Friday, December 31, 2010


During a revealing family home evening on setting goals-

Me: What's your goal going to be Chichi?
Her: To get a wagon load of treasure.
What's yours Mommy?
Me: To always be patient and fun loving.
Her: . . . That's a weird goal.

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Happy New Year.

And may you achieve your goals.
I personally am looking forward to sharing a wagon load of treasure.

Friday, December 17, 2010

the most wonderful time

Photos are edited, letters are mailed, treats are baked and children are home.

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Welcome Christmas. I love you.

*upcoming post of a few favorites from the holiday rush. ttfn (ta ta for now)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

thankful daily

Chichi: Mom. That is so nice of you. To wash the dishes for Daddy.


I am thankful for B, daily.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

thankful too

Two quilted shams to rest a weary head. $1.00
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One twirly skirt to dance and make believe in. $1.00
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Four rolls of paper to wrap the simple joys in life. $1.00
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Many many pages of adventure and time well spent. $1.00
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One perfectly pretty thing, with little function and no meaning. Other than to make me quite happy. $2.00
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I am thankful for garage sales.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Holding a small child's hand.
Wearing my scarf.
Eating chocolate covered raisens.
Listening to the 7 year old babble about where we should go next.

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And a little monkey of mine own. . .
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That I feed.

I am thankful for field trips.

Friday, November 5, 2010

we have

Yesterday marked the end of a very long month for our family.

Have you ever had months or days or years that are just. . . well, long? Horribly long. Where at the end of each day you crawl into your room and put your face in your pillow?

That's when I try to give myself a pep talk, which by the way is the saddest, lamest pep talk ever. Also, don't ever ask me for a pep talk.

What else can you do though? It's already done. It's hard. Life. Is. Hard.

But- also good.

Oh, so good. The sweet for us is oh so honey sweet. We have the best of friends. We have the best of family.

And most of all We Have:
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Friday, October 29, 2010

secert identities

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When world domination is at the top of your to do list, anonymity is key.

Welp, since nobody's lookin', I'll just air out a bit here. . .
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

a year

I had a birthday.
The older I get the more nervous they make me.
I always ask myself-

Will the day be a total flop?

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From Meleah. The most beautiful tart I have ever licked.

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From Janssen, who knows me so well. Chocolate cake, earrings, scarf. I'm sure I stuttered when thanking her. That's what I do when my heart is full.

From B- his love. And along with it a popcorn popper, a cook book, and some athletic socks. He too gets me to the core.

Jeannie with her plate full of cinnimon rolls standing in my doorway, smiling. And Stacy dropping off a bag full of goodies as only she can do. Lots and lots of birthday wishes, calls, and smiling loved ones.

Will I hate being a year older?
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Gifts from Queen N and Chichi. I have treasured these 8 years loving them.

Will I feel proud of the things I have accomplished in the past year, when I was then young and full of life???
Will I be satisfied?
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Yes. A resounding yes.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

for this, i believe

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I am Mormon.

Being Mormon means praying. It means praying at stop lights, at the grocery store, during soccer games and kneeling on the floor of a messing toy room surrounded by your family. It means praying so long, you forget where you began and where you ended. It is prayers offered in Tagalog, sign language, and Russian. And knowing that Heavenly Father hears you all the same.

Being Mormon means 19 year old boys, far away at the ends of the earth. They are sitting in white washed rooms, in cinder block houses, some with flooring, some without, sharing their testimonies and eating fried cockroaches. They are flung to far corners of the planet, to places few have ever heard of, where they speak the native language and write home about having tape worm and hand washing their own clothes in a small creek.

Being Mormon means your wedding isn’t at a drive-through chapel with Elvis. It’s a spiritual ceremony with quiet laughter and streaming tears in a holy temple with spires piercing the heavens. It means wedding receptions where the finest thing may be waxy chocolates and sparkling punch and a basket ball hoop covered in balloons and streamers. But it's heaven and means eternity.

Being Mormon means not knowing exactly how many children Heavenly Father would like you to have, but being terrifyingly open to it all the same.

It means loving those children. Bearing them one by one, and then settling into your family structure, at last, like a comfortable chair. It means growing with your family, mellowing with the years until your children become your greatest offering to God. With a prayer, you place them on the altar, step back, and realize they are your life's work.

Being Mormon means funerals where the meal afterwards (the ham and funeral potatoes, lime jello and mint brownies) are as much anticipated as the stories told and songs sung, remembering your grandpa, your baby niece, your dear friend, now gone. But you know you will see them again, and along with hugs from everyone in your ward family, somehow, that helps.

