Memory Lane, aka Neola Highway

Memory is funny, isn't it?  Don't you love how a smell or place can take you back to another time?

Saturday evening we took a little family trip to Uintah Canyon.  I swear every five miles up Neola Highway holds a different memory for me.  Neola store: Carolyn and Bree Anne, going to the wrong house for a surprise party ... Burning fires: burning (high school) love ... the point of no cell reception: waiting for a call on our first (and only) married camping trip ... Lake Leaving: our first outing with baby Liam ... the campground: a hundred other trips with friends, family, and even a very ripe fetus .... you get the picture.

It was a lovely evening for memories - and everything else.  The weather was perfect.  We ate oven-baked tinfoil dinners (due to time constraints) and roasted marshmallows.  Slice hacked away at a walking stick while I tended the fire, and Liam had the time of his life digging in the dirt.  These are the times I live for.

Now I'm tempted to go dig up some old pictures to add to this post.


Parenting 201

I realized this morning that it's been at least six months since I had to take a shower while Slice was gone and Liam was awake.  Crazy, right?

I didn't know what to do - my 12-month old still cries if I even leave his sight.  Unless he's getting into trouble, which I know right off the bat, because he's quiet even though I can't see him.
(And what is it about toilet paper anyway??)

So I took him in the bathroom and he played with his bath toys while I showered.  Fortunately he finds his bath toys much more exciting when they're NOT in the bath.

What do you do?


We've been busy.

A few weeks ago we finally located a 10 inch rough-in toilet (in Sandy) and brought it home.  
Voila!  Bathroom complete!

After an unfortunate mishap with the previous blue paint job in our upstairs bathroom, we had to tear everything down, texture and paint again.  Green.  I did most of this one myself.
It looks much better in person, promise.

Friday & Saturday was the annual API tournament, for which we (I) took pictures again.  More on that later, because you KNOW I have only snarky comments for golfers these days.

Monday we celebrated our third anniversary with our first garden planting!  Yes, it's super late in the season and yes, it might be a total failure.  We're crossing our fingers.

We also splurged with the money from API and bought the cheapest patio set we could find ... thanks ALCO!  
(And thanks Slice, for hanging the lights.)

Tuesday, Slice surprised me with a little anniversary trip.  It was a total surprise, let me tell you!  Without me knowing, he planned for three babysitters, packed swimsuits, temple clothes and anything else he thought we might need, made up some story to get me in the car - and we left town.  But of course, he made me decide what to do.  So after hours of deliberation, this is what we did:

and we had a marvelous time.  I'm still sore.
At least I got to use that new swimsuit I bought in February ... before I get too big for it.

Add in a few more job applications, voice & piano lessons, a bunch of laundry, some family stuff, and trying to keep the house clean with a toddler and a puppy running around - and you have my summer right there.


All right.

I am 14+ weeks along, due at the beginning of December.  And just in case you're wondering, our doctor is guessing it's a girl.  He was right last time.

We've known for quite a while - when I wrote this post we were already suspicious, oh how I crack myself up - but we did not tell the family until Liam's birthday party.  In fact, only Matt & Kim knew weeks ago because they were the only ones who visited us and saw the ultrasound posted on the fridge.
(Hey, everybody who didn't visit us!  Better luck next time!)

I probably would have waited even longer to tell, but it just gets hard at this point.  I already feel the need to apologize for my behavior over the last three months, and if I wait longer no one will accept my apologies.
(Hey, everybody who I offended/said strange things to/flaked out on/exhibited uncharacteristic behavior toward!  I'm sorry!)

Thanks again for all your congratulations.  I love you guys.
Any more questions?

Still talking about my thyroid ... and maybe answering some of your questions.

(If you prefer, you can skip on over here and watch more puppy+baby videos.  They're cute.)

A few months ago when I went to the doctor after blood tests, he said, "I'll be honest with you. I really didn't think you had a thyroid problem."
He went on to explain that his typical hypothyroid patients are a little overweight (thyroid controls metabolism) with flaky skin and other symptoms which I did not seem to have.  Yet, I tested hypothyroid.
So he put me on some Synthroid and I've been taking the same dose ever since.

