Saturday, December 20, 2008

The minutiae of motherhood

minutia:(n) precise details; small (and trifling) matters; normally used in the plural "minutiae"

Recently, I had two nieces become first-time mothers. That, and an experience I had the other night prompted me to write this blog all about those little details, small, and often trifling matters of being a mother that no one bothers to tell you.

About 2:00 a.m., my three year old (who broke her crib and now can get in and out all night long) climbed into bed with me. She tussled around for a few minutes, trying to find a suitable position to sleep. She finally settled on one that was quite uncomfortable for me. As I held my awkward position steady, I eventually heard her breathing slow and listened to her fall back asleep. Afraid to wake her, I stayed in that position, thinking about all those funny things we mothers do simply because we are mothers. So, the first one is this: I guarantee you will hold your baby in an awkward (for you) position sitting in a chair, or lying in bed, and keep it that way, foregoing precious sleep, just so your little one will stay that way. All mothers have done this -- many times! Often it is an elbow in the ear, feet in the face, a kick in the gut, etc. But, you will just deal with it, because you are a mother.

* As your child grows and gains head control, you will often get 'head-butted'. Think of it as a sign of love. This head-butting doesn't go away -- my older kids are still guilty of this -- but it is never done on purpose, so bite your tongue and give them a hug. (see, it never seems to hurt them).

* You will learn to like goldfish crackers. I promise -- you will. (Even if you don't actually like them, you will find yourselves eating them).

* Even though you have a perfect way of loading the dishwasher, the first time your child 'loads' it, you will resist the strong temptation to redo everything and let it run, haphazardly semi-full, just because you are a mother and your child is learning to work.

*You will hear the same piano songs over and over and over again as your child practices them. They might give you a headache, but you will just deal with it, because you are a mother. The same goes for little books. You will read them so many times (the ones your child chooses as favorites -- which are hardly ever your favorite ones to read) -- that you will have them memorized!

*You will color more as a young mother than you probably colored as a child. Seriously. Only now, (hopefully), you can stay in the lines! But, be prepared for long bouts of coloring, coloring, coloring.

* At least once, you will probably embarrass yourself by accidentally cutting up your friend's food before giving it to her. This is out of habit. Don't be too hard on yourself! You will be so used to cutting up everything -- sandwiches, apples, bananas, etc, that when your girlfriend is over for lunch, you'll cut her sandwich in fourths. We've all done it.

*Several times, you will be sleeping peacefully when you will sense that someone is near -- very near. You might hear a gentle, "mom", or maybe you'll just open your eyes, and BAM! your child will be millimeters away from your face. It will scare you the first time -- and probably several times after that. Try not to attack the child.

*You might start to look forward to taking a shower or even going to the bathroom -- for the few minutes/seconds of downtime. But, be aware, your kids do not share that opinion. Mom is fair game, even when she is 'disposed', or in the shower. You probably won't lock the door when your kids are little because you want them to be able to access you at all times, but beware, as they get older, you might want to actually lock the doors!

*Many days, your lunch will consist of nothing other than the leftovers from your kids' meals -- the crusts of PB&J sandwiches, the apple peels, etc. So, when you are cranky at 3:30 p.m., and your husband and dinner are still hours away from appearing, you might just be hungry -- eat something!

*You will learn the lyrics to several Disney, teeny-bopper songs that you really don't like. In fact, you will probably listen to them over and over and over again to the point that you hate them, but find yourself singing them to yourselves or hear them in your head as you try to fall asleep. This reminds me of a time when I was a teenager and I 'caught' my mom singing a Belinda Carlisle song (circle in the sand, round and round...) while she was cleaning the counter in the kitchen. I barged in and said, "Ha! I knew you liked our music! See, you're singing it!". For years I thought it was so funny that after all the grief we'd gotten over our 'music', she liked it after all. Now I know better. Now I realize we had played that song so much on our tape player that she had no choice -- it was ingrained into her psyche, and came out absentmindedly and without control on her part. Sorry mom!

Well, that is all for now, because, eventually I did move my daughter and went back to sleep. But, I'd love to hear your comments, moms -- what other minutiae of motherhood do we deal with and need to pass on to the next generation?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Song now works!

Okay, thanks to Justin (Wendy's husband), the song now works in my post about "Where are you". Go have a listen!

And, here's something cute Teya said. The other day we were going to work a bit in Eden's class at school. Teya was saying how much she liked that school. I said, "When you grow up, you are going to go here!" And, she looked at me and sighed, "But, I just don't know how to grow up!" After another sigh, she added, "I don't have any special powers". LOL!

Monday, December 15, 2008

mmmmmmmbbbbbbbbbbbbbbv cxxz

apparently Teya figured out how to post on my blog! (thus the title)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Where are you?

In college, I was in a band. We were a one-hit wonder (as in I WONDER why no one has ever heard of us). Our band name was called “Or Something”. The thought behind it was that we could say “Have you heard of the band or something?” and really confuse people. (It seemed like a good idea at the time).

Well, having given up all hope of VHI or MTV (or even BYUtv) ever knocking at my door wanting to do the ‘behind the music’ story of our one hit, I decided to plague you, my blog audience, with the saga.

This might be a long post, but hopefully entertaining enough to make it worth your while.

Go back with me to the late winter of 1997. Gwen Stefani was known as the lead singer of “No Doubt”, the White House was full of scandal thanks to Monika Lewinsky, and another school year was coming to a close in the Rocky Mountains of Utah.

For me, it wasn’t just any school year; it was my senior year of college. Most of my roommates and friends were engaged. Love was in the air (it hits earlier than spring in Provo). But, somehow, I had missed the boat completely. Not only was I not engaged, I wasn’t even dating anyone. And, I was about to graduate from BYU – SINGLE!

I was returning with several friends from a road trip to Idaho (to attend a friend’s wedding, of course) when I penned the song. In fact, the original name of it was called “Idaho Road Trip”. But, it wasn’t that catchy of a title, and since it had NOTHING to do with rest of the lyrics, I later changed it to “Where are You?” Here it is. While you're listening, keep reading.




Here are the lyrics in full, (along with my asides and insights in parentheses and italics). (Think of it like watching a DVD with the director’s commentary ON). Since it is basically about dating at BYU, there are several inside jokes that only those that attended BYU would understand, so I have explained them.

