A door closed, a window opened

When my family moved to Roosevelt ten years ago, the only family in the area we could claim was my aunt Lana, her husband and their daughter.
To our great astonishment and delight, less than a year later, my mother's parents followed us.  They bought a house next to Lana - a few doors down from us.  And the partying commenced.

We had family reunions, birthday parties, circle parties, holiday meals, lunch outings; you name it, we celebrated it.  Even when there wasn't anything to celebrate, we celebrated.  While I was away at college Grandma supplied me with McDonald's gift cards to keep me from starving.  (You should see what she gave Kiana!)  We've had some jolly times, I tell you.

But things have changed, and Grandpa's health is not what it used to be.  One thing our town can't provide is the kind of care that he needs.  He and Grandma decided to move back to the Salt Lake Valley, closer to their other children (and most of the population of Utah).

AND .... they bought a house in Glenmoor!  Our old neighborhood!
(Severn Circle, Laurel & Linnea?)

We moved them out last week.  Dann & Angie bought their house - you know how we keep things in the fam - and are in the process of moving.

Meanwhile, a cousin of Slice's found a job in the Basin and relocated here.  He and his wife (and two young ones) are living in Vernal, the first extended family of Slice's to move to the area.  We're pretty excited.
Let the partying commence!


Nesting 2.0

It's official folks, I am in full-on nesting mode.

Last weekend I drew sketches of each room in my house complete with colors, furniture, wall decor, and a very comprehensive to-do list.  I've scoured the internet far and wide, visited almost every store in town, and joined Pinterest so that I can keep my links all together.
I've also begun a love affair with spray paint.

Tuesday I spray-painted my "espresso" colored glider chair white, to begin the nursery makeover.  Wednesday I turned my cedar chest (high school graduation gift from my parents!) from this:

into this:
on my very own front porch.  Sorry, terrible pictures.  I'm not going to fix them either.

I have many more projects in the works.
But, as you know, I am full of self-doubt when it comes to these things.  Will my colors/fabrics/pictures work together?  Do I like that upholstery fabric next to those curtains?  Should I use a stripe on the chair or the chest, or both?  Do I leave the dresser in the room or switch it for something else?  Does it all make me happy and say what I want it to say?  Most of all (at this point): WILL IT ALL FIT IN THE ROOMS?

Because the delightful thing about living in a 70-year-old house is that you can barely fit a queen-size mattress into a bedroom.  Forget about a bed with headboard/footrails and dressers and nightstands and laundry hampers and extra chairs and oh, a crib for the new baby too.  Won't fit.
(Slice just said, "You're posting a picture of our bed right now??")

I've got 3+ months to go and my work cut out for me.
I've also, fortunately, got a husband who is patient and helpful, who offers opinions and only occasionally mocks me when I start talking about this stuff.
(And by "occasionally" I mean "almost every time I bring it up.")


Wherein I feel like a failure

So it was that just after 10:00 this morning, I had a parenting crisis.

We were at church, Liam and I.  He had woken up so early that he was tired by the time we left for church, which was not a good sign, but I stuck him in the stroller anyway and hoped for the best.

Primary lesson prepared (with handouts!) - check
Tithing - check
Diaper bag with extra books and snacks - check
Arrive early enough to sit on the end near the door, just in case - check
I thought we were set.

During the first Sacrament Prayer, Liam smacked his head on the corner of the arm rest.  I took him out for a few minutes, then came back in to try some books.  He started hollering again.  So I took him AND the bag out and after a lap around the church, I put him down to walk by himself.

It wasn't long before he had walked into a dark, empty classroom and shut the door on himself.
Commence Screaming.

I hurried to the library to ask if anyone had keys.  No.  I ran to the clerk's office.  Someone was there, and luckily, he did.  My son came out with tears streaming down his face, terrified and exhausted and feverish (because he has canines coming in, of course!).  Try as I might, I couldn't get him to calm down.

10:15 and I have to decide.
Stay and try to teach a lesson?  Wait until the end of Sacrament meeting, so I can at least make arrangements for my class?  Take Liam right home and leave them high and dry?
After chasing him around and trying to keep him quiet, I'm not feeling too good myself.  I'm getting light-headed and nauseated and having those oh-so-familiar contractions.

I chose the third option.  After some Tylenol and a bottle, he slept for over 3 hours, which NEVER happens.
I still don't know though.
What would you have done?



It might be exaggerating - but only a little - to say that I have never been so excited for a day as I am for tomorrow.

Pay Day!

After ten (or more) months of scrimping and stressing, I can't even tell you how nice it will be to have a steady paycheck coming in.  I imagine only those who have experienced unemployment know what a depressing, deadening state it is.

We have big plans for Slice's first few paychecks .... you know, like toilet paper and medical bills and underwear and a sideview mirror that's been broken since last October.  Also possibly loans and maxed credit cards and family members that we owe for various things.  So exciting.
photo from 2/09...



When I went away to college, I pined for home - and everyone knew it.  One day a boy I worked with asked me, "Who would want to live in Roosevelt, Utah?  What's so great about it anyway?  I drove through there once and I thought it was pretty ugly."
I responded with something awesome like "The people there are the best people in the world!"

