Sunday, June 29, 2008

Livin' on Love

Tomorrow, June 30th, Adam and I celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary. For old times' sake, here's a photo taken shortly after we became officially engaged:Here's how we met: one of my room-mates (a close, dear, life-long friend) was dating his room-mate and close friend of his. It was early Septemeber 2000, the night before classes started fall semester at BYU Provo. The first time I laid eyes on this blue-eyed boy, was in my apartment that night. I had just walked in from ward prayer and ta-da! There was my future love, sitting on the ground playing cards with Danna & Brady, the afore mentioned "friends." Six months later in March 01 we became officially engaged. And three months later on June 30th, on a hot sunny day with the temperature reaching a scorching 113 degress- we wed in the Mesa, Arizona temple. And yes, I was cruel enough to have everyone wear black, except for me. Oh, and I let my nieces wear lilac. Despite the red, flushed faces, the pictures turned out well.I always tell Adam that I got the better end of the bargain. He is WAY nicer than me. I think I've corrupted him somewhat though. Here are some things I adore about my husband:

- He is a neat freak and perfectionist. If you come over on a birthday, he'll be decorating the cake. Why? Because he's a perfectionist. I am so proud of this cake he did for Owen's third birthday last December. It was "Cars" themed:
He sort of forgot to mention to me before we got married, that he's an amazing artist. I discovered some sketches of his and was literally shocked. He has serious talent. One of these days when we have more time and money, he's taking art classes.
- I could not ask for a better father for my children. The first thing he does when he walks in the door, is let the kids attack him. He has played countless games of hide'n-go-seek, I-spy, Uno, Candyland, Chutes'n Ladders, karachibamba, and "gopher's mystery box" (the last two are games entirely of his creation). Dare I admit he's the one who has taught Lucy the majority of her words? He tells the kids the best stories and has recurring characters.
- He rubs my feet whenever I want. I am spoiled rotten. The feet rubbing usually comes with minimal to zero complaining. Pretty great, I know. I do let him watch sports while he does it though. So it's a fair deal.
- He never complains. I'll admit, I am a complainer. But I really think I've improved since I married him. Adam's motto is all about, live life, life is good, things could be worse, you get the idea. I love this about him. I stress, he doesn't. Perfect.
- I LOVE his laugh. Adam's laugh is sort-of quiet and well, I really can't describe it. But it's the cutest, best laugh and I love it when I'm the one who causes it. But it's usually one of his buddies. I'm okay with that though. Just as long as I get to hear it.
- He gets up with the kids every morning. Always has, and always will . . . I think. I don't know that he's capable of sleeping in, lucky for me.
- He makes me laugh. Need I say more? Especially when I am really not in the mood to laugh, he manages to find a way. Don't you just hate that?

I am so blessed to be married to such an amazing, remarkable person. I really feel like he is too good to be true. I love sooo many things about him that I didn't mention, but we'll save them for another post. In closing, here is our engagement picture. Happy Anniverary Love.

Lucy's Vocab. Update

I had to do a quick update on Lucy's vocabulary. She's to the point where she will repeat anything you tell her to say. Although, "Jack" sounds more like "Gak." Here are some words she has mastered:

- "tickle, tickle" (she runs up to you and "tickles" you, I almost melt from sheer preciousness)
- "book" (she is obsessed with books and can often be found "reading" to herself, it's third child syndrome, poor Lu. She is constantly shoving books into our laps, faces, arms. It is very difficult to practice the piano. As soon as I sit anywhere, I am bombarded with books. I then feel like THEE worst mother if I don't stop whatever I'm doing and read to her.)
- "nuk" (pronouce it as you would the binky brand, nuk. This means MILK. She is a milk addict and we've had to start limiting her intake. We go through 5 gallons a week! Some friends have suggested we buy a cow . . . if only we lived on a farm.)
- "car" (At Target, she hyperventilates on the boy aisle with all the tonka trucks, as much as she does on the girly aisle with the baby dolls. She has two older brothers, it's a hopeless case.)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I dream a dream