When I was only 17 (I really was 17 when I started college)
And barely 5 foot 2, (I’m 5’6”)
I knew I’d meet the man of my dreams
In the Land of BYU. (It truly is its own anomaly of a city)

However…

You weren’t in my Y-group, (During Freshman orientation, all freshies are divided up into Y-groups that you do all your bonding activities and classes with)
Or in ward boundary lines.
I took a social dance class, (The ultimate ‘dating’ class (beginning ballroom) – I refused to ever take this class on moral grounds)
But still I could not find

You so I

Changed my major to El Ed, (Elementary Education – the major that let the boys know you just wanted to get married and raise kids – no offense my El Ed friends – you’re the ones laughing now – I have no idea what I’m doing with my kids!)
So I’d be a good wife.
And with the hopes of getting wed,
I studied in the Clyde (The Clyde building was mainly for engineering students, which were mainly men… its all about ratios of men/women at BYU)

Building…

CHORUS:
Where? Where are You?
Did you not make it into BYU? (Even back then, it was hard to get into BYU, so maybe my man was going to UVSC instead?)
Why? Why am I
All alone, and ready to cry? (just for rhyming purposes – I’m not much of a crier)
I thought that we’d
Fall in love,
And be married.
Now, where are you?
I hope I didn’t miss my cue.

So three years of this game I played, (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior year)
Then I was called to serve. (True)
So to my friends and family bade
Farewell and got the nerve

To ask my

Mom if I should look for you
While serving in the field.
A good Zone leader who’d be true (Zone leaders are elders who’ve been given extra responsibility in the field)
To whom I could be sealed. (I had a strictly professional relationship w/ the elders in my mission)

So in the

MTC I tried to find
My true love everywhere.
But sadly I was reassigned
To serve on Temple Square! (In case you didn’t know, Temple Square is the only mission made up entirely of sister missionaries)

Oh dear me!

CHORUS

So now I’ve come for one last chance
Back here in Zoobieland. (A nickname for BYU)
I’ll look for you at every dance, (They had dances every weekend)
So you can hold my hand. (Interdigitation – this was like first or second base at BYU)

But then you’d

Say, like other guys I meet
I’m nice and everything.
But if my spirit is so sweet, (The ultimate ‘rejection’ – “you have a sweet spirit”)
Why don’t I have a ring? (an engagement ring – the ultimate prize for a girl at BYU)

And now I

Graduate this afternoon,
And you are all I lack.
And if I don’t meet you real soon,
I WANT MY MONEY BACK! (tuition money – why else attend BYU? Joking)

So tell me..

Chorus

Well now I’m almost thirty-two
Just got my master’s degree.
But I just can’t leave BYU
So I’ll get my PhD. (I actually did go back to BYU and got my master's degree, but by then I'd met Dave. We got married during my first year of MBA school. Good thing, because I never wanted to write a dissertation!)

Okay, so there it is! I manipulated one of our FHE brothers who worked at the BYU recording studios to smuggle us in after hours and we recorded it. I then got the demo and we mass produced it on cassete single (by mass produce I mean we got the minimum quantity, 100). We actually played at a few BYUSA functions around campus. We even sold 6 tapes to the BYU bookstore! (Later, I saw 5 of them on the clearance table). I think I sold most of the tapes to my dad. Ahh! What a supporter! We even opened up for Peter Breinholt at the Senior Party for all graduating seniors, but alas, our mikes didn't work and so no one could hear the amazing song that would have been a one-hit wonder.

But, now you have. Consider yourselves one of the few, the proud.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Eden's first piano recital

A few days ago, Eden played in her very first piano recital. She did great. Since this was her first, her piece was shorter than I imagine any future piano recital pieces will be, I recorded it in its entirety for your viewing and listening pleasure. Enjoy. (it's all of 26 seconds!)
video

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Jennie vs. the woodpecker

Ah, the holidays -- the candy I 'take' from my kids' Halloween stash, the smell of pumpkin pie baking in the oven, the lights all aglow at nights, and the annoying rapping of the neighborhood woodpecker.

We have this woodpecker that has chosen our house as its place of preferred pecking for the last three winters. It is SO annoying. That doesn't even begin to adequately describe it. Imagine someone knocking at your door - loudly, consistently, with a repeating pattern about every 10 seconds. Now, transfer that noise to right outside your chimney on the eaves of your house, and the sound reverberates throughout the house.

I've looked up on the Internet how to rid oneself of such a pest, and I have to find a 2 story-ladder and climb up and hang mylar baloons or something reflective. And then... maybe... it will work. No guarantees. So, until I get said mylar balloons and a ladder and someone willing to climb up to our roof, I have to resort to other methods.

My method of choice is Dave's airsoft gun. Pretty much every day -- several times a day -- you will find me stealthily cocking the gun and tip-toeing outside, around our palm tree, ducking behind the pillars, aiming, and firing with all my might at this tiny, LOUD, bird. I have yet to actually do any damage to the thing. But, it is not for lack of trying. Once I actually got a feather or two, but it is pretty fast and flies away, only to return an hour or so later and the whole charade starts anew.

I know I sound sadistic and mean -- I mean this is a bird we are talking about -- but spend two days with it and I guarantee you'd be on my side. So, imagine how I feel about the thing after 3 years. It is seasonal (comes in late October and leaves by the end of March). So far, the score is Woodpecker: 347, Jennie: 1/2 (I'm counting the hit with the feathers). But I will win. I will.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Family picture time


We finally did it! We actually got family pictures taken! The last time we did this, Teya was just a baby in my arms -- so it has been three years! Our good friend Liz Hall took them at Freestone Park. She had all these fun props there -- and I loved this one in the frame! I'm sure I will post more when we get the full CD sometime later, but I had asked her for a few of the family ones for a Christmas present, so she already sent us a few!
Our friend Mandy did Eden and Teya's hair all cute! Thanks so much! And, doesn't Dave look skinny! He has lost over 20 pounds on his 'biggest loser' competition through work. Wish I could lose weight like that -- well, I should rephrase -- wish I had will power to stick to a diet and exercise plan like he has.
We had a great Thanksgiving at John and Bev's house -- good food, good company, no stress, seconds on pie (see, I told you I had no will power) plenty of leftovers... just the way it should be. We also enjoyed going through the temple with my nephew Paul before he leaves on his mission to Latvia soon! So exciting!
Christmas is up and alive in our home this year -- we'd love to have you come by -- if you do -- make sure you take a candy cane from our buckets out front and marvel at our 12 foot tree :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Twilight

I had so much fun last friday going to see Twilight with some of my closest friends, and then about 150 of my friends from the ward. Some ladies rented out a theater, so we got to go to the 'private screening'. We didn't have to wait in line at all, and we had awesome seats!