Being Mormon means singing. Singing in a choir, in a congregation, at the top of your lungs or whispered hums in a baby’s ear. Songs that teach you the heart of what you believe. And you carry them with you as truth, flung over your shoulders ready to rescue you from dark and sad places.

Being Mormon means taking steps from darkness into light. It means taking your heavy heart to Christ and sharing it with him. Letting it go. It is the Atonement and forgiveness. It means service, even when you'd rather not make another casserole or be a nursery worker when you have 2 children already in there. You do it because you love Him and in truth, it is your privilege.

Being Mormon means falling asleep reading the scriptures more times than you'll ever admit. But knowing they are there, all the same, to wrap you in comfort and sanity.

It means Joseph Smith, the sacred grove, the visiting angels, and The Book of Mormon. It means finding out for yourself one dark night while kneeling. Knowing it was real. Knowing that it's true.

For every Mormon there is on this beautiful earth, there is a different growing up in the gospel experience. The flavor that gives to an individual’s testimony is unique every time. But it is all real and true. It is all of us.

I am Mormon. It is who I am.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

she had monkey arms

When I was 14 years old I was growing out my bangs.

I had secret desires to still play with my barbies.
My sister followed me around EVERYWHERE.
I loved cheese hot dogs, going to the rodeos with friends and staring at myself in the mirror.

I also became an aunt.

To her:
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So naturally you can understand why I adore her.

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When she was born, I cracked.

It's her fault. All of this nonsense about babies and munching on cheeks and aching ovaries. It's all because of those skinny little monkey arms that would hang over my shoulder.

When I was 14 I fell in love with a baby named Shelby.

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She was one of the most beautiful daughters of God I had ever seen. And I have never been the same since.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

that's what the woman said

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This has been my go to treat for the past 6 months or so. I can honestly say that I will never ever get tired of cookies. Oatmeal cookies are my favorite. The good almost out weighs the bad.

(But if you put a raisin in there instead of a chocolate chip, I might cry. Then I'll choke it down because you're my friend and I love you and thank you for the cookies. But, that's below the belt man.)

And did I mention they are WHOLE WHEAT. Try them. Love them. Tell them to visit me soon.

Less than three, little cookies. Less than three.

Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups white wheat flour
1 tbs wheat germ
2 3/4 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Cream together the butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. Add Baking soda, powder, and salt and mix. Add flour, oatmeal and chocolate chips. Mix until combined. Bake at 350 degrees for about 9 minutes.

Friday, September 3, 2010

you are what you eat

Thank you to all of you out there who left a comment and have been thinking about our NieNie this past week.

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She is doing amazingly well. We are so very blessed. She is quite the talented bone grower and is working hard to fuse the back of her head together.

The silver lining is the kick that I get out of hearing Chichi say "Did you fall dooooown and brokt your croooown?"

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I'm still having a hard time getting her to eat solids. She was never big on them and since the accident she has little to no interest. This morning she had about 1 tsp of cereal and then gave up.

Do you have a trick to get your baby to eat food? Or a food that your baby just loves?

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Do I love messy baby faces? Yes, yes I do.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

this life

This blog has evolved for me over time. Conforming to whatever I have needed it to be. A journal, a field book, a soap box, a photo album.

Today, it is a journal for me again. I need this space. So please forgive me for the long winded post and the lactating hormonal mother filled words. I promise to get back to pretty things soon...

Yesterday my precious baby fell. As soon as her head made contact with the tile I heard the most sickening sound. It was like snapping a piece of wood. Panic filled the next few minutes as I held her and she heaped screaming cries and B frantically called the doctor. We waited. For three minutes that stretched on like hours and then decided to take her to the ER.

Once there I ran in, swallowing the huge knot in my throat I spoke through the glass in stutters "M-my baby f-fell and and hit her head." I must have sounded like an idiot, but it was all I could manage to get out.

We were quickly shuffled in. She fell asleep in my lap. The doctor cooed at her and sent her back for a CT scan. Strapped down she screamed and I held her head still. It was torture for us both.

After 3 doctors and one radiologist they determined that her skull was fractured and she needed to be admitted to the children's hospital in the city.

I kissed my other little ones goodbye and with two borrowed diapers and B's cellphone clung to my chest (no diaper bag) I followed the stretcher out to the ambulance.

