Thursday, December 20, 2007

It's already starting...

Me(After finding a suspicious puddle): Emily, did you go pee pee on the stair?

Emily: No

Me: Then who did?

Emily: Bryce did it! And he peed on the stair yesterday!

Oh boy! What have I gotten myself into?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

How to Comfort in a Difficult Time

Last night I was able to go to a church function and see a lot of people I know. It was great to be with friends. One of my friends asked me how she could help someone who is going through a situation similar to what my family and I have been through. It made me realize that there are probably many of you wondering the same thing. I know it is tough to feel helpless and you don't know what to say. Here are the things that I really appreciated:

1. Just an email letting me know you are thinking of me.
2. Commenting on my blog that I am in your prayers.
3. A card in the mail.
4. Bringing dinner by unexpectedly.
5. Bringing a Christmas tree while I am gone because you know I won't get a chance to with it being so close to Christmas. (This was an AWESOME surprise.)
6. Offering to come with me to take care of Bryce. (Sarah, you are amazing! This was such a blessing!)
7. Coming to the funeral to show love and support.
8. Asking me about my dad so I can share the wonderful things about him. (This is a tough one because you know that it will make me cry.)
9. Just a phone call to check in on me.

Now I know everyone is not the same, but I know most people just want to know that they are cared about. I understand that many of you don't know what to say, but just knowing I am not alone is enough sometimes. Sometimes I want to be alone, and other times alone is the last thing I need to be. Please just don't be afraid to show me or someone else in a similar situation that you love them. We are all doing the best we can. Let's be there for each other.

Please post if you have any other suggestions for my friend.

I will post updates on my children soon.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

So hard to say goodbye

I am sure you have all noticed it has been a while since my last post. 2 days after my last post my sweet father passed away. I was in the car when my mom told me, and I could barely catch my breath. I pulled over and just began sobbing. My kids and I were on our way to Chuck E. Cheese, and poor Dallin didn't know what to say to help me feel better. The next week was kind of a blur as I got ready to go home to be with my family again. We decided to leave Dallin and Emily with some good friends here and we just took Bryce. My awesome friend Sarah offered to come with us to help take care of Bryce. What a blessing she was to have with us. (Thanks Zook for watching your 4 kids and taking 2 days off work to let Sarah be with us.)

The funeral was beautiful. There were so many people there-it was standing room only. My dad has touched the lives of everyone he met. I loved talking with people that he worked with that I had never met before. They all said how kind he was and how he never complained. That is truly how my father is. He makes everyone feel special and that they are important.

My little sister and my older sister put together the eulogy and it was beautiful. I felt it really showed the man he is, especially his sense of humor! Each of the siblings talked about their favorite memories with Dad and then my mom spoke. My mom even read some things out of my dad's journals saying he was proud of his children. That really meant a lot to me. I feel the funeral was a great tribute to my dad.

That night my siblings and I all went back to my parents' home in the mountains. There was snow on the ground, so we hung out inside. My mom pulled out a book that my dad had written some of his childhood/adulthood memories in and we took turns reading the questions and his answers. It was wonderful.

The rest of the weekend was really low-key, just enjoying time as a family. I know my dad is so happy seeing all of us getting along. I hope we will continue to strengthen one another as we go through this difficult time. Thanks for everyone's love and support and prayers for me and my family. I wish you could have all known my dad. I will do a post soon about my dad and all his great qualities. Right now I just want to say how much I love him He is an awesome father, grandfather, friend, son, and brother. I love you, Dad!

The first and the last photos were taken by my friend and amazing photographer, Lisa Dillon. I am so grateful that we did this photo shoot!

I also posted about a run I did the day after my dad died.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A little pick me up

Today started out a little "blah" as I consciously decided not to run this morning. Instead, I slept in and still felt sluggish. (I need to remember this tomorrow!) It got better as the day went on when Suzie made me lunch and then watched my 2 older kids while I grocery shopped. Dinner ended up great and then I decided to go to the gym for a quick workout. While walking upstairs, I was glancing at the nominations left by YMCA members for employee of the month. I saw this one:

Kelly is a great parent/child kids gym teacher even with a tough month or two. My daughter enjoys it.

It made me smile and reminded me why I do enjoy working a few hours a week at the Y. I have been debating whether or not to keep working, and I am still not decided, but it is nice to feel validated every once in a while.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My little Manipulator

Emily never ceases to make me smile. (Or frustrate me!) Her newest tactic is to make us feel guilty. She has been fighting going to bed for quite a while, so after talking to many of our friends, we decided the solution was to put a lock on the outside of her door. When she won't go to bed, we lock the door. This was working quite while and she stopped fighting us. Well, now when we tell her we are going to lock the door, she says,
"The mean stepmother locked Cinderella in the room."

Ouch! What do you say to that?! She said it to Jeff tonight and he handled it better than I did. He said,

"Emily, the stepmother was locking Cinderella in her room just to be mean. We are locking you in because you won't go to bed."

She still wasn't happy. I have a feeling she is going to give us a run for our money. She already has. :-)

Here is a pic of Emily on her birthday when I was in St. George for the marathon. My good friend, Heather, watched her and Dallin so Jeff and I could go to St. George. I LOVE this picture.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Home Sweet Home

It was a tough decision, but we felt it was the right time for me to come home. I am so grateful for the time that I had with my mom and dad and siblings and everyone else(especially my dad) but it was time. Time for my mom to be with my dad. Time to be home. Jeff is amazing and drove from 7pm until we pulled into our driveway at 11am this morning. We came home to a beautiful sight. Our Christmas lights had been hung for us, there was a new Christmas mat at the door with flower pots, and it doesn't end there. My house had been cleaned from top to bottom and there was Christmas music playing in the background. I could not stop the tears. What wonderful friends I have. I truly don't feel deserving of their love, but I am incredibly grateful. I am glad to be home. Even glad to be doing Monday Laundry, ha ha!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I miss my friend

by Guest Blogger Suzie Petunia

I am happy for you, and I am sad with you. You have been missed by many, but you'll be home soon. You are driving down the highway right now. Here is to a safe and speedy return! Call me.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Go Cougars!