They got a microphone from the theater people and had trivia questions. Janae, Mandy, and I hurried down to participate. I won the soundtrack, which I really wanted. Then, I went back and answered more questions for my friends that were too shy to go down and play -- more cds....

It was just so fun to be in that hyper, teenage-filled atmosphere, seeing everyone's fun t-shirts, etc. You should have heard the clapping erupt when Edward walked into the cafeteria!

About the movie... I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Some parts were incredibly cheesy -- like the sparkle in the sunlight, and the whole meadow part. And, what was with the scaling of the trees? But, overall, I thought the actors fit their parts and they will just grow into their roles even more. My favorite actors were all the 'real' high school kids -- they were so great -- just like actual high school kids. And, I loved the awkwardness of Charlie.

So, I'm trying to talk Dave into seeing it with me. If that doesn't work, there are several ladies in our ward would didn't make it... I'll go again with them! :) Here are some shots of the day!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nauvoo

I recently returned from a wonderful trip to Nauvoo, IL. It was with my mom and 6 of my 8 sisters. We flew into St. Louis and got to see the famous arch. It was pretty amazing. We drove to Nauvoo, accidentally getting lost in Quincy, IL. But, that was fine by me. I've always wanted to go to Quincy, IL, not just because they were so nice to the Saints, but because I've always loved the name Quincy. If Dave hadn't vetoed the name, Eden or Teya would probably be named Quincy. (Big aside.... In fact, at BYU, at dances, occasionally some random guys would ask me to dance and want to know my name. Since a name was all you needed to get a phone number at BYU, if I didn't particulary like the guy, I would tell them my name was Quincy. I had this whole story about how we were descendants of John Quincy Adams.... But, back to the blog at hand...) We also stumbled upon some fabulous frozen custard, so our quick visit to Quincy was not in vain.

I just loved Nauvoo. It was my first time there, and I loved to see the senior missionary couples just having a great time, whether it were singing and dancing at the "Rendevous at Old Nauvoo" or giving us the tours of the various ancestral homes or shops, they just were happy and it was contagious. I think some of my favorites were the blacksmith shop and the shoe/cobbler place. Of course, it was a dream come true to also go to Joseph and Emma's homes, and to see their gravesite. I have always had a fascination with Church History, that was in no part diminished by two semesters of Church History with Susan Easton Black at BYU. I gained a testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith before I gained a testimony of pretty much any other aspect of the gospel, so I have always had a special spot for all the he did for the church. It was amazing to see where he lived, and to visualize his Nauvoo. Oh, and it was FREEZING the whole time -- biting cold wind!
This is me in front of the Red Brick Store
This is the mansion home where they lived and housed boarders for the last year of his life.


We walked the trail of hope, the trail the Saints took to the river as they were leaving their homes. I looked back often to see the Temple standing on the hill. Here is a picture I took -- pretty much the same view that the early Saints had (minus the water tower) -- since the temple was in the same spot and built much to the same specs. It was inspiring.

Speaking of the temple, it was incredible. There was a unique spirit there that just added to the wonderful spirit of temples in general. We took a peak afterwards at Joseph Smith's sword, and the assembly hall that looks just like the one in the Kirkland temple. It was all just beautiful. We had someone take a picture of all 8 of us in front of the temple and she asked if we were a group of sister missionaries. One of my older sisters said later, "That was flattering if she thought we were all sister missionaries." Until, my younger sister said, "Unless she thought we were senior sister missionaries!" Ha!


Carthage Jail was also just amazing. The B&B we were staying at was actually Willard Richards' home -- the fourth man in the jail during the martyrdom. So, that added a touch of personality to our stay and to our visit. I'm SO deeply grateful to the Prophet Joseph Smith for the courage and strength it took to do all he did in his short life -- amidst persecution from foes and friends alike. My testimony was strengthened by our trip.


But, despite the wonderful experiences of Nauvoo and Carthage, the best part of the whole trip was just spending time with my sisters and mom. We had so much fun just visiting each night, playing games, having political discussions, spiritual discussions, reminiscing about our past, etc. We laughed so much and I just felt like I got to know everyone as good friends... I've never seen my mom laugh so much and just look so content to sit back and listen to her daughters all talk about so many things... but remember fellow trip-takers...


What happens in Nauvoo... stays in Nauvoo!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

happy ramblings

It seems like we are always in need of some laughs, so I thought I'd share some funny things that have been going on around our house...

Eden came up to me and said, "Mom, Teya climbed up on the counter and got into the Halloween candy and unwrapped a snickers bar and shoved it in my mouth before I could stop her!" (This was at 7:30 a.m., so I think this is my newly-baptized daughter's way of confessing to something that she knew was wrong???) This whole story reminded me of a few years ago when Eden really wanted to wear some of my fancy lipstick. I had told her 'no'. Then, about 20 minutes later, she came down, obviously adorned with said lipstick. I looked at her questioningly and she said, "Teya was playing with your makeup and she threw the lipstick up in the air and it landed on my lips!"


Both times I laughed outloud, so the 'punishment' that followed was only done half-heartedly....


At dinner the other night, Josh said to Dave, "I know how you got that part of your head that doesn't have any hair" (his bald spot). "Oh, really? How did I get that, Josh?" "Well, you see, there are these bugs that get in your hair sometimes and they make you itch and then you scratch it and scratch it, and they your hair comes out in that spot!" So, basically, he was telling Dave he was going bald because of lice.... nice. After laughing outloud (I did, Dave was a little miffed), we explained that Daddy does NOT have lice....