Once we arrived they stripped her down and did a full skeletal x-ray. 20 x-rays. The room was so cold. She screamed and I stood outside the door smelling her onsie and hurting inside. B called right then and I sobbed into the phone. His calm words assured me that she was okay and we'd have her home soon. They handed her back to me and her tiny fists filled themselves with my hair and her wet check pressed against mine.

Back in the room they cathiderized her (more screaming), they gave her an IV (so much more screaming) and we were finally transferred into the neurology unit of the hospital. I'll never forget the ride through the hallways on that wheelchair. Her wrapped tightly in a blanket staring up into my eyes. There was peace for a few moments.

They disrobed her once more, weighed her, checked for vitals and finally left us alone to settle in for the night. B stayed with us. I will be forever thankful for that. He is my rock. (Thank you thank you to our dear Fergusons for watching our other girls.)

A nurse came in every hour and a half, all night long. I was so happy to see light start to come in through the window and a sweet smile on my baby's face in the morning.

They continued vitals, we saw doctors and nurses. In and out. In and out. She cried, she slept. Finally in the early afternoon they said she could go home to heal.


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We came home. Into a sunny living room, as if nothing had ever happened.

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Her sisters squealed and brought her a lap full of toys. She meekly smiled and clung to my hair. I'm not sure if I care for that to ever change...

I sat in her room tonight, rocking her as the sun slowly went down. She fell asleep there, in my arms. Her tiny mouth fell open and her gentle, milky breath poured out over my ears. Heavenly. Her bruised baby hand rested on my cheek.

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And for all of us, life just got a little sweeter.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

things that make you go..

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Grilled Pesto Pizzas
(original recipe here)

For the Dough:
2 packages Quick Rising Yeast
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 c. hot water

Mix together then add:
3 cups flour (we use white wheat flour)

Pesto Sauce
Feta cheese
Tomato slices
dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

Knead dough for 1 minute then divide into 8 balls. Roll out into individual pizzas and layer on a plate divided by wax paper. Let dough raise for about 20 minutes. Grill on medium heat. After the first side is done flip and top with pesto and feta. When fully cooked, remove from heat and add tomato slices and season with basil, salt, and pepper.


Something else equally delicious: (though signigicantly less caloric)
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You're welcome.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


6 months ago today, this was happening:
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And we all decided we kind of liked her.

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The nurses loved her and kept commenting on how beautiful and tiny she was.

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(B says it's because they were comparing her to the viking baby who shared the nursery with her. "He was HUGE. He cried like a grown man! ...... wait, don't write that." )

She came home a whopping 6 pounds.
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We all loved to stare at her and guess who she was going to look like and what kind of baby she'd turn out to be....

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She is NieNie.

And today, she doubled her birth weight.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

that's the nicest thing

Me: Miss Naughty, you're my BFF.

The Queen Herself: Uh... you're my YMCA.

Pop Culture: Something my kids are clueless about.

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Oh, the faces she makes when putting on her goggles. It never gets old.

Monday, July 26, 2010

this morning

A little bit of this:
Running in sprinklers with the pjs on.

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(Rinse and repeat, every other day. Gad-zooks! I have lots of wet pajamas.)

A little bit of this:
Making my heart flutter.

Friday, July 16, 2010


When my family gets together we all revert back to childhood and act like huge dorks. That, among many other reasons, is why I love them.

Here we are in all our natural glory, from oldest to youngest.
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A brother was missing this year so we had B stand in for him and I swapped his head. There might have been a little hind end goosing as well.
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And through the magic of photo shop you get a bobble head for your sixth brother and a complete family.

No jokes about the t-shirts. Our mom made us do it.

Friday, July 9, 2010


(yes, their birthday's are one day apart. ... i need a paper bag to breath into.)

He makes me laugh, that kid.

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And he has taught me how to love, unconditinally.

Here's a little something from my heart to yours B. I couldn't have said it better myself.


Queen NaNa just got a bit queenier.
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Happy birthday your eminence. And by the way, who said you could ask to wear a bra?

About gave me a heart attack.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


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Is there anything more delicous than a soft baby check? I submit no.

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The marriage has already been arranged. NieNie will be very happy I'm sure.

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The End.

But not really. I'll be back.

Monday, June 28, 2010


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I'm home with a card full of pictures. This is my dear friend Wendi and her beautiful baby boy. I am always amazed at the moments that my camera finds to freeze. Definetley a new favorite.

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So much more to come.