Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy birthday Gracelin!

Happy birthday Sweetie. In honor of her, here are some of my favorite Gracie moments:
Summer 2008 at the rodeo - she did the "mutton bustin'" where she rode a sheep - and was the only girl in the competition.
Spring 2007 at Zion National Park. G established herself as a world-class hiker chick and lover of red rock.
Fall of 2006 - she fully embraced her role as a big sister extraordinaire.
Summer of 2005 in Eden, Utah. I just like this picture.
Autumn 2005 - again, loving being outside.
Easter 2009 - at Wheeler Farm for an Easter Egg festival.
Spring 2006 - with Grandpa at Antelope Island in the middle of the Great Salt Lake.
April 30, 2006 - her second birthday
I don't remember when this picture was. I just like it.
Summer 2005 - she's such a tree hugger.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Just what I needed

Last weekend, I took a girls only road trip to Vegas. There were no husbands. No kids. No obligations. Only rest and relaxation. It was just what I needed.
There were pedicures (not sure why he's wearing that mask. I swear my feet were clean and stink-free).
There was plenty of eating.
And dinners with friends (in places where there are no high-chairs).
Life on the road is easy and fun.
And in keeping up with the documentation of other mileage milestones in my car, we hit 88888 somewhere outside of Parowan.
In a place that looked like this. Beautiful.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Embracing the muffin top . . .

. . . and/or the double chin . . .

I'm working on keeping unattractive pictures. Here's some that prove they're not all deleted.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Phat mom running

At our house, Monday night is Family Night. For FHE, we do not schedule any other activities unless it is family time, and we dedicate the entire night to spending time as a family. This past Monday, we decided to take advantage of the warm weather, and to work on our family goal to become more "fit" - so we headed down to the Jordan River Parkway Trail. The girls took their bikes, and I laced up my running shoes.

Now, if you live in the Valley, and you have never been down to the Parkway Trail, you are missing out. It really is an oasis. Although, considering the fact that the 123rd trail-head parking lot was packed, I'm thinking that it isn't much of a secret.

Anyway . . .

The girls got the bikes out, and daddy walked along with them while I ran on ahead. I didn't want to leave them too long, so I ran out for 15 minutes, then turned around and came back. I haven't run much outside yet this season, but I have been running on the dreadmill several times a week. And while I kick bootay on the DM, my outside running leaves something to be desired. But I didn't care, I just put one foot in front of the other and pressed on.

Although I was slow, I felt great. The breeze was blowing, the sun low in the sky, and my shadow stretched out long over the sage brush. In the distance, the snow-capped mountains stood. (I was so sad that I forgot my camera.) I actually turned off the iPod, and ran to the sounds of the birds, geese and frogs. The run back took 4 minutes longer, but I made it back in time to play at the park for a few minutes with the girls before taking them for frozen yogurt. It was the perfect night.

I came home, put the kids to bed, and put in for the St. George Marathon lottery - in a team, along with my brother and his girl friend. (they ran the SLC last weekend, and she came in 3rd in her division and 22nd overall)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Who am I

Have you ever wondered why you never see pictures of me on my blog? Well, in case you have, let me tell you why: I hate pictures of myself.

Overall, I'm a confident person. I know that I am an intelligent person. I do my best to be kind, honest and good. I am a good mother and wife, a good employee, and hopefully a good friend. I also know what I am not: thin, beautiful, attractive. And looking at pictures of myself reminds me of what I am not.

I haven't always felt that way about myself. I used to be thin and cute. I used to spend hours working out and eating right, going to the salon and tanning bed. But then I had babies. And I got busy. Somewhere along the way I stopped taking care of myself. I haven't had a hair cut in over 18 months (let alone any kind of color or style) I bite my fingernails and pick my toes. My eyebrows haven't been plucked in years. I rarely wear makeup. And despite every effort to run and eat right, I'm 30 pounds overweight.

I'm a freakin' mess.