I've been telling the kids the story of "The Princess Bride" (a fabulous book for those who don't realize it was a book first). They are loving it! They just LAUGHED and LAUGHED every time I would say, "Inconceivable". Now, Teya goes around the house saying, "Inconceivable!" all the time. So fun.


Well, hoped you laughed. I'll have to post all about Nauvoo soon. I had a great trip with my mom and sisters, despite the freezing wind!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Ash

In honor of our next President, I thought I'd share a funny story with you. This is NOT a racist story, by ANY means. I promise.

So, in high school, Dave played football. He played in Texas and Virginia. Most of his teammates were black (or is it African American?). At any rate, in the locker room these guys would always be asking him for lotion to take care of their 'ash'. Ash, if you don't know, is what happens to black skin when it gets really dry -- it turns scaly and white and looks like 'ash'. So, the conversations would be something like this, "Yo, Blaser, pass me some lotion -- I got ash!" or "Shoo, brother, you got lotion? I's got ash". Dave: "Why would I have lotion?" ...

Okay, fast forward about 7-8 years, Dave and I are married, living in Provo. I'm expecting Eden, so by this time I'd heard his football stories more than once. At the time, I was getting my MBA at BYU. I worked part-time in the admissions office. One of my co-workers and colleagues, Sean, was black. We were good friends, but he also knew how "utah" and "white" I was.

So, I had left the office to run an errand, and he had some other students in there and was trying to explain what ash was, and that NO ONE in Utah had ever heard of it. Just then he saw me walking back down the hall and told his friends, "Okay, here comes Jennie. I'll prove my point. No one is more Utah or white than Jennie. Let's see if she's heard of ash". In I walk and he says, "Jennie, do you know what ash is?" Immediately I remember Dave's stories and my reply is likety-split, in my best southern accent:

"Shoo, brother! Pass me some lotion. I got ASH!"

Sean literally fell off his chair laughing. The other guys there were also laughing so hard they started crying! Pretty funny. So there, now you know what ash is!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

politically incorrect ramblings

I just wanted to blog a bit about politics, this week being an historic week and all. Arizona was one of three states (FL and CA being the others) where an ammendent to the state constitution protecting marriage was on the ballot. While we haven't got near the heat that CA has, it has been a big issue here. We had yard signs (until they got stolen), passed out flyers, and I even took a shift at the polls Tuesday (outside the 75 foot limit of course) to encourage people to vote.
About 30 people thanked me for what I was doing (holding up a sign and smiling), and only one person was negative. It was a Mom with her two little sons and she yelled at me that my sign was 'disgusting' and told her boys I represented "Hate". Oh well. If that's the worst -- bring it on.

I really feel for my sister Gayle in the Bay Area. Prop 8 passed -- YEAH! That is a huge victory, but now she still has to deal with the consequences of living in a specific area where Prop 8 was soundly defeated. No thanks. I will say to my Californian friends that while I was up late Tuesday refreshing my browser to see if Prop 8 was passing or not, I was reading some of the articles and one of them had the following comment, "I'm so glad that prop 8 looks like it is passing. This is thanks to all those Mormon volunteers. I hope now San Fransiscans realize the rest of California doesn't agree with them." There was more, and it obviously wasn't written by a Mormon, so all you CA members -- your efforts were noted and appreciated by those outside our faith. Hope that makes you feel better!

As far as the presidential election, while I was disappointed that McCain didn't win, I can appreciate the historic aspect of Obama's victory. I still hope that many of his proposals die in the process of enactment (i.e., capital gains tax hikes, tax hikes in general, healthcare). And, what is the deal with his non-US citizenship? I hope that gets addressed more fully, I mean, if he couldn't be approved to work for the FBI or the CIA, should he be allowed to be commander in chief? But, I don't think it is the end of the world (just the end of an era). To put a positive spin on things, I should be grateful that we are in a position where we will be adversely affected financially by the new president. Better than being on welfare, right?

So, on Sunday we had a state-wide regional conference -- the entire state of Arizona was addressed by Pres. Packer and others via satellite. He ended by directly encouraging us to prepare for perilous times ahead. But also reminded us that faith is the opposite of fear and that we are a people of faith, not fear. So, fear not...

peace out.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Cutest kids on the block

So, I might be a little biased... but I think the kids looked adorable. Eden was an ASU cheerleader.

Josh was a vampire (although because of his glasses, and the fact that he didn't wear his teeth that long because he was worried people wouldn't understand his 'trick-or-treat' request, several people thought he was Harry Potter).

Teya was a cute little chicken. She'd say 'bawk bawk' if you asked her (this is her doing her chicken best) and just loved being a fat chicken! She was adorable!
We had a GREAT time as a family going around some of our neighborhood. We didn't even start passing out candy until we were done, and the kids were in the bath, and we still ran out of candy! Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I love FRYs!

And here is why:

I bought $230 dollars of groceries and only paid $63. It was a steal of a deal today -- things like 12 boxes of GOOD cereal for only $3. Packages of toilet paper (the GOOD kind) for only 25 cents, etc. My suburban trunk was completely full. And, it even included about $10 worth of impulse buy stuff, for which I had no coupons.

And, they watch my kids in this great play area. Teya loved it today, she colored and the lady there played Candyland with her for half an hour. So fun. That lady also remembered I had other kids at home and sent candy home with me for all the kids. Nice.

Grocery shopping still is not my favorite thing -- but today, it sure was fun seeing the numbers on my total go down, down, down, down!

Monday, October 27, 2008

THANK YOU!

Feelin' the love,
On Sunday, I turned 35. That is a big number... except when I think about my oldest sister who turned 50 two days earlier! (he he, sorry Nancy).

So, I just had to blog about the last few days -- everyone has been so kind to call, e-mail, stop by, or come by to wish me happy birthday. It is so wonderful to feel loved. So, THANK YOU!!! And, the gifts have truly been considerate ones -- things that only a friend who knows me would know I'd love! So, THANK YOU!

The biggest thanks goes to Dave. He did it again. For my 25th birthday, he proposed to me. For my 30th birthday, he surprised me with a weekend with my college roommates all flying out to California. Now, for my 35th, we had about 20 dear friends and family over for dinner and games. Just my type of party. Dave made a delicious dinner -- baked rigatoni and meatballs. We played Drawing Charades (a Groberg tradition), and had a great time just visiting. I had to share a few pics from the night.