The dizziness stopped - until I got pregnant.  The hair stopped falling out - maybe because I got pregnant.  My energy returned! - until ... well, you get the picture.

So far, my experience with pregnancy is this:  fatigue, a little night sickness, and do not even think about getting hungry.  When I start feeling hungry I MUST. EAT. NOW. or I will get sick.  And then I don't want to eat, but I have to.  Then, when I do eat, I feel even sicker.  It's vicious, I tell you.

Add the Synthroid which has also increased my metabolism, and watch my grocery bill skyrocket.  I feel like I eat all day, every day, and you know what?  I weigh less than I did even in high school.  I am 5'8" and weighing in quite below 135 lbs.
(But I honestly don't know where it's coming from.  This little pooch is growing every day.)

Anyway, I'm not complaining because again, I'm not throwing up anything that I'm eating.  I just eat and sleep and play with Liam and lose weight.  And not exercise.  Wouldn't want to make things worse, you know?


On Plans

Some people are lucky enough to live their lives according to plan.

Some people marry their high school sweethearts, go on missions, finish graduate school, build hotshot careers, move from place to place as they choose.  Some people have exactly the number of children they want, in exactly the amount of time and exactly the manner they expect.

I imagine it would be nice to be someone like that.  Wouldn't it?
See, that's not how my life works at all.

I like to make plans, really.  I've tried for years to map out my weeks, my months, my semesters.  But the last few years and, especially, months of my life have shown me that sometimes it doesn't matter what you plan.  You can make decisions, actively pursue a certain course, do everything possible to stay on it ... and in the end the Lord has a different plan for you.  For me.

Lately, I've been thinking (surprise) about what it means to be a parent.  What it means to announce to the world that you are expecting a baby, when you know too well that a hundred things could go wrong in the subsequent months and you would have to explain.  What it means to bring a baby home and welcome it into your life, knowing how little you have to teach it and just how much you have to learn.  What it means to accept unexpected turns in your life, without turning away from that God who sent you down this path.

Planned or no, it takes great faith, being a parent.  I think it takes more faith than anything else in the world.


Birthday Festivities

We had a family party (plus a few friends) for Liam last Friday night.
As we expected, he wanted to play with each gift as soon as he opened it - so we should have just given him one present a day for a couple of weeks.
Oh well!

His favorite present, hands down, is the baby-size golf club Slice has been waiting to give him for several months.  He is obsessed with that thing.  We like that he will walk with it.

Of course, we saved the best present for last.  Time will tell how much he likes it....


To my Firstborn on his First Birthday

Dear Liam,

Today you are a year old.  I won't say how crazy! it is or how fast time flies! because, let's be honest, a year is a year, and this one has been longer (for me) than many.  It has also brought joy that I didn't know existed.

Liam, you are a remarkable baby.  You bring sunshine and smiles wherever you go - literally.  Every time we go to church, to the store, anywhere, people comment on what a cute, happy child you are.   In fact, I've had many people come to me privately to say you are the cutest baby they've ever seen.  Naturally, I agree with them.

You got your father's charming personality, my boy, which will be a great asset to you throughout your life. You love people, too, and I've said many times that you should have been a youngest child instead of an oldest.  We have to entertain you constantly!  If you ever aren't getting enough attention, you take care of that pretty quickly.  You like to have all eyes on you.

Right now, you're pretty sure that you are the best thing to ever happen to this earth.  If I could preserve this confidence for you, I would.  All too soon you will have siblings, friends, and school experiences that will make you think otherwise.  I only hope you never lose that smile.

It has been a sheer joy to have you in our home.  I don't think there is anything sweeter than watching a child discover the world for the first time.  Every new food, noise, cupboard and animal is exciting again.  You make us smile and laugh and make ourselves ridiculous.  You also make us proud.  The ones who "know" tell us that your attention span (and dexterity) is off-the-charts.  You are smart, and we know it.

We love your kisses and your snuggling, your singing and your games.  You've given us plenty of learning experiences in the last year, Liam; more are certainly to come.  It was no easy task to get you here ... but you were worth it.  Every second of pain was worth it.

Love you forever!

Love, Mom