I love BYU football! We do not get to watch many of their games, so today was a rare treat. The BYU-Utah game is always a great game to watch. I didn't watch much of it because I was playing with my kids. (On the trampoline and in the spa.) However, I did get to see the end- where the Cougars scored a touchdown at the end of the game. Final Score- 17-10. Not a very high scoring game, but we won!

Friday, November 23, 2007

100 Favorite Memories

I know it is sad that it has taken me over 2 years to get 100 posts! But here I am. I have been debating how to celebrate this milestone, and decided I want to share SOME of my favorite memories over the years. Here they are in no particular order (okay, the first ones might be!)

1. Marrying my best friend and the love of my life, Jeff, in the San Diego temple.
2. Birth of Dallin.
3. Birth of Emily.
4. Birth of Bryce. (This one was my favorite birth because even though they were all c-section, this was the only one where the baby was never separated from me. It was very special.)
5. Blessing of Bryce. (My dad being able to come out and be there.)
6. Playing in the ocean with my sisters. (As a kid!)
7. Going to the Rams/49ers game with Jeff when he was interviewing in San Francisco with Intel.
8. Learning to waterski at Lake Mead with Val. (And just hanging out on the boat there.)
9. Knotts Scary Farm my sophomore year of high school.
10. Lake Powell with my Glenwood friends. (and my sister.)
11. Staying up Christmas Eve playing games with my sister waiting for Santa to fill our stockings.
12. Going dancing with all of my sisters.
13. Going to Raging Waters with Erik.
14. Talking with Erik until 4am.
15. Lake Powell with Jeff twice in one summer before we were married.
16. Girls Camp- as a youth, and as a leader!
17. Pioneer Trek- Twice, this was a huge testimony builder for me.
18. Skiing with Jeff at Powder Mountain.
19. Jeff surprising me and taking me to the Timberline Lodge to stay overnight and ski.
20. Running a marathon with absolutely no sleep the night before with Suzie. (The chatting was with Sue too!)
21. 4th of July and Christmas family parties.
22. Running 20 miles and then waterskiing after!
23. Toilet Papering. (Many memories of this!)
24. Playing phase 10 and chatting til all hours of the morning with Leah, Sara, Amelia, Rachael, and Eva Joy!
25. My microbiology study friends- Ellen, Becca, and Erica.
26. Shopping in Seattle with some of my awesome girlfriends!
27. Beach House trips every year.
28. Camping Trips with friends.
29. Hood to Coast.
30. Lake Powell trips with Jeff's family.
31. Roller Blading on the waterfront with Adam and Kristyn.
32. My awesome running friends. (Lots of different women over the last 5 years!)
33. Cruise for our 5 year anniversary with my aunt and my sister.
34. Sneaking out of cross country camp.
35. Staying up talking about the gospel with my dad.
36. Chicago concert with Val.
37. Kelly Clarkson concert with Jeff.
38. So you think you can dance show with Jeff.
39. Saturday's Warrior- Being in the production with Laura.
40. Book Club Discussions late into the night.
41. The first time I rode on a boat with Girl Scouts.
42. YCamp.
43. Magic Mountain.
44. Disneyland with my whole family.
45. Crystal visiting us in Oregon.
46. Visitng Silver Falls with many members of our famly.
47. Playing at the park for hours with Suzie and our kiddos.
48. Swimming at Lake Powell.
49. Running through the sprinklers.
50. Running in a 10k with Shelly and Crystal with no training!
51. My first marathon.
52. St. George Marathon
53. Winning the Black History Bee in 5th grade. (very proud of this!)
54. Trips to Utah for reunions.
55. Stake dances with Joni, Steph, and Laura.
56. 70's dance at the Cannon Center at BYU.
57. My engagement at the Joseph Smith Building.
58. Hiking the Y with Jeff.
59. Zuka Juice with Jeff.
60. Jumping on the trampoline.
61. Sleeping on the trampoline and looking up at the stars.
62. Taking skiing lessons.
63. Bungee Jumping.
64. Cliff Diving.
65. Hiking Multnomah Falls 2 weeks after having a baby!
66. Running along the Columbia Gorge for a race. I wish they still had this race.
67. Provo Canyon.
68. Staying up late talking.
69. Teaching at the Upward Bound program at Colorado State.
70. Learning how to play Settlers of Catan.
71. Playing Settlers of Catan with many friends.
72. Teaching many friends how to play Settlers of Catan.
73. My first fight with Jeff- it was over Settlers of Catan. :-)
74. Falling off my bike. (Oh wait, that is not a favorite memory)
75. Emily's princess birthday.
76. Hanging out with neighbors in our front yard.
77. Hugs from my kiddos.
78. Feeling the love of my Heavenly Father.
79. Talking to my dad on the phone.
80. Buying our first house.
81. Reading the Harry Potter series along with Jeff.
82. Road trips with Jeff.
83. BYU football games.
84. BYU basketball games.
85. Cheering my sisters on.
86. BYU Freshman Leadership conference.
87. Being a counselor at BYU freshman leadership conference.
88. Being a sports and games counselor at a camp in the mountains.
89. Disneyland grad night with Val.
90. Having great seats to my first Red Sox game(when they were playing Seattle)
91. Playing with my kids.
92. Going on runs with Jeff.
93. Going to Miami with Jeff to visit my grandm, great grandma, and great uncle.
94. Living in Austin, TX for a summer.
95. Playing intramural indoor soccer.
96. My mom coming to visit and help me just because I was stressed out and nervous for my 3rd pregnancy.
97. Coming home to new floors and a finished play room(thanks Sue!)
98. Beach sunsets.
99. Just being with family these last few weeks.
100. Qualifying for Boston. (Oh wait, that is still just in my dreams!)