Okay, so also, I got some fun stuff in the mail -- one of my favorites was this cute card from my sister Jane -- she is so great about keeping up with ALL the birthdays in our family -- and we have a BIG family! Here it is!

And, finally, today, the postman delivered my present from myself... :) So fun!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pippi Longstocking

Pippi Longstocking... now and then...

(this is me on my mission dressed up for Halloween October 1995)
(this is me dressed up for Pack Night October 2008)

So, 13 years later, not a whole lot has changed! :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Finding some fun and funny memories

So, I've been on an organizing kick lately -- determined to have a place for everything and everything in its place. The latest phase has been to do with papers and books. I found where I had been storing all my old journals, pictures and papers from years and years ago... I thought I'd just share some of the fun things I found:

* Two floppy disks (not the 3 1/2 inch kind, the big 5 1/4 inch truly floppy disks). I have NO idea what is on them, nor even how to retrieve said information. Any ideas?
* The newspapers from Jan. 19, 1999 -- our wedding day. My dad always gives us the BYU Daily Universe and the USA Today from our wedding day to remember what was going on in the world (since at that time in our lives, we certainly didn't care!) I was thumbing through the USA today and on the front page was a little blip: "Bush for President?: Texas Governor George W. Bush is undecided and undeclared about a possible run for the White house, but groundwork is being laid." Ha! The main story was a poll about how people in the US didn't think Clinton was a moral leader, but that they approved how he was running the country (remember, this was 1999 -- the boom of the economic times)
* A handwritten letter from a guy I was dating before my mission in which he subtly was trying to convince me not to go on my mission but to stay and see where things went with him. (Not from Dave. I went on my mission -- so glad I did!)
* All the pictures from my high school dances -- complete with the matching t-shirts for the casual dances and those flowery 'church' dresses we wore to the more formal ones!
* My ACT and SAT official scores -- I got a 27 on the ACT and a 1200 on the SAT. Not stellar, but it was enough to get a scholarship to BYU back in the day.
*An envelope entitled, "Open Jan. 1, 1992". I had already done that back in 1992. It was my goals evidently for 1991. Here is the list:

-- Organize my room (checked)
-- Graduate from High School and Seminary (checked)
-- YW Medallion (checked)
-- Take the AP tests (checked)
-- Write letters to Argentina and Chile (checked) ( I had just moved back to Utah after living in Argentina for 3 years)
-- Climb Mt. Timp (not checked, but I have done it a couple times since then)
-- Go to Mexico and visit Randy (not checked) -- he was my first crush in Chile and he lived in the Colonies in Mexico. We were good friends.
-- Finish up quilt (checked -- my Laurel project)
-- Finish Book of Mormon again (checked -- yeah!)
-- Get a 3.8 or higher (check)
--Get a 3.5 or higher at BYU (check -- I think I BARELY made this goal)
-- Get John (my brother) and Gayle (my sister) married (John was checked off, but my sister didn't get married for a few more years -- I think it is funny that I had that on my goal list -- like I had anything to do with it!

* I found an article that my Democrat roommate and I (Republican) had written for the Daily Universe about living together as best friends while having politically differing views. It was pretty comical, but it never got published...

Well, hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane. Now I need to go organize all the above and put it in its proper place....

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Symphony for the Soul

Have a soul in need of nourishment? Take two hours at the symphony and call me in the morning.

Last night I attended the Phoenix Symphony with my sister Liz. It was last minute, but I'm so glad it worked out to go. (thanks Janae for watching Teya and to Liz for the tickets). I haven't been to the symphony for a LONG time. They had a fabulous guest pianist from Italy there. We had great seats where we could watch his fingers literally fly up and down the keyboard. He played with his whole body -- really got into it!

As I was just sitting there enjoying the music, I thought how it felt like medicine to my soul that I didn't realize I was missing. There is something soothing and healing about beautiful classical music and witnessing such accomplished talents on display. Now, I know we can't all go to the symphony every time we feel like it -- so here is my solution -- and subsequent challenge to all of you out there: Dust off one of your classical CDs (I know you have some) and put it in your player sometime in the next few days -- listen to one in the car. It will do your ears and your soul some good.

Have I ever mentioned that one of my eternal goals (since I have no hope for it in this lifetime) is to conduct a symphony? Preferably one of Beethoven's Symphonies. Can you just imagine standing up there and helping to create the amazing and beautiful sounds? Just thought I'd let you know that tidbit about me. Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

just so you know...

(Wow, two posts in two days... that is a record!)

Eden lost another tooth today. She keeps telling me how her friends get $5 for their teeth, and I remind her that our tooth fairy just gives $1. I said, "When I was little, I only got 25 cents for a tooth, so be happy". Eden replied, "Well, that was because that was the olden days".

So, just so you know... 1980 is now considered 'the olden days'.

In his daily prayers, Josh always prays that no one in the whole world will have nightmares or any bad dreams at all (having been traumatized by a few a while ago).

So, just so you know... if you haven't had a bad dream or nightmare lately, you can thank Josh and his faith.

Just so you know!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Laughable Annoyances

There are little things throughout the day that always bother me. So, I decided to blog about them, in a hopefully humorous way, thus turning them from little annoyances into laughable annoyances. This way, the next time they happen, I'll remember the blog and laugh instead of getting annoyed.

1. When I'm all done drying off in the shower and the shower head decides to douse me with a few final trickles of water.

2. 6 socks that are all just slightly different -- no matches-- when trying to help Josh get dressed in the morning!

3. Going downstairs in the morning and realizing you left something perishable out all night!

4. After you pour a bowl of cereal and you open the fridge for milk, only to find about 3 tsp. left in the carton. (Especially when you are the mom and are responsible for buying milk -- oops).

5. Opening up your drawer of pens and pencils to find just pen lids and unsharpened pencils. One of these days I'm going to move a piece of furniture and find 800 pens and pencils and 450 rubberbands and hairclips, I just know it!

6. Opening up the dryer (where the clothes have been sitting since you did laundry last week) to find they didn't fully dry!

