itself has changed 4 times. She is more permanent than anything else there!

22. She used to have a makeup kit in the bathroom that I LOVED. It was a treasure chest shaped wooden box with a "Art Deco" type woman's head (is that such a thing?) on it. Inside she had a big thing of pancake makeup, a sponge, and Mary Kay interchangeable lipstick container. She always put her lipstick with a brush.
23. She is a great hostess and most of the family events with extended family are held at her house. She lights candles, sets the table festively, and has hoards of adorable paper products. And I can't forget the little dishes full of candy and nuts.
24. She has endured my dad being the Bishop twice and serving in the stake presidency for over 10 years. In addition to that when we were growing up, he had to go up north to work every week during the winter and only came home on weekends. She always slept with a pair of heavy all metal scissors under her pillow (is that really true? Or were they in her bed side table?) especially after a drunk walked into our house one night when my dad was gone.

25. She used to make spaghetti for dinner but it was always served by candle-light. I love that! Why don't I do that? It seemed every candle in the house was on the table that night!

26. She never let us listen to the song "Jack & Diane" by John Mellencamp, but we all knew the words. Funny though, I remember listening to Donna Summer's "Love to Love Ya ,Baby" without any problem :)

27. She frequently does dinner and a movie night with my dad on Friday nights.

28. She also frequently watches my kids so Nathan & I can do dinner and a movie on Friday nights.

29. Actually she is in New York now watching my sister Nikki's kids so she can go to St. Thomas with her husband.

30. Waited TWO and A HALF weeks for me to come out AFTER her due date. That in itself is heroic.

31. She named me after my uncles girlfriend and a soap opera character. Did she already know how much real life drama I would cause her? (Sorry!!)

32. She a great planner. She is always writing things down and taking notes.

33. She is always there giving great advice, telling me where she found the latest deal, giving us all support, and being a strong, motivated and inspirational mother. Thank you have done and continue to do. I LOVE YOU!

Sunday, May 11, 2008


So much to celebrate, where to begin?

Of course today is Mothers Day and I am so thankful first for having a great mother. She is so loving and outgoing. She celebrates every holiday and sends my kids a card so we can celebrate too. I come from a long line of strong women and she is no exception. She works hard, she plays hard, she loves hard. I have learned, and continue to learn so much from her. Since her birthday is in a few days, I will leave a few details for that day...

I too, am thankful for a great mother-in-law. She inspires me by being so close to the spirit. She strives every day to improve herself spiritually, emotionally and physically. She has raised 7 AMAZING great kids who all get along! (That is no small feat!!) She stands by and supports her husband without question and has an impeccable home. She has wonderful strong hands from years of owning and cleaning a motel that was just as clean as her own home, but are loving and careful when playing with one of her 17 grandchildren. She can find a song to sing about everything, and has a beautiful voice. She can make anything homemade (much to my dismay as a new wife... Nathan on our first shopping trip together- "You don't make your own syrup or pancake mix?" Me- "Huh? I thought making it from this box WAS homemade....") and it is delicious! Because of her, my husband can get ANY stain out of anything and will get right in there and clean things with me. I am so thankful to her for raising a great wonderful son whom I am proud to have as a husband and father to my children.

I am thankful for the opportunity to be a mother myself. Nothing has given me greater joy or meaning in my life. I rejoice when my kids rejoice and try to make life happy for them. I really try to be a good mom, and I know that I make mistakes, but I will never give up on trying to do better. They deserve that. Thankfully I don't do it alone. I rely HEAVILY on my Heavenly Father and also my wonderful husband. I couldn't do it without them...

Which leads me to my next reason to celebrate today. 12 years ago I was married for time and all eternity to my best friend.

Nathan- It was such a crazy weekend all those years ago with all of us gathered in Chicago for the big event. I will never forget the sick look on your face in the temple, which I thought meant you had changed your mind. Instead it was because we forgot to get our marriage license. I remember speeding to the county clerks office and according to our watches we still had a few minutes left, but according to the security guard, we had better stop banging on the doors trying to get in, or it would be a different kind of honeymoon.

So it went off without a hitch, a day late but worth the wait. You offered to drive to Michigan and I soon fell asleep. When I woke up you said, "Well, we are doing good! We are almost all the way across Indiana already." Only problem was that we were only supposed to be in Indiana for a tiny bit and then head up to Michigan. So we took a different way home that day, a way I had never been before (or since) but it was very scenic and beautiful. Too bad we had people waiting for us!

When we made it there, I was late for my appointment to get my hair done so I had to use whomever was available. Apparently she was available for good reason... When I found you on the couch in the waiting room I said, "Nathan quick. I need to go home and do something with my hair. I look like Little Bo Peep" and then I rushed up to pay the stylist. You came up to us groggy and said right in front of the lady who did my hair, "Why do you think you look like Little Bo Peep?" I still laugh about that! It was a wonderful reception, set up sooo beautifully by my extended family members- I don't think I appreciated as much then as I do now how much work went into that! THANK YOU! It was a whirlwind day ending up back in Chicago for a flight back to Utah early the next day, but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

With as many bad choices I have made in my life, I am so thankful for the one great choice I made in choosing to marry you. The one who has made all the difference and loved me through it all. Sometimes I put up a front, afraid that people won't like the "real" me, but you know everything about me and love me anyway. I am so overwhelmed that you love me not because you have to, but because you want to. You support me, believe in me, and love to see me happy. I know without a doubt that you would rather be with me, than anyone else. That means so much. Uhh... I need to stop. Just know. I can't say how thankful I am, but I feel it and it brings me to tears. And you know I don't cry easily. :) Thank you...

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Happy Trail

A sign of the season is a return to what I call the "Happy Trail". We have biked on it, hiked on it, roller bladed on it, run on it, scavenged on it, and it never disappoints. This last time, I took my camera along to record some of the hi-lights of this section. The trail is about 25+ miles long, and we have just taken it in sections so far. Nathan & I want to do the whole trail soon!
Saroya found a beautiful flower with some "friends" (ants) and Jaleigh decided to take them along for the ride..

Then later I noticed that she found lots of friends to take along... Hopefully they were just flowers!

I love that they have random works of art along the trail. This is one of my favorites.

Tons of flowers and greenery line the paths most of the way.

This is new this year, isn't it cute? It looks like it will be a place you can stop for drinks and snacks. So FUN! :)

There is one part of the trail that has just TONS of wild green onion chives growing along the side. The smell reminds me of my childhood.Lets just say we call this little gem TP. Leave it at that.This sight always baffles me. Why is is so hard to grow grass in my own yard, but these little buggers burst through the pavement to thrive??Ever the environmentalist, Ethan found this old tire along the trail and rolled it all the way to a place he could put it in the garbage.

This part is always hard to rollerblade across because the tree drops lots of different things on the trail at different times, but this time of year it looks sooo cool!

We usually stop once we get to the park for a snack and to let the kids play.

The day we were here, there was a storm coming in so the wind was extremely strong. Ethan and Saroya let the wind take them for a ride. They would rollerblade up to the railing and then let the wind push them back.

Jaleigh said she was way too strong for the wind to push her around!

After we have relaxed a bit, we either send Nathan back for the van or we start back. Some people get some help along the way...

I am so thankful for this trail. It seems like such a simple thing, but we always come back refreshed and having had a good time. So if you are ever in the area, we would love the company!