I am ecstatic. My kids ate their dinner tonight. I literally wanted to hop on the table and do the chicken dance I was so happy! Instead, I took a picture. We have a "no toys at the table" rule. But Owen looked so darn cute & ridiculous, I couldn't bring myself to take them away.I have wonderful, obedient, sensitive, children. However, when it comes to eating- they're not so great. They are extremely picky and I totally take responsibility. I used to cater to their young, immature taste buds. Then #3 came along and life changed. I am the meanest mom in the world at dinner time. I turn into Dr. Jekyl if they give me a hard time. I've even resorted to the "starving kids in Africa" talk, and my kids are under 5! Any advice? They ate their dinner tonight without too much hullaballoo. So maybe my threats are actually working!We are really strict about table manners, or at least I think so. Dinner time is meant to be a relaxing, bonding time. But in our house it's quite stressful.1. No toys allowed at, on, or near the table during mealtime.
2. The boys often fight over the coveted chair with arm rests, which also sits at the head of the table. First one there wins.
3. If it's not chicken nuggets or quesadilla, then pure chaos ensues with tears, screaming, and running in place. (I've actually boycotted chicken nuggets in the house because they get enough fake, processed food as it is. It takes just as much time to whip up eggs & toast which is REAL food.)They must then go to their bed and return only with their best behavior and a smile. Sometimes, I'll make my kids smile when they're in the depths of despair. It is hilarious! I highly recommend it for your own amusement. You deserve it.
4. No milk, juice, or snacks if they don't eat dinner. We don't FORCE them to eat. And it's not like I make exotic, spicy dishes. (We're talking about lasagna here! And only 5 bites!) Anyway, there's no munching on goldfish or cheez-its if they don't eat. At bedtime if they're absolutely starving, we'll let them have a piece of whole wheat bread and water . . . if we're feeling nice. Is that too mean?
5. The Food Pyramid. I've explained to my kids how they need food from each food group every day. This really helps! Jack now loves broccoli and carrot sticks. The transformation seemed to occur shortly after teaching him the Food Pyramid.
6. The kids must stay in their chair while eating. You might think this one is a given- but with two boys, it's NOT. Sitting in your chair, with your legs in front (and not hanging off to the side) is a HUGE challenge in and of itself. They've actually mastered this one. I'm quite proud of them. They get so easily distracted. So they really have come a long way with this one.

Jack has really improved with his table manners over the years. He is always asking me if something is healthy or not.

Owen is only 3 and still quite picky. We continue to persevere!

Lucy is an awsome eater- our best yet. She takes after me, what can I say?

I dream that someday my children will have exquisite table manners, an educated pallete, and an appreciation for all different types of flavors.

Milestones for Jack

Last week was an eventful one for my five-year old Jack. He finished swim lessons. He's taken many sessions at the YMCA over the past few years. I am proud to announce, that he is no longer a ray, and is now a starfish! For those of you not familiar with YMCA lingo- it is quite an accomplishment. He is swimming, but I don't know how safe I'd feel about him jumping into the deep end. He's hilarious when he swims. First, he'll belly flop into the water from standing position. Then, he flails his arms around like a crazy person. It is pure enterainment. I just sit there watching him, with a huge grin on my face. I'll post a swimming picture soon!!! My batteries died at his last lesson. I recently bought him goggles, and now he's even more hilarious. He loves them so much, he wears them around the house.Jack also graduated from preschool! He's been in a co-op preschool for the past two years, where about six moms, including myself, took turns teaching at our houses. He has thoroughly enjoyed preschool. I was sad to see it end. It was a slap in the face to me, that he is growing up . . . and it's happening way too fast. Here is Jack with his colleagues (Jack, Eden, Andrew, Naleah, Caleb, Kaylee). They were the sweetest, easiest, loveliest kids. I'll miss them!Pictured above is Jack with my dear friend Jessica. She's the pre-kindergarten guru who spearheaded the co-up two years in a row. Thanks for all the extra work you did Jess! I appreciate it.
The entire graduation ceremony only lasted about an hour. As we walked to the car afterwards, Jack was on the verge of tears saying it was "too short." Poor Jack, life is so hard. Why can't parties be longer?!?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Weekend in Seattle

We went to Seattle over the weekend. We had a blast! Our kids were great during the entire trip. Or maybe it's because there were no distractions. They had our full attention and we had an amazing time. Here are some of the highlights:We went to the zoo first thing Thursday afternoon. After visiting the zoo, I can totally relate to animal rights' activists. The animals were incredible! An orangutan came right up to the glass and interacted with an elderly lady, who was apparently an ex-zoo worker and good friend to the orangutan. It was amazing!!! Dare I admit I got choked up watching it? I felt sooooo lucky to see the interaction between them.