Okay, I have many more, but that is all for now. Good night. Thanks to everyone who has been an important part of my life. I love you all.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Attitude of Gratitude

Well, being Thanksgiving and all, it is a good time to count my blessings. I hope I will take this attitude with me beyond today.

1. I am so grateful for my husband. Being separated for 2 weeks, I have definitely realized how much better we work as a team. I feel like I can get through anything with Jeff by my side. Yesterday was the 10 year anniversary of our first date. We started off as good friends and it is that easy friendship that continues to sustain us.

2. I am grateful for my children. I love seeing their 3 distinct personalities emerge. I missed Dallin immensely while he was gone. He is my rock and gets me through my day. He has a sweet spirit and is a lot of fun. I have enjoyed my bonding time with Emily, or "Little Reba" as my dad calls her. She is a little fireball and keeps me on my toes. Bryce is a sweet, fun baby who loves to laugh and giggle. He turned 6 months old yesterday and he is growing up so fast already. He is rolling all over the place and scooting/crawling to get to where he wants to goes. No staying in one place for him!

3. I am grateful for my parents. It has been very difficult watching my dad go through his physical trial, but it has reminded me of his strength and how much I want to be like him. His generosity is unmatched and I love that his sense of humor is still intact. My mother is a pillar of strength and yet she is willing to admit when she needs help. I am glad that I have been with her for these weeks. I have seen how many lives she has touched and how much people want to be there for her.

4. I am grateful for my siblings. There are 5 of us and we have had our ups and downs and changes in our friendships, but through it all we have become closer and learned to rely on one another. I have learned much from each one of them and I hope we can continue to be there for each other.

5. I am grateful for my knowledge and testimony of the gospel. I am definitely not perfect and I am grateful I don't have to be. The Savior takes over when I fall short. I am grateful to know I will be with my family forever. This brings me some peace during the toughest times.

6. I am grateful for good friends. I am continually amazed by their service and love. I only hope I can be there for them and know of their needs.

7. I am grateful for my health. As I went running yesterday and today I felt strong and healthy. I love being outside in the fresh air and feeling my Heavenly Father's love as my body moves in a rhythm.

8. I am grateful for my extended family. It has been so great to be around my grandma, my aunts and uncles and cousins during this time. I can't wait to see everyone and eat a great dinner!! (Another thing I am thankful for-food!)

So much more!! It is hard to complain when there are so many blessings right in front of me.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Thanksgiving. I look forward to reading what everyone else is grateful for.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

So Happy Together!

I know, I know I missed my post yesterday. But, I have to say I don't care one iota. All I care about right now is that I am back with my sweetheart and my little boy. I was so happy to see them. Poor Emily has been asking for daddy every time she wakes up. It is so good to be with them.

Yesterday was also my sister Crystal's birthday. She is 29-again. :-) She is one of the strongest, most generous people I have ever known. I love my friendship with her. It seems like we grow even closer as the years go by. I am grateful that she is my sister.

Alright, now I am going to enjoy being with everyone again. I will put up pics soon.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Potty trained- who me?

This is what I feel like Emily is saying to me. When she was sick for a week, it all basically went down the toilet(nice pun, eh?). Then we left 5 days later for California, and I just haven't had the energy to fight it. Today I found her in the bathroom with poo all over her shoe- disgusting! Oh well..

So, back to square 1 when we get back.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Mini Corn Dogs v. Chocolate

I decided I needed a break from the emotionally charged blogging. (and I am sure you all did too as I haven't had as many comments lately, ha ha!) I am still in my "no desserts" challenge but tonight I was just very "snacky." There was a bag of oreos sitting on my counter and a nice woman from church had left flowers and chocolates on my table. I was dying to eat either one, but I wanted to stick to my goal. So, I pulled out the mini corn dogs. :-)

What are your tricks for sticking to a diet? How do you stay motivated?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Run for Ryan Shay and lots more

I usually try to save my running posts for my "Marathon Mommy" blog, but today it was a run that affected me more than usual. As Suzie posted for me, I have had a very emotional week with my dad. Last night I went home to my parents house in the mountains, the house they were evacuated from almost 1 month ago. It was weird being in there with all of the memories that I have shared with my family, especially with my dad, knowing he most likely will not be going back to the house. I stayed up until about 4am with my little brother having a great talk(Thanks Erik!). And then, 4 hours later decided to still go for my run.

I don't know how many of you heard about the tragic event that took place at the Olympic Trials. 28 year old Ryan Shay collapsed and later died after running the first 5.5 miles of the marathon event. This was such an unexpected and horrible tragedy. There was a challenge set forth for people to support him by dedicating 5.5 miles for him on Saturday. I decided to take this challenge. When I started running, I decided to run down the highway to the area of my town most affected by the southern california fires. It was a very humbling sight. House after house I passed which only had their chimney standing. This little community had many of their houses destroyed. 7 homes on my own street had been burned down. It was hard to see the oranged painted numbers which signified a house had once been standing there. I had to fight back tears as I ran. I thought about how lives can be changed in an instant. I thought about Ryan Shay's parents and his wife that he left behind. I thought of all of those who lost houses, and even loved ones to the fire. I also thought of my own little family and the day I received the phone call that my dad had brain cancer.

I thought about how we all have trials and difficulties that we must face. We must support one another and be sensitive to each others needs. I am a firm believer that most hurt feelings happen unintentionally. We are all making our way through life the best that WE can. We are here to help each other along the way. It was a very inspiring run and I am grateful I took the challenge. I am also grateful for my health and that I was able to complete the run.

