the doll

We finally got MG a doll so she has something other than cars and dinosaurs to play with.  So far, she doesn't love it.

Liam, on the other hand...

Liam cuddles with her and totes her around, even "in the car."   Last night we found him reading his monster truck book to her.  He is getting really attached to that doll.  ("It's not yours," I keep telling him.)

We should have gotten him one a long time ago....



Fortunately, last weekend was Thanksgiving.  Almost my favorite holiday.
Unfortunately, we were running (driving) around the entire weekend.  At least half our time was spent in the car.

Fortunately, we had a great meal at my Woodruff grandparents' house in Glenmoor on Thursday.
Unfortunately, Liam was relegated to an empty table. (The picture lies. Derek left.)

Fortunately, I scored this darling outfit for MG a month ago and she finally got to wear it!
Unfortunately, it was a one-time deal.

Fortunately, my Grandma put together a nice Thanksgiving program (featuring me, even!).
Unfortunately, I had to shush Liam through most of it.

Fortunately, we had a bed to sleep on at the Provo condo.
Unfortunately, it was an air mattress in a cold room where my two younger brothers were also sleeping.
(Yo, wood floors make a house cold, and SO LOUD.  Why is everyone hating on carpet these days??)

Fortunately, we went to the zoo on Friday.  Annual trip!
Unfortunately, it was much colder than we expected, and Liam woke up sick the next day.

Fortunately, Liam loved it.
Unfortunately, both he and MG needed clothing changes by the end of the visit. If you know what I mean.

Fortunately, my sister Kiana went through the Timpanogos temple Friday night and I got to be there and it was lovely.
Unfortunately, Slice decided to go Skyfall with his brothers rather than come with me.

Fortunately, we went to the Oquirrh Mountain temple Saturday morning for a sealing session with my mom's family.
Unfortunately, we had to drive to Bountiful first (from Provo) to drop our kids off.

Fortunately, we had a great dinner with Slice's family in downtown Salt Lake.
Unfortunately, MG was ornery and clingy after a few hours without us. Also, Amy wasn't there.

Fortunately, we made it home safely and got to visit with some friends before writing/finishing our talks for the next day.
Unfortunately, Liam was still sick when he woke up, so we called my dad and asked him to come watch the kids while we spoke in Sacrament Meeting.

Fortunately, Slice was home for Sunday.
Unfortunately, he decided to pick up a couple days of overtime, so I'm cheated out of two days with him home this week.

Fortunately, I got to accompany a girl in a violin recital tonight.
Unfortunately, Slice was at Urgent Care with both kids so I had to scramble to find a ride there in time.

Fortunately, we live three blocks from our local hospital & clinic.
Unfortunately, WE ALL HAVE STREP.  AGAIN.  Except Slice, who is working for the next 8 days.


Because I love Kacy

I've been reading this blog Every Day I Write the Book pretty much since I started blogging.  (Four years, FYI.)  Kacy is real and funny and insightful, and also a Harry Potter fan.  What's not to like?

Some of my favorite posts of hers are herehere and here, if you're interested. I might love her newest post most of all, even though it's a book review about a book I haven't read and, in all honesty, probably won't.  I just love how she says things:
I'm sick of people being their true self.  It's always people being their "true selves" who act like jerks and leave their wives. Who's to say who your true self is? Isn't acting better similar to being better?
To which I say, amen, and that I sometimes wish our society would quit with the whole "be yourself" business. (Sorry, I HAD to put that link in there.)  So many people think that life is about "finding themselves" and seeing the world and loving recklessly and collecting degrees and following their dreams .... rather than doing what's right, being grateful for what they have and, I don't know, doing the things that will bring them true happiness.

I was talking about this with my good friend Dani last week and I've thought about it often.  I just feel bad for people who don't want their own families, who don't ever want to be "tied down" or tethered by true commitment.  They think they're better off without it.  But they will never experience the joy, the love, the incredible growth and progression that comes from having a family.  To me, that's the whole point of life.

Again, Kacy says it perfectly:
Isn't it within a marriage and within a family that we become better people? I've started to think lately that the church stresses family not just as an eternal organizational unit but as the means to salvation--not just by being in one, but through surviving it. I'm noticing that many people's greatest trials come through their families and I am noticing that any improvement I have made personally has been through being in a family and serving when I don't feel like it. For me it has come through being forced to be selfless in serving my kids, but I can see that marriage could act as a refining fire as well. I've seen men be better through thoughtful consideration of their demanding wives or through making sacrifices by working at jobs they hate to support people they love.
I really think that's true.  I have long believed that we learn what we need to learn most from our families, and that in many cases there is no other way to learn it.

So .... now I'm going to go take a nap.  It's been one of those Sundays.



Monday was a crazy day.  Slice was off work so I was (as usual) trying to knock things off my to-do list.  By noon we had the entire upstairs cleaned and vacuumed, swept, wiped down, the bathroom scrubbed top to bottom.  But sometime during the morning, Slice figured out that the new Call of Duty game was coming out that night at midnight, not Tuesday night like he'd been thinking for months.  This meant he'd have a night to play and a day to recover before going back to work.

