Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bear-y Delightful

One of my oldest and dearest friends came to town...Maren, aka "Bear". We got to play together out of mommy-mode one night, keeping it low-key (is there any other option in Layton on a weeknight?) with a late night breakfast at Denny's. We didn't leave the classy establishment until after midnight.

It was fun to see our kids play together. We've known each other since we were their age, so it did make me feel somewhat old. I just kept thinking how important good friends are and how much I will pray that my kids have friends like mine.

I love my Bear. She's more than microscopic pores and perfect cheekbones, she's the type of girl who makes you want to be a better person, but who’d never even think to judge you.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


First of all, thank you to my dear friends who, when I'd cry as an adolescent about feeling fat, would just tell me I was big-boned. I may not have been super large, but what's going on right here is not good.

The reason I'd post this hideous, kite-flying mess is to kick off my blog theme for August: Unflattering Photo Month. I have put something (and I know there are worse out there) somewhat embarassing of myself on my blog, and now I will be sharing some of yours from my archives. Hope you enjoy them.

Sweet Sibs

Must say that I have the best bro and sis. I never thought we'd be so close. Just love them.

This picture represents part of the history behind Boston's bowl cut. When I'm out in public, other moms ask me how to cut their kid's hair like his. In the words of Ray Charles, "It just do what it wanna do, Baby." I trim it out of his eyes occasionally, but that's his signature do. It was his mom's do, his uncle's do, and now he carries the tradition. His cousin Alex has made a valiant effort trying to grow his hair like Boston's, but alas, no luck.

The Newpsies

Had a blast dining with the 'Newpsies'(a term used on the tv show, The OC, referring to the rich ladies of Newport Beach who frequent yogalates exercise classes, expensive restaurants, spas, and the South Coast Plaza...yeah, that is so us). It's amazing how just one year living in Newport brought a few us together as lifelong friends!

I always love the girl time, and I'm especially grateful Stacie and Kristen let me yack their ears off. I had been alone for 9 days while Trav was on his baseball road trip and I think I may have talked up a weeks' worth of repressed adult chatter. For heaven's sake I didn't get home until 1:30 a.m.!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Trav's Dad

I'm just posting this picture that I snapped on Father's Day but forgot to post. This is Trav's dad and his two step-brothers, Dawson and Austin.

One of my most favorite things about Trav's dad is that he is so incredibly patient. I'm glad he's had the opp to be a dad of boys, because it is just natural for him. He loves sports and is so mechanical. He can fix just about anything and is so patient when teaching others.

Travis always tells me of his fond memories growing up. He and his dad were always out doing boy things such as riding dirt bikes, fishing, and going to baseball games. The only time Trav remembers his dad losing his temper and giving him a good whoopin' was when Trav hit the family dog (I'll have to ask him why..hmm!). I don't even think Trav's dad yelled at him when he let the tub water on the second story of his house run over and leak through the kitchen ceiling.

When we were remodeling our bathroom last year, Ron would show up every day, giving Travis direction and advice. He was careful to not just take over (though there were moments laying that slate floor that we wished he would!). He is giving of his time and his endless skill—for that we are grateful. Love you!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Joys and Annoys

Children are so precious. And sometimes, well, not. Cassidy has such a big heart and even at about a year old she would nuzzle dolls, care for them, and kiss them. That is the joy of Cassidy. A recent 'annoy' however, is that, in true feminine form, she is fairly dramatic. She cries a lot. Mainly, she's just communicating, but it has been driving me absolutely bonkers! This morning we got up and got ready and I loaded them in the bike trailer to take them to the park. Immediately Cass started pulling Boston's hair, poking him, and then laughing when I'd yell back at her. I turned that bus right around. Hooray for my .3 mile bike ride.

Boston never cried all that much and was happy as a baby just to be out and enjoying life. That is the joy of Boston. He will probably be like Travis and up for any exciting adventure. But...his response to his wild child sister has become a bit of an annoyance. Whine. Whine. Whine. "Cassidy told me 'no'". . ."Cassidy hit me". . ."Cassidy looked at me." Buck up, li'l camper, we'll get through this together!

It's going to be one of those days, pretty sure! Cassidy is down for a nap and in the meantime I will prepare a bag to head up to Brigham. I've learned it's best not to be alone on days when your very last nerve is being yanked and spit on.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Trek Anecdotes

Aside from the spiritual nature of the trip, there were a few noteworthy funnies.