When I arrived home, many women from the church came and helped me put my parents' house back together. It is a beautiful sight to see people who truly care and love her wanting to make her life a little easier. I am so appreciative for all that they did.

Friday, November 16, 2007

No Whining

by Guest Blogger Suzie Petunia

Our dear friend, Kelly is on the road right now and can't post, so she asked me to do it for her. My words seem inadequate to convey what she wants to write today. But I'd do anything for this sweet friend of mine. So I'll try.

Her dad is dying of brain cancer. She is there to help her mom in his final weeks and days. There have been terribly difficult days, and then days when he is very lucid and able to communicate well. Today she had a sweet moment with her dad that made a life-changing impression on her. He told her that he was grateful, and that things could be so much worse. In her eyes this was hard to imagine. What could be worse than being evacuated from your home because of the S. California fires and be dying of brain cancer? He told her he felt grateful for his memories, that he was able to move, and talk with his beautiful daughter in his last days.

How can we complain when we have so little to complain about? Kelly is more determined than ever to not complain or be upset about things that are not that important. Her father's loving and genuine perspective on life and gratitude will be carried with Kelly, and hopefully all that read this, long after the official season for Thanksgiving has passed.

We all love you, Kelly. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Through you, your dad's life and influence is felt and appreciated. All of your friends are here for you in the days and weeks ahead. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself with all of us. We love you!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Halfway There

I have enjoyed posting every day this month. It hasn't been too much of a stress and it has let me share emotions that I might not have otherwise. Also, it reminds me that any goal can be accomplished if you take it one step at a time. I want to keep looking forward and make the changes in my life that I need to make. I want to keep things in perspective and not stress over things that aren't important. I want to show more love to my friends and family.

And, I will enjoy a treat now and then. (Only 1 week left of my sugar fast!)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Some of the fun times!

Hey everyone,

I will add pics througout the day today. Here is my first try at posting a video. I thought it would be fun for Jeff to see Bryce giggling.

Here are some pics. My sister and Tony have been awesome hosts. It has been great to visit with family.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Happy Veterans' Day and Spreading the Love

Yesterday I was a little preoccupied, so I thought I would share my feelings about our wonderful soldiers here. It is also appropriate because my dad was in the army before I was born.

I am so grateful for these men and women who selflessly serve our country so that we may enjoy the freedoms that we sometimes take for granted. I know I don't think about it often enough. They are willing to die so that we may worship as we see fit. We live in a nation with so many opportunities because of what these soldiers do.

I read this story and I really liked its message. So, here it is...

Back in September of 2005, on the first day of school, Martha Cothren, a social studies school teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she took all of the desks out of the classroom.

The kids came into first period, they walked in, there were no desks. They obviously looked around and said, "Ms. Cothren, where's our desk?" And she said, "You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn them."

They thought, "Well, maybe it's our grades."

"No," she said.

"Maybe it's our behavior."

And she told them, "No, it's not even your behavior."

And so they came and went in the first period, still no desks in the classroom. Second period, same thing. Third period. By early afternoon television news crews had gathered in Ms. Cothren's class to find out about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of the classroom.

The last period of the day, Martha Cothren gathered her class. They were at this time sitting on the floor around the sides of the room. And she says, "Throughout the day no one has really understood how you earn the desks that sit in this classroom ordinarily." She said, "Now I'm going to tell you."

Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it, and as she did 27 U.S. veterans , wearing their uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. And they placed those school desks in rows, and then they stood along the wall. And by the time they had finished placing those desks, those kids for the first time I think perhaps in their lives understood how they earned those desks.

Martha said, "You don't have to earn those desks. These guys did it for you. They put them out there for you, but it's up to you to sit here responsibly to learn, to be good students and good citizens, because they paid a price for you to have that desk, and don't ever forget it."

I hope you felt what I felt as I read that. I am so appreciative of all that has been sacrificed for us.

I also want to thank all of you for your prayers and support. I will continue spreading the love in my comments because it lets me remember how grateful I am for my friends and loved ones!

Monday, November 12, 2007

How much to share?

First of all, thanks to all of you who have been posting on my blog. With everything that is going on in my life, I have really enjoyed having this outlet and feeling love and support from all of you. This was a good time for me to post every day.

That being said, yesterday was a real struggle for me. At first, I really liked the idea of documenting these last moments with my sweet father. After a really emotional day with him and my family yesterday, I was rethinking this decision. Then, as Bryce was screaming in my arms, I decided to just post my frustration.

Unfortunately, even though Bryce had 2 great naps today, he is up yet again. I am at my wit's end and my mom is holding him so I can get this post out. Thanks for your advice and sympathy.

Please just keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. I will try to say what I feel, without sharing too private or too personal emotions. I just don't think I can convey them accurately enough. For now, just be with me in spirit. I need the extra strength.

Sunday, November 11, 2007


I can't get my baby to sleep.

That's all.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Still Chuggin along...

I have just been enjoying time with my family. Today we had a low key day. I spent most of it by my dad's side just hanging out. He watched "Rudy" with me, one of my all-time favorite feel-good movies. I asked him what he thought of all this and he said, "It's completely unbelievable, Kelly." And he left it at that. I know exactly what he means. This is not what I expected of my dad's life. He always taught me to love being active and enjoying life. He took good care of himself. It just doesn't seem right. Today was one of the hardest days for me. Talking to him on the phone, a lot of times he makes you forget he is in a hospital bed all day. Now that I am here to see it, I am not handling it as well. I did not hold back my tears as I want him to know that I love him and care about him. I hope it doesn't make it harder on him, but I don't want to hide any of my emotions.

It is very sweet to watch my mom take care of him. She always kisses him and has a smile on her face. Some times I feel I am interrupting their moments. She treats him with such kindness and he does the same. You can tell he is so appreciative of all she does for him. Their marriage has always been such an example to me, and it continues to be, even more so now. They both come from broken homes, so their committment to each other has always been that much more amazing to me.