For the boys, half the fun was staying in the hotel. They loved looking at the high rises and the busy street down below. They were often perched here in the windowsill.
We walked so much, yet Jack did not complain ONCE. I was so proud of him. While Owen and Lucy were pushed around town like kings and queens, he was practically jogging to keep up with us. He was such a trooper! No matter where we were downtown, Jack always managed to find a stick larger than him. He also managed to almost take a few strangers' eye balls out.
Friday was a full day. We visited Pike Place Market with its famous fish throwers, the aquarium, and we took a boat tour on the Puget Sound. Here we are at Pike Place Market with all the fish, and at the aquarium.
During the boat tour, the boys were in boat heaven. The sound was busy with barges, fire boats, container ships, cranes, sail boats, and cruise ships. The picture below says it all.
On Saturday we took the monorail (which in and of itself was a HUGE deal for the kids) to the Childrens Science Center/Museum. It was spectacular, yet we only had half a day. The kids got to see a LIVE demonstration of a boa constrictor, ride bumper cars, and other hands-on stuff that they thrive on because they're kids.We had such a magnificent time. I'm already begging Adam to take us on another weekend get away. If you're considering it- I highly recommend one

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Happy Fathers Day!

We are headed to Seattle for the weekend. So I decided to go ahead and wish my Dad a Happy Father's Day! This picture represents so many wonderful memories. First of all, my Dad literally built our family's ski boat in our backyard, when I was about 8 or 9 years old. It's still running great to this day.

Every summer, my family would rent a house on the Colorado River, which is literally the border between California and Arizona. (Here we are, on the river!) We would bring our boat and ski till we dropped dead. So thankyou Dad, for investing in great family vacations. I was spoiled rotten and I realize it now. The beach house in San Diego, the condo at Brianhead, taking us to snow ski resorts since we lived in the desert, the endless waterskiing trips. Whenever I listen to the Beach Boys or Buddy Holly, I am instantly taken back to one of those places. My Dad is the most well-rounded guy I know. Here's a bit about my Dad:

1. He's a real cowboy. Not the kind that wears boots and big hats everywhere. He's actually a very nice dresser. You would never guess that he was on the rodeo team at BYU and then continued to calf-rope when I was a baby, to help support our family financially.

2. He has an opinion on everything. I believe that's a good thing. With him, it is either black or white. There is no in-between, wishy washy nonsense. I LOVE this about my Dad. I feel like I can ask him anything, on any subject, and I'll receive a great, to-the-point answer. He is not apathetic about anything.

3. He's the smartest guy I know. He is always reading. His mother was a reader, he's a reader, and I like to consider myself a reader as well. But he's not into novels or fiction. He's into history, biographies, documentaries. He is brilliant and his mind simply cannot get enough information.

4. In case you didn't infer earlier about building our family's boat, he can fix or build anything. He worked as a mechanic when he and my Mom were newlyweds attending BYU.

5. He's the hardest worker I know. I have never seen my Dad sleep in. He was a farmer the majority of his life. So he had to work some crazy hours. Thank you Dad, for those many sleepless nights.

6. I was known in my family for always asking "stupid" questions. But my Dad NEVER told me a question was stupid. Sometimes I would ask him the same question twice, just because it was oddly comforting to hear the answer a few times. My Dad was so great and never let on that he was even slightly annoyed.

7. My Dad taught me to appreciate good food. I can honestly say there is not one food I dislike. Maybe it's because I'm a farmer's daughter- but I love everything! (spinach, broccoli, onions, asparagus, green beans, you name it, I'll eat it.) I owe my good eating habits to my Dad. He took the time to explain what it means to appreciate different types and different flavors. I'm trying to instill the same mentality into my own children, but it isn't going so well.
I love you Dad! Thankyou for all the hard work you did to support six daughters. And thankyou for always kissing us on the cheek the instant you walked in the door- to see if we'd been "nice" or "naughty" that day. I have the best memories and I owe them all to you.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Two Little Indians

Today Owen & Lucy sat on the kitchen table, and took turns painting war paint on each other's faces.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Reality Check . . . I've Been Tagged!!!