7. When TIVO cuts off the last 2 minutes of your favorite show.

8. Speaking of TIVO, when are they going to invent TIVO for the radio -- because I hate it when I turn on the car to find the last few refrains of my favorite song, or want to rewind it 30 seconds to hear what the DJs were talking about -- or when you want to pause the song while you run in for a quick errand.

9. When you adjust your head on your pillow in the middle of the night and are met with wetness from drool -- gross I know -- but am I the only one who drools occasionally? (Sorry to ruin that almost perfect perception you had of me!)

Well, hope I made you laugh a little, or relate to some things. Hopefully now I'll laugh more and roll my eyes less!

Friday, September 19, 2008

I canned peaches today.


I did it! I actually canned something successfully! (Well, at least they made that little pop sound!) It took me all day to figure it out, buy the cans, prep the peaches, and actually can them. I'm sure it would have been cheaper to just buy some canned peaches, but then what would I blog about?

Dave is convinced that we are in for a major economic depression and so we need to up our food storage. So inbetween canning I re-read lots of the literature I've collected at all those Enrichments on Food Storage. I even tried out a recipe for chicken alfredo using dry milk, etc. It was DISGUSTING. I threw it out, and opened a can of spaghetti sauce and we had chicken parmesan instead! :) I guess that is how you learn -- try out recipes and see which ones work.

Fortunately I was able to have this somewhat productive day because Teya is into that cute stage where she plays make believe with her friends (normally characters from a movie or tv show) and sets up tea parties for them, makes beds for them, etc. I caught her talking to her friends all day long. She was having a blast.
Now, I price-matched roast and chicken at WalMart today. Am I brave enough to can it? Only time will tell!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Eden's Baptism




On Saturday, September 13, Eden Marie Blaser was baptised and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was a wonderful day. We had great support from family, friends, & ward members -- THANK YOU. Eden was excited and nervous. Everything went perfectly. Her smile is so wonderful. We love you Eden! I am so grateful for baptism and for the gift of the Holy Ghost. What a priceless covenant that it -- and what a treasure the companionship of the Spirit is. I hope we never take it for granted. Here are just a few pictures from the momentous day. Thanks to everyone.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cabin Fever



The three kids on the steps of the cabin




We recently returned from a most wonderful trip over Labor Day. Our friends Aaron and Liz invited us to go with them to their parent's beautiful cabin up near Show Low. It was incredible! The weather was ideal, the company was great, the surroundings were beautiful, and we had a great time! We went fishing in a little pond nearby, quadding all around the trails, and hiking up knolls. We also played Scrabble, Boggle, and other games -- ate great food and read some fun books. Now that is my idea of a vacation!

Here are some fun pics from the trip!




Liz, Adam, and the kids ontop of the big hill behind the cabin. The wind was wonderful!

Teya was a trooper for most of the hike, but she wanted to be held most of the way down!

Josh looking through the binoculars. We saw several hawks.

Dave by on of the quads. We had a great time riding around the trails -- and sometimes off the trails!Eden was the only kid who smiled when I made them all get out and take pictures by the sunflower field -- thus the only kid who get the picture posted!

Just another great shot of Eden!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Zits... Seriously?!?

Okay, what is UP with all these ZITS? I'm 34 years old and I feel like I have more zits than I did when I was 16. And in such weird places -- on my ear, my neck, I even had one inside my nose -- ouch! What is up? Am I alone in this world of zits and even wrinkles?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

33 things you might not know about Dave

Happy Birthday Dave!

Yesterday, Dave turned 33, so I decided to come up with 33 perhaps lesser-known facts about Dave. Enjoy!
1. He learned how to speak with a British accent while living in England from the ages of 3-6.
2. He won the highest Intramural level championship in Ultimate Frisbee with his roommates a few times at BYU.
3. He is a fabulous cook -- very creative with the spices!
4. He doesn't really like to read. It takes him a few months to read a book -- even a fast-paced page-turner!
5. He is the hardest worker in our family by a long shot.
6. He uses an electric razor to shave each morning.
7. He was the first Junior in his high school to ever win the annual (spoof) pagaent and title of "Mr. Bruin" (they were the Bruins).
8. He attended school in England, Colorado, San Antonio and Virginia.
9. He played football throughout junior high and high school & was captain of the football team his Senior year.
10. He hit a birdie on the 17th hold at TPC Sawgrass in Florida. (very few professional players can even do that!)
11. He was offered a scholarship to play football for Dartmouth.
12. He is a great snow skier (and water skier).
13. He has been in a Young Mens calling our entire marriage.
14. He hated camping before he resigned himself to his fate and got some good equipment.
15. He does a great Scooby Doo impression.
16. His favorite jokes have to do with bathroom humor -- typical guy!
17. He was financial secretary on his mission to Mendoza, Argentina.
18. He has a balding spot on the top of his head that he didn't know existed until he saw a picture of his head months later! (this is the picture he saw)
19. He likes the show "Burn Notice".
20. He'll eat whatever I manage to make for dinner and not complain about my lack of culinary skills.
21. He is a parrot head. (If you don't know what that is -- it is an avid Jimmy Buffett fan)
22. He loves to snorkle (especially in Hawaii).
23. He is one of the youngest Executive Vice Presidents Layton has ever had.
24. He turns into an annoying, but entertaining little brother everytime he is around his two older sisters.
25. He takes the kids out one at a time to breakfast on Saturdays. They go to Denny's and most of our plastic cups are now from Dennys.
26. Once a month, when he goes camping (and thus can't take out a kid to breakfast), he takes Josh camping with him.
27. He can fall asleep in 2 seconds flat.
28. He is great with the youth -- they think he's cool, which he is.
29. He has taken one, maybe two sick days the whole time I've known him.
30. For my 30th birthday he suprised me by organizing a weekend where all my college roommates flew out to California from all over the country!
31. He loves peanut butter M&Ms and Oreos.
32. He loves Florida Gators football. (Here is a pic with him and his college roommates. They all flew out for a game last fall in the Swamp).
33. He is gone to work by 5:30 a.m. most mornings.

I could have added tons about his strong testimony, his wonderful husband and father qualities, and his great friendships, but, I wanted to stick to some lesser-known stuff and I'm sure you already knew all that stuff about him! Happy Birthday Dave! I love you!



Wednesday, August 6, 2008

So many things going on...