Bryce has been so giggly and happy and I am grateful that my dad is able to see that. Emily is a little fireball and my dad calls her "Little Reba." It is very sweet. I am again grateful for this time.

Still sugar case you were wondering...

Friday, November 09, 2007

What Matters Most

I knew that this was something I would learn and think a lot about on this trip. I love being with family and strengthening those relationships. Yesterday I spent the day with my Aunt Marlynn and her family. She is one of the most amazing women I have ever known. She has 5 beautiful children and I have always looked to her as an example of a great mom. (She is also my favorite hairdresser!) She is beautiful, fun, loving, and selfless. It was fun to watch Emily and her little Nate together. She was a little bit of a stinker, and he wouldn't put up with her. Pretty funny!

I also spent time with my sister Shelly. I have always admired her for her commitment to her beliefs. She never questions, just does what she feels is right. We used to fight as kids, but I think we have learned to understand each other better as we have grown up. I hope that I can continue to build a relationship with her.

Today I was able to be with my mom and dad at my sister's place. I love how I feel when I am with them. It is just pure love. I feel such gratitude for these two people who gave everything they had to raise us 5 kids. (And we were not easy!) It is always a special time when I am with them. I am so happy to have this opportunity to be with them.

I miss Jeff and Dallin already. I love my little family and will be anxious for us to all be together again.

I am tired. i will add pics later. (Just wait until you see my cute hair!)

And by the way, I am surprised I came across as a strong person to anyone. Strong is not someone who crawls back in bed or surfs the internet for hours because they don't want to deal with life. I appreciate all the kind words.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


As I contemplate tomorrow and seeing my father, I can only think of all the many blessings I have been given, especially at this time. When he was diagnosed with brain cancer 2 1/2 years ago, we were all very shocked and scared. We were very lucky that he had a great 2 years where he was able to travel and felt good overall. These last 6 months have not been so good. However, I have noticed that he has been able to accept each loss of function with dignity and humility. He knows that it is part of the process, and still keeps his amazing attitude. I feel honored that he is my father and I am thankful for all that I have learned from him. I hope he knows how much I love him and I look forward to spending more time with and hopefully I will be able to help make some of his last days comfortable and enjoyable. When I visited him in September it was extremely humbling to help him walk, knowing that he had done the same for me when I was a toddler. All of the kindness and selfless service he has given me, I feel it such a small token in return to be there for him.

Now I am grateful for all of the people who make it possible to be here with him at this time.

Jeff- My wonderful husband who has tried to do all he can to support my need to be with my family at this time. It is such a busy time for him at work, but he also felt that Dallin should stay with him.

Friends- I was overwhelmed with gratitude when everyone jumped in to help take care of Dallin. We are so lucky to have people that we love and trust to help watch him while Jeff is at work. Dallin is very excited to have 2 weeks of playdates. (He kept asking me when I was leaving, which I will admit made me a little sad, but it also lets me know he will be fine.) Even as I was getting ready to leave I was getting phone calls asking what they could do to help. My feelings have been very close to the surface lately, and so I have a hard time talking about my father. My friends have all been very understanding.

Well, it is late, and the baby will be up in a few hours. This is a really good time for me to be doing this challenge. I still owe some commenters some "love" but I am having difficulty posting comments on this computer, so be patient with me!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Airports are not for sissys

So, I finally had one of "those crying kids" on a plane and it was not fun. Emily decided to start screaming and refusing to wear her seatbelt. I felt helpless, but eventually I was able to calm her down.

I had a busy day trying to get all the last minute things done (and of course I threw in things that probably didn't need to be thrown in.) We hit traffic on the way there. Emily had to use the restroom and the worker sent me to the other side of the airport, so Emily was exhausted by the time we started walking to the gate. We barely made our plane. Then our luggage was not there. Ugh!

So, anyway, that's my day. I hope yours has been better. I am tired, and yes, I am backdating this since I am still awake and MY day is not over.

The good news is- 2 days without sugar!! How are the rest of you doing?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Taking Control

First of all, how impressed are you that I am posting today's in the morning? Okay, now that I am done patting my back, let's get to this post.

I have never thought of myself as a control freak. I am pretty laid back when it comes to many things. I am good at delegating assignments to those who I know will do a better job. However, I have found that I don't deal well with things that are out of my control. Some examples:

1. First marathon- did not go how I envisioned it in my mind, but obviously there was nothing I could do about it once it was over.

2. There are days when I am so motivated to get things done, and yet these are the days many times when I have a sick or whiny child.

I am trying to be better about changing the way I look at the things that I can't control and having a better attitude about them. I also decided that I want to take control of things that I CAN control. So, right now I am going on a...

Sugar Fast!!

I can decide what I eat. That won't be affected by how my kids act, or what other people say or how the weather is. The healthiest I have ever felt was when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and did not have sugar for 3 months. So, I know I can do it, and I know it is worth it!! So, who is with me? Take the pledge!! It is 2 1/2 weeks until Thanksgiving and that is how long I am going to do it. (Also, if you take the pledge I will keep spreading the love and say 3 nice things about you! Or add to your list if you have already posted!) Start right now and report to us! I will edit this post tonight to say how I did.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Crazy 8's

Thanks, Val. This should be fun. ( And don't forget I am still spreading the love. Leave a comment and I will validate you. It is quite fun!)

Crazy 8's:

8 things I'm passionate about

1. My little family

2. My extended family

3. Running

4. Learning

5. Church

6. Reading(When I have time!)

7. People

8. Playing! (Especially in the water)

8 things I want to do before I die

1. See all my kids married in the temple

2. Visit every temple in the USA (and beyond!)

3. Go to Australia

4. Build my dreamhouse

5. Travel outside the US

6. Be an involved grandma

7. Decorate my house (by someone who knows what they are doing)

8. Qualify for and run the Boston Marathon!

8 things I say often

1. "What did you forget to give me? (a kiss)"

2. "Em-i-ly!"