Today I was reading a post by the wonderful Pithydithy about body images, and it made me start thinking - really thinking - about me. She linked a website called The Shape of a Mother, where women post pics of their post-baby bodies, and then try to convince one another that they are still beautiful. But, are stretch marks beautiful? What about the muffin top that gets left behind after a 9 pound baby has been in there? In a perfect world, we should all love ourselves for who we are inside, despite the cellulite and jello-like jiggly tummy. I wish I could wear them with pride - instead they make me feel self-conscious about myself. Some days, I feel like it defines my personality because I feel so insecure about my appearance.

I want it not to matter. I want to keep pictures of myself with my kids (instead of deleting them the minute they're uploaded). I want to feel confident in my own skin, and to love my body.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Work in progress

Lately I've been working on being more positive with my kids. I'm not necessarily negative, but I am a perfectionist. And I tend to demand perfection from my kids as well. I also want them to grow up as confident individuals, so I've been making a concerted effort to note the positives in all they do, so they don't grow up thinking that they cannot please me.

For example, the other day I asked Bryn to feed the cat - a relatively simple chore for a 3 year old, and one that I ask her to do often. Well, on this particular day, she figured that if she fed the cat a lot, she would need to do it less often. So, I walked into the mud room and saw this:

(I'm not sure why she included a dryer sheet) My initial reaction was to scold her for dumping an entire bag of cat food into the dish. But (remembering my goal to notice the positives) I told her what a great job she did. She had definitely fed the cat as I had asked her to do. I did remind her that next time, maybe we should try to only give the cat what can fit in the bowl. I think her strategy worked - it was a week ago, and the cat hasn't needed food since.

I've also been trying to teach G to wipe herself after going #2. She's going to be in kindergarten in the fall, and its time she learned to take care of things herself (besides, it is also my goal to only have one bum to be in charge of). Yesterday, I was in the yard doing some spring cleaning outside, when she sheepishly came to me asking for help. She had attempted to wipe herself, only had been a bit too concerned with getting herself clean: she had used the entire roll of toilet paper, and clogged the toilet.

Again, wanting to be upset with her for making such a mess, I instead thanked her for taking care of herself. I then told her that perhaps next time she could try and use a bit less paper. (I decided not to use that pic - you'll just have to use your imagination)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter 2009

Pictures from Easter weekend:
I think that people dressed as the Easter Bunny are generally pretty creepy, but the girls didn't seem to mind.
Saturday morning we took the girls to Wheeler Farm for an Easter festival.
It was chilly and raining a bit, but the girls still had fun.

After the festival, we headed to Grandma's house to dye some eggs. The kids had so much fun, that we colored 3 dozen eggs!
Sunday morning was church, and the obligatory Easter Dress pictures.

After church, it was back to Grandma's (both of them actually, although I left my camera in the car at one of the stops).
More Easter baskets and treats - and it was finally sunny and warm(er)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Spring cleaning

The girls and I walked into the house this afternoon, after a fun-filled morning of gymnastics and lunch with friends. Outside, there was a warm spring breeze, and the air smelled of spring. But walking into the house, the air felt stale and heavy. I'll admit that I've gotten behind in housework lately, and (I'm embarrassed to admit that) my house SMELLED dirty. It was such a contrast to the sweet spring air, and I longed to have some of the goodness of outside inside.

The girls and I immediately got to work. We opened the blinds and windows to let the fresh air in. We turned up the tunes and got to work - scrubbing, mopping, sweeping and dusting. My kids actually like cleaning (I think it may have something to do with getting to spray the cleaner and then wipe it up), and they were having fun. Bryn hummed her own song, while G put on her CDs in her room.

For 2 hours we worked, side-by-side. It was fun. And pretty soon, the house was sparkling. (at least most of it . . . there is still work left . . .) But it just feels better inside.

As a reward, we went for ice cream and then cuddled on the couch watching a movie. Bryn fell asleep in my arms, so I carried her off to bed (I love nights like that). As I kissed her little cheeks, I realized how blessed I am.