#1 One of my trek daughters, who shall remain nameless, was always quite drowsy. Whether it was the heat, all the walking, or boredom, she seemed to doze off whenever we'd sit and take a rest. One day while we were sitting on our buckets eating lunch in a clearing, listening to the missionaries tell stories about the pioneers, this girl was enjoying her Cheetos (there was only one bag in our allotment for the day, but after hearing how she'd seductively savored them, according to the boys, the previous day, I'd given her my rations). Slowly her hand would delicately dip into the bag and up toward her mouth. She apparently started to snooze, because though her hand knew the precise way into the bag, getting the Cheeto into her mouth was a different task altogether. At one point, the Cheeto was just repeatedly being jabbed into her cheek. I could not stop laughing about it the rest of the day.

#2 Our bishop is a very well-respected doctor in the area. Like many doctors, he's not much of a mariposo social (social butterfly). I loved getting to know his sillier side on the trek. One of the other leaders rode up in his car to the trek site and was telling us how in this tiny town in Wyoming where they stopped for gas there were ton of motorcycle men. The women were waiting for the bishop to pull the car around and noticed some of the bikers looking them up and down in their pioneer garb with a bit of curiosity. Once the women were loaded in the car, the bishop, remaining poker-faced and quiet, turned up his stereo, rolled down the windows, and drove away while the song "Born to Be Wild" was blaring. You probably have to know him to find this funny, but he scored some serious bonus points with that stunt!

#3 Do you ever wonder who is enjoying those old clothes you gave to Goodwill or the DI? Because I'm a bit of a pack rat, I find myself parting with old treasures only because I have the inner dialogue, "Someone is really going to enjoy these and they need them more than I do." Imagine my excitement when I see a girl on trek wearing a red and white checkered 'picnic' skirt. It's a random skirt and probably 15 years old, so I had to ask the girl where she got it, the brand, and the size. Yep, pretty sure that was my skirt. My next inner dialogue (if I'm being completely honest) had something to do with wondering if I looked better in it than she did. Okay! I admit it! I'm evil! But checkers are not the most flattering pattern anyway! And if the evilness didn't stop there, I snapped a photo while waiting for the bus.

Don't Worry, Be Gappy

I have to post 3 pictures of my crazy girl, because when she's not being absolutely insane and feisty, she's the sweetest angel I've ever seen. She has the best demeanor if you listen to her and do as she says...ha ha. Life is much easier if we play by her rules, but we're trying to find a happy medium between the iron fist and a door mat. I just love her and I'm grateful she is a strong woman.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Make Like a Pioneer and Trek

Last week Travis and I went on the pioneer trek with our ward. I'm not the cheeriest camper, but I must say, I absolutely loooved the experience. Those of you not entirely familiar with the LDS church might find this whole thing strange, but it was a great way for me to become acquainted with some of my ancestors' history.

The path we took replicated the journey of the Martin and Willie handcart companies. These handcart "groups" consisted of approximately 980 men, women, and children; 210 of these pioneers died crossing the plains. We were able to walk where these pioneers walked (though their journey was in the winter!). The spirit of these pioneers is very strong there and we truly gained an understanding of their sacrifice and also their joys in traveling the plains of Wyoming.

Travis and I were "ma" and "pa" to 7 teenagers. Each of us had a 5-gallon bucket to pack our things in and carry in our handcart. From the pictures I'm sure you can see that we had some jokesters, but I laughed so hard and enjoyed them so much. We even made them carry Travis and I in the handcart for about 1/2 mile (we traveled approx. 18 miles)!

One highlight of the trip was the women's pull. This represented the time during the pioneer emigration when the men were called away from their families to fight in the war so the women were left to blaze the trail alone for a while. The men and boys lined the trail in silence while the girls pushed the handcarts up a pretty steep hill alone. It was evident that these boys gained an understanding of how hard that must have been for the pioneers. I was exhausted, but we all sang at the top of the hill triumphantly and some of these teenage girls began to understand how tough they really are.

Travis was really cute with the young women. They all wanted him to carry them across during the symbolic Sweetwater River crossing. He always made sure they were drinking enough water and putting on sunblock. We had a blast together. Surprisingly stress-free fun!

This is a long blog, but there are still more stories to come!