3. "He spit up again."

4. "Is that how we say it?"

5. "Who's my princess?"

6. "I love you."

7. "Whatever."

8. "Quit bugging each other."

8 TV shows I’ve recently watched

1. Dancing with the stars

2. The Biggest Loser (While I eat ice cream)

3. Nova- Marathon Challenge(very cool!)

4. Super Why (Yes, I like it too!)

5. Oprah (While I am folding laundry on Mondays!)

6. The News (trying to find out any info on the fires...frustrating that they only showed San Diego!)

7. Scrubs(Is it really the final year?!)

8. The Office

8 songs I could listen to over and over

1. Since You've Been Gone- Kelly Clarkson
2. Eye of the Tiger- Survivor

3. Songs by Chris Daughtry

4. Air Supply songs (What a dork I am!)

5. Most songs by Kelly Clarkson

6. Anything by Chicago, the greatest band of all time!! (I am with you on this one Val. Awesome concert!)

7. Anything by Peter Cetera, because he WAS Chicago!!

8. Don't want to listen to over and over but do- kid songs!

8 things that attract me to my best friends

1. They don't judge me

2. They know how to be there for me

3. They understand

4. They are lots of fun

5. They don't try to hide their weaknesses

6. They love me for who I am

7. They are crazy!!

8. They make me want to be a better person (love this one, Val)

8 things I’ve learned this past year

1. I can run a marathon less than 5 months after having a baby- woo hoo!!

2. I have so many blessings, I must remember that!

3. My husband is definitely my best friend, and I am so lucky that he treats me so well.

4. I don't have to be the perfect everything, I just have to be the perfect me.

5. I need to learn how to handle trials better.

6. There is still time.

7. My kids are amazing.

8. The hand of the Lord is in everything. You just have to look for it.

8 people I think should do '8'

1. SuziePetunia

2. Kirstie

3. Leah Marie

4. Leah

5. Erica

6. Jenni

7. Sara

8. Whoever else wants to!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Update- Halloween, etc.

I know, it is a little late, but I couldn't get my camera to upload my pics. So, here goes.

We went to the "MIni Boo" at the YMCA. I mostly watched kids play on the mats in their costumes, which is so cute. That is one of my favorite parts of Halloween. I will never get tired of seeing Emily in her Belle dress. I love that she prances in it.

We went to a trunk or treat at the church. I ran into a friend who had run the St. George Marathon and we got to talking about it (imagine that?!) so I missed half of the trunk or treat. Dallin was not happy about that. But they sure did look cute.

(This is sweet baby Alice as a flower, not Bryce!)
I have been trying to get my kids to a pumpkin patch, and I finally did(the day before Halloween!). This pumpkin patch is particularly memorable because it is where Dallin broke his collar bone. :-( That was 2 years ago and I hadn't been back since. It is a cute pumpkin patch and we had a great time.

Finally, Halloween came, and unfortunately Emily was really sick. Jeff took Dallin to meet some buddies and he said they were speeding from house to house. Dallin wanted to be Flash again this year, and I wonder if it is because he thinks it actually makes him go faster! I did finally get Emily out for a few houses.

(This is Bryce as a cute doggy!)

All week Emily had a high fever. It was actually very scary and luckily I have a good friend who is a paramedic and helped me calm down and get her cooled off. We did not sleep hardly at all for 5 nights. Finally on Saturday her fever broke and we went to Princesses on Ice. The tickets were overpriced but the look on Emily's face was priceless. Thanks, Jeff, for being a good sport!

I am still Spreading the Love. It was so much to write things about my commenters. (It is also a sneaky way to get comments.) So, go ahead, comment away and I will write 3 things I love about you. If you have already commented, I will add one more. I think I am going to try to do this for all of November. We will see...It is fun. You guys try it too.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

6 Things and Spread the Love

Wow, Leah, this whole post is inspired by you. (Leah is one of my favorite people from college!)Thanks for giving me something to write about on Day 3. I am sure all of you know how tagging works, but here's the info, just in case.

The rules of the game should be posted at the beginning of the post. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

Here are 6 things about me:

1. I must have been left out as a kid because I feel complete responsibility that everyone is included. (and I do mean everyone!) If I know of anything "cool" that is happening I make sure to spread the word. If I forget someone, I feel horrible. I started a playgroup at the church so that anyone who wants to come is invited. It is a lot of pressure that no one puts on me except myself.

2. I still bite my nails. I really thought I had broken this habit when I stopped biting my nails before my sister's wedding. I was 8 months pregnant and couldn't control the way my figure looked, so I focused on something I could control. I went about 5 months(which is the longest I have ever gone) and then Harry Potter 7 came out. I was a more nails...

3. I LOVE kids! I teach a kids gym class at the YMCA and I truly enjoy it. I would have a lot of kids, if all I had to do was play and cuddle with them. Unfortunately, there is also feeding, clothing, bathing, discipling, and organizing. Oh yeah, and then you need to keep the house clean also. I am not as good at those aspects.

4. I am an all-or-nothing type of person. I give 100% or I give nothing. This can be really good, but it also can be really bad. When it comes to cleaning, I get frustrated that it can't all be done at the same time, so I give nothing sometimes. It also means I give my heart completely and in so doing am hurt more easily.

5. I LOVE most sports and I am grateful that I am healthy enough to participate, but I am not really good at any of them. I feel like I can hold my own, and that is about it. The good news is, I really enjoy pushing myself, learning, and seeing progress.