So, it's 10:30pm right now as I type this post. I just walked in the door from a girls' night. (Happy Birthday Shar & Danna!) My husband is absorbed in an ESPN Classics football game and my dear friend Jessica A. tagged me. Here it goes!!!

I would LOVE to have a fridge with a handy, built-in ice maker on the door. Heaven forbid I have to open up the freezer, rummage my hand around in the box, and grab some ice cubes, which then (conveniently) stick to my fingers as I transfer them to my cup. ANYWAY- that having been said, I actually love this fridge. It keeps things freeeeezing cold, just how I like it. And, it only cost $100 from the previous owners of our home. Can't beat the price. Vanilla Activia Yogurt is my recent fridge addiction. I'm anti-clutter, yet I make an exception for my kids' drawings and the chore chart. My kids love to see their sticker progress.

My (somewhat) folded clothes are straight ahead, and above. My husband's 30-odd T-shirts are to the right and above. He cannot seem to part with his T-shirts. He only wears about 3 of them. I think it used to be a hobby of his, to collect as many free T-shirts as possible. I'm not kidding. This picture makes me realize we desperately need a shoe rack. But would it do any good when my 22-month old daughter is obsessed with shoes?

You can probably infer from the pizza cutter, that my family had pizza for dinner. We LOVE Papa Murphy's. It's dangerous having one so close to our house. Being the nice mother & wife that I am, I ordered a pizza and even baked it so my husband would have less work while I was out.

My boys' toilet actually stays cleaner than ours . . . hmmmm, go figure.

I'm going to confess something about my feet . . . I'm kind of vain about them. I like my toes and I like that my feet are narrow with a high arch. I'm allowed to like something about my body, right? Well, I feel that these shoes complement those features.

This is the first room I see when I walk in the door. I love it because 1. it does NOT have a television. This room is strictly about family and conversation 2. it's our gathering place where we read books, play games, have family home evening. This is where we spend the most time together as a family. I recently bought the kids Connect Four . . . as you might have noticed.

This room actually has tons of meaning- the couches were our first major purchase after law school. It was such a big deal to have new furniture! The rug was a house-warming gift from my in-laws. The piano came about from my long, hard search on Craig's List for a great deal. The long, framed art is a painting of Williamsburg, VA where we lived for 3 years and have many wonderful memories. I really only try to decorate with things that have sentimental value. I'm not saying that I always do. But I really try to stick to decor that has REAL meaning to me and my family.

My sweet angels are sleeping. Adam and I love to tuck them in before we go to bed. Jack is always sprawled out on top of his covers. So, you can tell he was REALLY tired since he's still under them. Owen is ALWAYS completely under his covers, clutching his blankies that he MUST have. Under no circumstances will you find Owen on top of his covers. And then there's Lu-lu, who tends to be somewhere in between.

My laundry room is screaming for a make-over. We've had our old washer and dryer sitting in there for who knows how long? They do make for great shelf space though. When we finished our basement, we decided to save a buck and leave the laundry room as is. I'm kind of regretting it. Technically, it just needs to be textured. But it was so poorly taped!!! The floor is cement and the walls were HORRIBLY done. The top half of the wall sticks out farther than the bottom half. I think we're going to need to take an ax to this room one of these days.

Since my eyes are different shades of brown, my eyes always look so freaky in pictures.
Where do I start? I have so many places I dream of visiting. It's been my dream since I was a little girl to visit Ireland. San Diego is another place that I would love to visit. However, I've been there numerous times. It was our family's favorite vacation hotspot. We would rent a beach house for a week, boogie board to our heart's content, and eat Mexican food, sea food, shrimp cocktail, it was wonderful. I would love to share the San Diego experience with my kids someday. I LOVE to travel so there are few places I wouldn't like to see. I would love to visit Europe, the Caribbean, Hawaii. The list is endless!
Anyone who is reading this- I dare you to try the reality check (especially Danna and Shar)! No altering anything!!!