Today was a good day.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Obama is the smartest man alive

I'm not talking about his economic "reform".

Nor am I talking about his foreign policy.

No - what I'm talking about is his ability to fill out an NCAA men's March Madness bracket.

Let me explain . . .

Just as he does every year, my brother-in-law does a family "March Madness" tournament, where we all fill out our brackets. Only this year, I didn't get the email to join the group until about an hour before the games started - I didn't have much time to do my research and fill out my bracket (who am I kidding? I never research - I usually choose the team from the place that I'd rather visit . . . but that isn't important to this story).

When I did get the email to join the family tournament, I was at work where I was unable to access the website. I did really want to participate (even though I'd likely get my butt kicked). So, I decided to try to access it via the BlackBerry.

Now, for those of you unfamiliar with BlackBerry, let me just take a second to explain exactly how they work. The BB allows me to access most websites; however they typically have limited function. As was the ESPN site. I was able to visit our family's page and view the brackets that had already been filled out, but I was unable to make my own selections.

I was frustrated. Sad. I really wanted to participate, but I wasn't going to rush home just to fill out a bracket. I was going to be out of the competition this year. Just as I was ready to give up, I scrolled down and saw a link where I could choose a celebrity bracket as my own. It wouldn't be my own picks, but at least I could participate.

Obama was the first name on the list. Surely he had a team of advisors helping him predict the right teams. I'd definitely win if I used his bracket, right? So, use Obama's bracket I did.

And oh how right I was (about him knowing who to pick). I ended up totally obliterating the competition. 80% of the picks were right, even down to UNC being the winner. My only regret is that I didn't play for money, but I will next year for sure! Momma needs a new pair of shoes.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

April fool

My girls learned about April Fool's Day yesterday at daycare. They came home armed with plans to fool me (their not-so-gullible mommy). G was so excited though, that she couldn't wait to pull her prank. While in the bath, we had the following conversation:

G: Mommy, do you know what today is.

Me: Yes I do sweetie, it is April Fool's Day.

G: I am going to trick you tonight.

Me: You are? What are you going to do?

G: After we get in bed, I am going to pretend like I forgot to brush my teeth.

Me: Wow! You would get me good with that one!

I then decided to take the opportunity to school my kids on how to trick someone.

Me: Oh my gosh you guys! Check out that giant spider on the wall! (I said, while pointing at the bathroom wall)

They both turned and looked excitedly (they love bugs).

Me: Haha!! April Fool's.

They caught on immediately, trying to fool one another. They quickly grew tired though (thankfully) and went on to other things.

Quite awile later, Bryn excitedly told me, "mommy! You have blue hair!"

Me: I do??

Bryn: Just kidding! April 30th.

(April 30th is G's birthday)

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


I think that I established the fact last year that I am a huge American Idol fan. It is funny too, because I am not the biggest TV fan. But I never miss Idol.

This season, I really only have one contestant that I love. Of course, Megan Joy is fun to watch - because she is the hometown girl and a total trainwreck (whick is too bad, because I think her voice is very original and she's gorgeous). I also think that Danny has a great voice and has a great story, but he is so boring. I am definitely not feeling Adam Lambert - he is a great performer, but if you close your eyes and listen, he actually sounds awful.

Actually, the one contestant that I tune in to see is Kris Allen. Not only is he smokin' hot and the nicest guy ever, he is really talented. He doesn't have the best voice (although it is pretty good), but he has so much musical talent. And I think he's marketable. He has the whole John Mayer or Jason Mraz singer/songwriter thing going on, and me likey.

My prediction for tonight's bottom three is: Anoop, Matt, and Lil with Matt going home. Anyone agree with me?

(I can no longer access blogger at work, so my blogging is going to decrease a lot. I am actually posting right now from my BlackBerry - which is ok. But I cannot post pics, nor can I comment on other blogs. So, don't be sad if you're seeing less of me.)