6. Seeing Princesses on Ice today was just as much for me as it was for Emily. I think Jeff figured that out about halfway through. I love musicals, I can sing every word to every Disney movie. Emily and I dance around a lot singing princess songs. (Shhh, don't tell anyone.)

Spread the Love

Okay, it is almost midnight (really) so I will make this quick. If you comment on this blog I will post 3 things that I like about you. (If I don't know you very well and you post I promise I will read your blog and I know I will find 3 things I like about you!) I will admit I found much satisfaction when I commented on Leah's blog. Thanks for spreading the love!!


I will put pictures up later. I am tired...

Oh, and by the way, I tag Valerie (and I just saw you tagged me to the 8-I will do that another day), Emilini, Stephanie,and Amy. I know that's not 6, but again, I am tired.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Help! Trying to find the right side of my brain...

I have always been very analytical. Numbers, I love numbers! I can memorize very quickly, which has served me well. (My short term memory, now that's another story! Just ask me where my keys are...) I love science and math, and I graduated from BYU in Microbiology. (I know this surprises a lot of people.) I did well in my English classes in high school and even in college because I had great reading comprehension and the essays we were assigned were very formulaic. I always struggled with creative writing and dissecting an author's intent. I joined a book club a few years ago, hoping the other women would rub off on me. I don't have an artistic bone in my body, but I do feel I must have some creativity hiding somewhere. So, if you have any ideas for how to find it, please let me know. This month, especially, that is what I want to work on. Of course, my blogs will still be about my children and my sweet hubby and the chaos that is my life, but I am also trying to stretch myself in my writing.

Wish me luck and come back to visit often!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Can I do this?

Well, I told Suzie I would take the challenge. But it is 12:10. Am I too late or can I back date? If I can't back date, I will delete this post. If I can, then this is my first official post.

Are you with me?

Edited to add: I have never been a consistent blogger mostly because I am not confident in my writing skills. I have friends and blogger friends who are amazing writers, and I just feel so bland compared to them.

I have decided that just like with running, I can only get better with practice. So, I am taking this month to step out of my comfort zone and blog every day. Suzie made me promise it wouldn't add more stress. On the contrary, I think it will be a good way to relieve stress and give me a distraction. Plus, after the marathon, I am lacking in motivation to run and I need another goal. (Unfortunately since this goal involves a lot of sitting, I may be adding to my waistline instead of detracting from it!)

So, I hope some of you will visit often and leave me validating posts. (Hint, hint!)

Here we go!

Obviously, the answer was yes, I can back date! (And I don't feel it was cheating because my night hardly ever ends at midnight!)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Count Your Blessings

I have been avoiding posting, due to the negative spiral I was in for a few days wondering whether my parents home was still standing. I am happy to say it is finally official that it is still there. The fire was burning on both sides of their street and unfortunately many neighbors' homes were burned. We are especially grateful at this time that they will have a home to return to, thanks to the sacrifice and hard work of many fire fighters. We are still not sure when that will be. Thanks for all of the thoughts and prayers.

I learned a lot about myself last week. I learned that I don't handle crises very well. I learned that I don't know how to tell people what I need. I learned that I don't know how to cry in front of people. I learned that even though I love listening to others' problems and trying to comfort them, I am not quite sure what to do when I am on the other end. I learned that I have friends who love me and would do anything for me. I learned that I must learn how to be emotionally fragile and be okay with it.

Mostly I learned that I need to allow myself to grieve and be sad, and then I need to move on. I need to control the things I can and not worry about the things I can't. I learned that I need to take care of my little family the best I can and know even when I come up short I am still doing my best-for that moment.

I really am grateful for all of my blessings. Wonderful family, great friends, and the Gospel. I have learned that is all I need right now.

Monday, October 22, 2007


What a crazy day this has been. My mom called this morning to tell me that they were being evacuated due to threat of wildfires. It was a blessing that my sister and her boyfriend were visiting so they were able to help my mom pack her things and get my dad safely out of there. They will be staying with her near the beach indefinitely. I have not been able to stop thinking about the fires. Here is the map of where the fires are. It is within a few miles of my parents home. Please keep them and the firefighters in your thoughts and prayers. The last big fires were 4 years ago and many people lost their homes. It is happening again. It really starts to put things into perspective.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Birthday Fit for a Princess

Happy Birthday Emily! So, this has been a long time in the making. This party was supposed to happen last Saturday, and she woke up on Friday throwing up. Lovely! How do you cancel a birthday party? Luckily, Emily does not have a real concept of time, so it was not too hard to put her off. I am SO glad we did! She was in princess heaven.

I feel like I say this all the time, but I really mean it when I say I have AMAZING friends. This birthday party would not have happened if it were not for my good friend Leslie. I will have to do a whole post about her sometime. She wanted nothing more than to give my daughter the birthday of her dreams and she did just that! She told me all of her ideas, I added a couple of mine, and she just made the magic happen. We were up til midnight last night decorating and I felt like it was prom. We had a beautiful ballroom for Emily when she woke up.

Emily always talks about "Belle's beautiful yellow dress" so that was one of her surprises. I LOVE the hoop that makes the dress puff out at the bottom. I really think Emily looked like a princess.

Leslie made the most incredible castle cake I have ever seen. I am sure you will all agree. The only problem was that Emily could not stay away from it!

So, we invited 10 little girls and 5 little boys and told them to dress in their finest. So cute! They decorated tiaras for the girls and swords for the boys. Leslie made sashes for each of the girls with their names written in Old English lettering in glitter. They loved seeing their names! Perfect!

We painted their nails and put glitter in their hair with the help of 3 of my favorite girls. (Thanks to all of you!!)

Then they danced at the ball with the bubble machine going.

(Another great friend story. I know, I am lucky! I was at Suzie Petunia's house the other day, and I said, "Can I use your curtains?" So, that is where the beautiful backdrop for the ballroom came from. Thanks!!)