There have been so many wonderful happenings this last week that I haven't had time to post about them all -- so they are going to get bundled into this one post. Here is the reader's digest version of our past week:

1) Josh learned how to ride a bike on two wheels. He picked it up quickly and, despite the 110 degree weather, wants to ride every day!




2) We went to Lake Saguaro with some good friends, the Stapleys. I learned how to wakeboard on my first try! Dave even surfed on this surfboard that goes inbetween the boat and the wake. It was so much fun. The kids loved going on the tube. (P.S. This is not really me -- I was more 'scared for my life holding on' type face)




3) We had a great, but HOT, Pioneer activity at 6:30 a.m. at a local nature preserve. Some friends in our ward put it on and the kids had a great time playing Pioneer games, singing songs, doing crafts and learning more about their Pioneer Heritage.

4) Josh had a fun party at Peter Piper Pizza for his 6th birthday. The next day (his official b-day), we had family over for 'triple-decker' ice-cream cones -- that is what Josh wanted instead of a cake.



5) I taught my first sharing time. It is quite a bit different teaching Junior Primary vs. Senior Primary. Now I know.

6) My doctor called... I have carpal tunnel syndrome in both hands, and I do not have diabetes. I have pre-diabetes, which means it could develop into full-blown diabetes in 6 months, or never in my life. Since there is no family history, I can simply control it through exercise and diet -- no medication required. It was great news! (And the splints on my hands at night for the carpal tunnel are doing wonders).

7) Dave gave all the kids wonderful father's blessings before they started school. I think this of all the things made me the most happy inside -- to know he is worthy and that he knows the kids well enough to understand their needs.

8) The kids started back to school today! Josh is in 1st grade and Eden is in 3rd grade. Another year has begun! Teya and I are just hanging out -- going to the gym, coloring, watching Dora...




9) I started reading 1776 for my Book Group, just finished "the Broker" (John Grisham) for fun, and just borrowed "Breaking Dawn" -- so... goodbye world for a few days!!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Some silly trivia about me...

I just finished planning (most of) my first sharing time, so to reward myself, I decided to blog. I've loved reading my friend's lists about themselves -- getting to know them better. I decided that instead of creating a list about me, I'd come up with the silly trivia about my past. So, read on and see if you can get all the questions right. (For the answers, you'll have to go to the comments section).

1. I have lived all of the following places except:
a. Utah
b. Argentina
c. Mongolia
d. Slovenia
e. California

2. In high school I was involved in all of the following sports except:
a. Volleyball
b. Softball
c. Swimming
d. Track
e. Basketball

3. Which of the following statements is NOT true about my high school experience:
a. I was crowned Junior princess at Homecoming
b. I was on Seminary Council
c. I sang in a traveling choir
d. I was a student body officer for 3 years.

4. In college, which of the following statements is NOT TRUE:
a. I was the lead guitarist in a band
b. I was arrested
c. I learned how to crochet afghans
d. I had to retake Biology 101

5. As a missionary, which of the following did not happen:
a. I hitchhiked several times.
b. I went on splits with elders
c. I got special permision to river raft with an investigator.
d. I stayed in the same branch my entire mission.

6. After graduating from BYU, I did all but the following:
a. Spent a month backpacking in Europe with friends.
b. Worked International Finance in Hong Kong.
c. Worked in Maryland
d. Hiked Mt. Timpanogos.

7. How did Dave and I meet?
a. We were in the same Biology 101 class (my second time).
b. We both taught at the MTC together.
c. A blind date
d. I was dating his best friend.

8. What things did Dave and I do our first 6 months of marriage:
a. Camp throughout Europe for a month.
b. Work in California.
c. Buy a triplex.
d. All of the above.

9. Put in order the following events:
a. Eden was born.
b. We moved to California.
c. We graduated from BYU (me-- MBA, Dave -- BS in Construction Management)
BONUS: Which month did all of the above occur in?

10. Which is NOT one of my favorite TV shows?
a. Lost
b. CSI
c. Psych
d. American Idol

Okay -- have your answers? Go check them out at the comment section and let me know how you did! :) Thanks for indulging!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A new calling...

On Sunday I was released from Cub Scouts after 2 1/2 years and put in as the 1st counselor in the Primary Presidency. I'm quite excited about this new calling. I've never worked in the Primary before -- other than a myriad of subbing opportunities. I got to thinking... I left home at age 17 and went to BYU, where I started attending Relief Society. Now, I'm 34 and this is THE FIRST calling I've ever had in the past 17 years where I won't be able to attend Relief Society or Sunday School! Isn't that crazy! I know people who have hardly ever been to Relief Society because they are always in Primary or Young Womens. This is probably the hardest part of my new calling -- because I love Sunday School and Relief Society.

However, I'm really happy with the presidency and excited to get to know the sisters better. Any advice for all you experienced Primary workers out there? I'd appreciate it!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Eden 'steals the show'


Eden had her big performance last Friday -- the culmination of a 2-week intensive sing and dance class. They learned the words and moves to 20 songs/dances. It was all things Disney. She was placed front and center. We went and got her hair cut and styled for the occasion -- it was so cute! She did such a wonderful job. I was told by people -- other than those related to Eden -- that she truly stole the show. She loves this kind of stuff and has a naturally ability to dance, move, and sing! Here is her solo. Enjoy and WAY TO GO EDEN!

video

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Teya turns Three!

Wow! My baby is three! The big day was last Sunday, July 13th. In honor of the number three, I thought I'd share things about Teya in 'threes'.

Three silly phrases that Teya says:
1. Piggy ride back (instead of piggy back ride)
2. Mele see (Let me see)
3. High School Musical dos (High School musical 2) -- she will only say 'dos' not 'two'

Three of Teya's favorite things at the moment:
1. The song 'Humuhumu nukunuku apua'a' from HSM2
2. Phineas and Ferb tv show (the treehouse episode)
3. Dress-up clothes. -- she wears them more than actual clothes.
Three of her latest accomplishments:
1. She can buckle herself in her carseat.
2. She can climb out of her crib. (I think it is time to move her to a bed).
3. She can swim about 4-5 feet all by herself.