Slice: "Can I go to Vernal at midnight and buy the game?"
Me: "And then what?  You'll play all night and sleep all day tomorrow and we won't get anything done and ..."
Slice: "No I won't.  What do you want done tomorrow?  What do you want me to do?"
Me: "A headboard.  Make me a headboard."
Slice: "OK."

And that's how it went.

I've actually had the stuff to make a headboard for a YEAR now, sitting in my downstairs closet.  Our bed is in front of a window and we have spent two years pushing curtains out of our faces at night.  I scored an old cheap headboard from my parents (thanks Mom!) and Slice chopped off the molding on top, glued some extra wood behind the slats, and we were in business.

Then we went to a concert.  Well, I sang in it.  I had two days to stress about singing the national anthem a capella during a concert when (musical) people are actually listening, and what to wear when the band is wearing concert black but I don't want to wear all black and I'm a soloist anyway, and how early should I be there, and are the kids going to make it through the concert, and ..... it all turned out fine.

When I got home at 9:00 the kids were still in the bath.  After Slice and I put them to bed and deliberated more than a little, we got back to work on the headboard.  I cut my fabric in half and stitched it back up, matching the pattern as well as I could.  We stapled foam and batting and fabric, Slice left for Vernal, I finished it up and stuck it behind our bed and stroked it lovingly.  (Just kidding.)


I sent this picture to Slice still wearing my black tights from the concert and well, dear, this is the closest thing to a boudoir photo you're ever going to get.

Then I promptly fell asleep and Slice didn't come to bed until after 4:00, also after I'd been up TWICE with the kids. 

But he didn't sleep all day Tuesday, so you know.  I'll take what I can get.


Silky & Soft

Several years ago my super-talented mother started making silky blankets for her grandchildren.
They started out simple, but got fancier over time.  (Isn't that always the case!  Too bad for the oldest!)

She picked fabric and pieced and stitched and quilted.  She started using a longarm quilting machine and quilting names and phrases into the blankets.  She made extra ones that I gave to friends who were expecting babies.  I even took one to Japan in a suitcase, and gave it to the Takakusagis and their brand new baby girl (see here and here).

These quilts are darling, not to mention soft and fluffy and silky, no matter how many times you wash them.  (And let's be honest, with babies you'll wash them a thousand times.)

The good news is ... NOW YOU CAN HAVE ONE TOO!  
They're finally in an Etsy shop!  

You should really check it out, and buy one, if you're looking for a totally unique gift for a friend or a sister (or yourself).  No two are alike and - just in case you're not into the pieced look - my mom has branched out into other types and sizes.

The prices are ridiculously low, considering all the time and skill that goes into these babies.

If the quilts sell, she'll be taking custom orders soon.  Spread the word, will you?  Christmas is coming .....

Here's that link one more time.


A Pirate and his Lady.....bug

Halloween is much more fun with kids to dress up.  Liam finally figured out how awesome it is to go door to door and get candy from strangers.  We bought candy for trick-or-treaters, then ended up away from home all evening so we didn't pass it out.  More for us!
(I should have bought chocolate.)


Photos Lately

Since the photoblog is still in purgatory I thought I'd share some of my recent stuff here.  With a plug, of course, for the Facebook page which still only has 40 "likes."  Not that I'm complaining....
I'm a fauxtog in the truest sense of the word, I've come to accept that and (sort of) embrace it.  I don't feel like I'm in a place to devote a lot of time/money/energy to improving, simply because I have so many other things going on that are equally as important to me.

But in the meantime, I'm happy to help people out when they ask for it.
I even bought a new lens last week which will make everything SO MUCH BETTER!

These are some of my favorites from the last few weeks:
(my boots and sweater, thankyouverymuch)

Fun fact: when I got to the temple to take pictures for the wedding, it looked like this - 
                                                                 - scaffolding!


Still Here

I've written about 20 posts in my head over the last 10 days.  We didn't have internet for a week (backyard trees trimmed ... long story) but even if we had, I don't know what I would have actually posted.  Everything I want to write sounds trivial when I can't stop thinking about the death of my friends' little boy Tacen.  Their story could so easily have been mine.

We were all good friends in high school; Kelsie is one of those people who lights up a room when she walks in it.  I was always a little envious of her good looks and mad dancing skills - not to mention her happy personality!
She and Cade got married a month before Slice and I did, and they had Tacen a month after I had Liam.  I sort of felt like we were in this together.  We had our second babies only months apart.  Then, in a week, their lives changed forever.

I try to imagine what my life would be like without Liam, and it hurts just thinking about it.  After all the services and well-wishes are long gone, Kelsie will still have to live every day without her precious boy.  There will be years and years to come without Tacen around, until we all meet again.  It seems like such a long time.

I'll remember Tacen every day when I look at my Liam, when I hold him and kiss his cheeks and watch his stubby fingers lengthen and his little body stretch out, when he gets old enough and big enough that I can't hold him anymore.  I'll remember Tacen on the days when I get so frustrated I want to sell one or both of my children to the highest bidder.
And I'll remember what a precious gift it is to be a mother, to have these little spirits in my home teaching me self-sacrifice, patience and love.  I'll remember how short the time is that I have with them, and maybe remembering will help me to make the most of it.