It is not a 3 year old birthday party without one potty accident, so other than that, it was just as Emily could have imagined it.

She had so much fun opening each and every princess gift and Jeff and I enjoyed peace while we cleaned up as she played with her presents for the next 2 hours. (Have I said how much I love my new floors? This was such an easy cleanup. Thanks again, Jeff!)

I was tired, so we went to Red Robin for dinner. Emily kept her Belle dress on and it was fun to see everyone's responses to her. She LOVED having them tell her she was beautiful.

Oh, did I forget to mention that the entrance to my house was a castle? Yep, Leslie, you are "awesome!"

Did I also forget to mention that I had to look the part also? Jeff did too, but lucky guy, the pics of him are on my other good friend's camera. (Thanks Marie for being willing to take all the pics so I could enjoy the party!) He looked smokin' hot if I do say so myself.

Wow, what a day.

I can't believe she is 3 already. She has been so much fun and so different from her brother.

Things I love about Emily:

1. She always gives me kisses.
2. She likes to read books. (About princesses.)
3. She carries her princesses everywhere.
4. She loves to make Bryce smile.
5. She is very giggly.
6. She is rough and tumble and girly all at the same time.
7. She is very sensitive and will say sorry if she ever thinks I am upset with her.
8. She adores her dad.
9. She likes to watch superheroes with her brother.
10. She has beautiful big brown eyes.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Things That Make Me Happy

I have a lot to be grateful for today:

1. My new camera(bought it on sale-yeah!)
2. No more sick kids.
3. A new toy that is played with for hours. (building and rebuilding the track in many different ways.)

4. A feisty little princess. Some of my recent favorites of Emily's:

"I don't want to go to bed. I went to bed yesterday."
"I can't say prayer, I'm eating."
5. A baby who is sleeping through the night in his own bed again-yeah!
6. A husband who feels appreciated where he works.
7. Flowers- just because from said sweet husband.

Despite the blahness from last week- life is good!

I am not able to upload pics right now. I will add them later.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My first Meme

I have been tagged by Valerie, who has known me the longest, so here it goes:

4 Things About Me:

Jobs I've had:
1. Mom(which includes snuggler, book reader, disciplinarian, sometime housecleaner)
2. Taco Time (still the best burrito roller)
3. Research Scientist (very loosely at a multi-level marketing company)
4. Kids Gym Teacher at the YMCA
5. too many more to count

Places I have lived:
1. Highland, CA
2. San Bernardino Mtns, CA
3. Provo, UT (with 4 month internships to Texas and Colorado)
4. Portland, OR

Food I love:
1. Olive Garden Breadsticks
2. Spaghetti
3. Mexican
4. A good sandwich (made by someone else)

Websites I visit:
1. Blogs of my friends
3. (for the news updates, and I reluctantly admit, the gossip)

Places I'd rather be:
1. In Hawaii(someday)
2. At Lake Powell
3. Disneyland
4. With my Family (especially my dad)

Movies I love:
1. Little Mermaid
2. Princess Bride
3. Grease
4. While you were sleeping

TV shows I watch:
1. Scrubs
2. Biggest Loser
3. So You Think You Can Dance
4. The Office

People I tag:
I am one of the last of my blogging friends to do this, so anyone who hasn't done it, go for it!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Weekend Getaway-with a marathon thrown in!

Thanks to a great friend, I have a camera to use until my new one comes in. (Thanks Carrie) So, here is a cute pic of Bryce and his toes.

This weekend has been in the works since I was 6 months pregnant and agreed to run a marathon less than 5 months after having a baby. I should never be held accountable for a decision I make when I am pregnant. In fact, I should never make a decision when I am pregnant. :-) So, we found out in May that we were selected by a lottery process to run the St. George Marathon. (Isn't it crazy that people are actually TURNED AWAY from running a marathon?!) Anyway, I didn't really think about it until after I had the baby. I refused to commit until I knew that:

a. My baby sleeps through the night.
b. My baby takes a bottle.
c. My body remembers how to run.
d. My body remembers how to run long distances.

When all those things were in place (about a month before the marathon) I bit the bullet and bought tickets for Jeff and I. The only glitch was that I would be gone over Emily's birthday(the only FULL day we were gone), and , oh yeah, that I would have to run a marathon. Also, about 2 weeks before the marathon, Bryce conveniently decided to stop taking a bottle. Just to complicate things!

There was a whole group heading out there. We met on Saturdays to run (well, we met and then I ran by myself) and everyone was pretty pumped to run. Jeff and I went to Vegas on Thursday night and stayed with my great friend, Laura. It was the best sleep I have had (even after staying up til 1am chatting.) I ended up leaving something in her car, so Friday started out a little hectic, but once we met up with the group it was better. We rented a 15 passenger van and headed to Vegas. (Unfortunately Suzie Petunia and her hubby weren't with us yet because their daughter was sick. :-(

We showed up at a beautiful 5,000 square foot house in St. George. Jeff and I were lucky enough to land the master bedroom. (Thanks Bryce!) We headed to pick up our packets and all of a sudden it felt real. We had an awesome carb-loading dinner made for us by the brother of one of the runners. (He is also the one who lives in the house. Thanks Jason!) We went to bed somewhat early, but then Bryce decided not to sleep well. Eventually we had a little bit of sleep and then Saturday morning around 4am we were headed to the race. For the full report, go to my marathon mommies site.

After the run, I talked with Ellen for a little bit and then we headed out to lunch. We then headed back to Vegas where I was able to spend more time with Laura and meet her nice boyfriend, James. What a quick, lovely trip!

I missed my kids, but they were well taken care of. Thanks Heather and Steph. Heather made sure that Emily had a great day on her actual birthday and we will celebrate it "princess" style on Saturday. Now I just want to sleep...