Three things she loves to eat:
1. Strawberries
2. Nuts
3. Popsicles

Three things we love about her:
1. She gives the best hugs in the world.
2. She still takes a nap several times a week.
3. Her 'owies' feel better after a simple kiss from Mom.
Here is a cute little video of Teya reading "5 little Monkeys". Enjoy!

video

Monday, July 14, 2008

Should I sue for emotional distress?

Okay, for the past 6 weeks, I have been plagued by some health issues, which started out pretty minor. I haven't been able to write about them until they were resolved, and today I finally got a hint of a resolution! So, read the following account of what happened and then let me know if I should sue? (kidding -- I'm not the suing type).

I started getting some tingling and numbness in both my arms and hands about 6 weeks ago. I thought it was just nerve damage and sought out some deep-tissue massages. They helped and I thought it would just take more time. But, I also just wanted to rule out anything else more major, like arthritis or diabetes or even carpal tunnel syndrome that could be causing this. I met with the doctor and got my blood drawn. I was told I'd get the results back in 2 days. That was about 4 weeks ago. After 3 days, I still hadn't heard back, so I called and asked if they were back yet. I was told that the doctor had to order 'more detailed labs' based on the abnormal results from my first set of labs. Not good news. I was leaving for vacation the next day so I begged them to rush the second set of labs.

So, the day I was leaving for vacation, I came home from running errands to a message, "We have your lab results, and you need to schedule an appointment to discuss them". Again, not good news. I called and made an appointment for that day, since I wasn't going to go out of town on news like that. I totally rearranged my already hectic schedule (you know how it is on the day you are leaving) to make the appointment. Dave was going to get off work for it, etc. Then, about 1 hour later, they called back and said, "Sorry, there was a miscommunication, we don't have ALL the labs back, so don't bother coming in today. We'll let you know next week". Well, I said I was going out of town and demanded they tell me what was abnormal in my labs that caused the doctor to order more. I was told my blood sugar was high (a sign of diabetes) and that my hemoglobin was low (anemia). So, armed with that information I went off to vacation.

I was actually able to enjoy the vacation and didn't really think about it too much after my sister (a nurse) explained that the numbers of my labs were just barely abnormal and nothing to worry about.

When I got back, I called to see if the results were in -- no they weren't. What? It had been so long! Then, the next day, I came home to another message asking to call the office because they had received the labs and I needed to come in to discuss them. I called the office back to schedule the appointment and the gal who schedules the appointments told me over the phone, "Your labs indicated that you are diabetic and have severe anemia". Oh.

So much for waiting to discuss it with the doctor. She scheduled me for a week later -- and I was too stunned to realize that I'd never be able to wait a week to discuss those results. About an hour later, I came to my senses and called them back to reschedule the appointment for just 2 days later.

Those were a LONG two days. Finding out you have diabetes is very scary. I went to the handy-dandy internet and searched and discovered that I was more likely type I than type II. There is a 25% correlation between my thryoid disorder (hashimotos) and type I. They are both immune based. So, I started stressing about giving myself daily injections of insulin, counting carbs, not being able to eat sour patch kids, you know -- the usual stressors! No, it was really scary. I even went grocery shopping and spent twice as much on 1/2 the amount of food -- healthy food. It is expensive to eat right.

My appointment came, and so did Dave. The doctor let me know that they didn't know if it was type I or II, and so ordered another fasting blood test to determine that. She also added on a thyroid test onto my labs to see if there was a correlation -- I had shared my internet find with her about the 25 % correlation between the two disorders. Dave also let her know how unprofessional it was for their assistant to tell me so flippantly about the diabetes diagnosis over the phone. She apologized profusely. She also let me know that I had pretty severe iron-deficiency anemia. I was scheduled to go into the hospital for an IV infusion of iron to kickstart that process.

So, last friday I waited an hour to get my blood drawn. This morning I spent 3 hours in the outpatient center getting an iron IV (which looks like motor oil going into your bloodstream). Then, after coming home and barely sitting down to rest, the phone rang. It was my doctor saying she had the lab results back (from just last Friday -- fast!). I am definitely not type II diabetic, and it is barely negative for type I. So, I asked her if that meant I don't have diabetes? She said that my thyroid tests indicated hyperthyroidism which could be the cause for the elevated blood sugar levels. So, now I have to meet with my endocrinologist (thyroid doctor) and get him to adjust my medication levels and (fingers crossed), that will take care of the diabetes issue. Although I do have to exercise regularly and eat few carbs for the next few months while we see if that is truly the cause of all this. So, that was some really good news.

The ironic part of all of this is, 6 weeks later, my hands and arms are still tingling and numb. I go in on Thursday to get a nerve study done to see if it is carpal tunnel syndrome. If it's not that, maybe I'll go back to the deep tissue massages....

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Best Family Reunion...

We just got back from what Dave dubbed, "The Best Family Reunion" -- and it was for my family! Now that is saying something! We spent a wonderful week up at Aspen Grove with my family. Imagine beautiful weather (it was chilly at night, low 90's for a few short hours in the afternoon -- but other than that -- pleasant), beautiful mountains, your kids gone to fun groups of all the kids their ages all day, delicious meals three times a day that you don't have to cook or clean up, access to BYU creamery ice-cream each day, games, games, and more games, and a plethora of family activities. Now end it with a blowout concert with Miley Cyrus and 30 minutes of fireworks, and you have our last week! Here are a few pictures detailing the wonderful week!

Here is an adorable picture of Teya. She had so much fun with all the 'friends' (cousins).


This is me at the start of the ropes course we went on. It was harder than it looked.

This is Dave on the middle of the ropes course -- walking along cables in the tree tops. This is a group of us after Paintballing -- ouch! It HURT! One day we rode the chairlift up at Sundance and then hiked through to Stewart Falls. It was so much fun!
Josh was a 'bobcat' and met a new friend in his class. He loved the mini-golf course they had.


I had to document a scrabble victory I had. We must have played about 15 games throughout the week! Now that is vacation for me! The most entertaining part of the Stadium of Fire was watching Eden sing along to all of Miley Cyrus' songs.
This is Miley Cyrus herself. She sang 8-10 songs. It was lots of fun. Our favorite was "7 things".Here are some of the spectacular fireworks! Pictures, of course, never do them justice!
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