Every once in a while I think of the exchange and it makes me smile again.  I'd like to tell that 18-year-old a thing or two, but I just can't do it.  She was so full of confidence and love and loyalty that I hate to clue her in.

Every once in a while, though, I think she might have been right.  Like this Thursday, when Slice and I drove to Vernal to join the Welcome Home procession for the first Uintah Basin military man killed in action since Vietnam.  It was quite a sight.
photo kifed from here
We got there early (and it was a little late), so we had plenty of time to take pictures, which I will be posting over on the photoblog.

I love that my community rallies for things like this.  Businesses closed for hours - in the middle of the day - and people of all ages flocked to watch the procession without candy or scantily-clad dancers.  It was solemn, short, and, in my opinion, beautiful.

I just kept thinking that I would want the same for my son.


While the Slice is away

I've written about single parenting a couple times before, tongue-in-cheek of course, because I know real single parents have it a billion times harder than I do.  In fact, I feel like I'm just getting a glimpse of what my med-school siblings have gone through.

Fortunately for me, Liam still sleeps about four hours a day between his two naps.  He also watches Word World (only one episode a day! I promise!) on Netflix, which gives me time to clean, fold laundry, cook, blog, read, and/or sleep if it's one of those days.

So far I've made deviled eggs, cream cheese brownies (but from scratch), and chocolate cake with this frosting.  I've also read a few of the Percy Jackson books, watched all the episodes of The Glee Project (Cameron!!!), fixed some of Slice's pants and slippers, and spent lots of time with family.

The day I was dreading the most was Sunday - namely, trying to keep my energetic class and my energetic toddler under control for two entire hours.  By the end of the block I had walked out of meetings 4 times, once because my baby was bleeding from the mouth after being hit in the face with a chair.


This is some more of what we've been doing:


pleased because

One of my voice students competed in a pageant this week, Miss UBIC Outstanding Teen etc. and

she WON.

We've been working on her song for months now (a song I picked for her!) and by all Facebook accounts her performance was "AMAZING!!!!!"

I'm really sad I missed it.


Pregnancy, Part II

Although no one has actually asked me yet, I'm pretty sure you're all wondering the same thing: how is this pregnancy different from the last?

And since I am nothing if not obliging, I have compiled a list of differences. Chiefly for your enjoyment.

First - gender.  For no reason that I can recall, Slice and I assumed that we would have a baby girl first.  So when, at our very first doctor's appointment, we had an ultrasound that looked suspiciously manly, we were thrown for quite a loop.  BUT!  According to our 2 ultrasounds thus far, I am indeed carrying a girl.  So now, I get to think about the drama that will subsequently be added upon our household.  And be really excited for the girly stuff.

Second - symptoms.  My pregnancy symptoms were fairly mild the first time around, but I think this time they've been even milder.  Possibly because I've been on Synthroid (I was suspicious about thyroid problems even during last pregnancy), which has helped tremendously with fatigue and dizziness, etc.  Also, because I know that I can't let myself get hungry, I plan accordingly.  Thus far I have slept better at night and experienced fewer symptoms - nighttime arthritis, leg cramps and restlessness - than last time.

Third - food.  Once again I haven't really had "cravings," per se.  I am really liking chocolate and peanut butter, especially together! but I eat like I normally do, and I don't feel guilty.  My first baby turned out just fine ...

Fourth - my brain.  Okay.  Last pregnancy I was obsessed with my baby; it was all I could think about.  Will my water break?  Will I be in public?  How will I fare in labor & delivery?  What if he's ugly? Where will he sleep?  Where will I put all my other furniture? What other furniture do I need?  What kind of mother will I be?
It was nine months of annoyance and exhaustion for me AND Slice.
This time, I am much calmer about everything.  I have deliberately put off the nesting (i.e. changing & collecting furniture, rearranging & improving my home) instinct because right now, there is nothing I can do about it.  And there won't be anything I can do until we have a few months' worth of Slice's paychecks in the bank.  Then I'll go crazy.

Fifth - anticipation.  Of labor, mostly.  Before I experienced it myself, I was literally terrified of the childbirth process.  Everything else I was confident I could do.  (I was right.)
This time, even though I know what I'm getting myself into, I somehow find myself in anticipation instead of dread.  There is something so incredible about childbirth that even the pain doesn't scare me anymore -
and THAT is saying something.

Plus, I get a baby out of the whole deal.
(And now I really know what that means.)


Reunion pics from Mutti's camera

don't tell Slice!


Slice started his "real" work today.  After a week of OSHA training (complete with disturbing images) and a week of phone calls, this is the beginning of the end.
(Just kidding.)

The schedule is 8-on 6-off, so although we won't see much of him for more than week at a time, we'll also have time for family vacations and things.  A welcome change - at the golf course we couldn't plan ANYTHING because he didn't know his schedule until days beforehand, and he had to work all holidays unless the weather was bad, in which case we couldn't really travel anyway.  Lame.


I'm trying to remember what to do with all this time on my hands!  My research stint is on hold due to a major accident; I don't have a sewing machine or any projects that don't require money to complete.  I can't play piano while Liam is asleep and if I clean my whole house today, what will I do for the next 8 days?