the Field

Today is Slice's last day pumping at Newfield.  He's trunky like you wouldn't believe.  It's been almost 2.5 years since he ventured into the oil & gas industry, and we (I) have learned a few things along the way.

First, you should know that I was prejudiced against the oilfield since my family moved to Roosevelt twelve years ago.  (Twelve years?!)  Throughout high school I heard all about the "oilfield trash" who dropped out of school to make money and never looked back.  Like the mines in October Sky - once you go in, you'll never get out.  It's a career in quicksand.
As the daughter of two college graduates surely bound for greatness, I couldn't imagine anything worse.

So when things changed for us at the Roos golf course, oilfield was a last resort.  We held out for EIGHT MONTHS hoping for something else to turn up.  It never did.  We had a new mortgage, a 9-month-old, and a baby on the way.  Many applications and interviews and phone calls later, we were fortunate to get a work opportunity.

Here's what I've learned since then.

1. It's who you know.  This industry, this community and especially our experiences have shown us this.  I'll be forever grateful for the good relationships Slice formed with people from all walks of life while he was working at the golf course.  He's a people person, and I love that about him.  Never underestimate what people might do for you if you treat them well.  (Relatedly .... don't burn your bridges. Ha!)

2. "Oilfield trash" are people too. With wives, children, church callings - and often brilliant minds.  Many of them haven't completed a college education, but that doesn't mean they aren't creating and contributing to society in their own ways. They might be the ones to roll up their sleeves and get things done while the "educated" ones are still deciding how to do it best.  Just an observation. (And a really fascinating article which I welcome any thoughts/discussion on.)

3. Money is nice to have. I just said that out loud! Contrary to the fluff I picked up over the years about self-actualization and personal fulfillment through career choice, a good-paying job that involves some physical labor isn't the worst thing in the world.  Easy for me to say, because Slice is the one out doing it..... but seriously, ask him.

4. College isn't for everyone. I truly believe this. Education is still supremely important to me BUT with the realities of living and paying for things in today's world, we know that a college degree is far from a guarantee for a good sustainable career.  Further: our economic system pays its workers according to their supposed contribution to society.  Who are you to judge someone for making good money, if he/she is producing something you use vast amounts of on a daily basis?  Oilfield workers are out in the field come rain, shine, or negative temps and blizzard conditions on Christmas Day.  The oilfield never sleeps.  That's why they make the big bucks.

5. Don't be afraid of work.  I've yet to come across someone who snubbed their nose at the oilfield in the last few years, but I'll preach it to anyone who is unemployed and unwilling to look "below" their level.  Take it from Ashton Kutcher, man, no job is beneath you.  You're never above work.  Do whatever it takes. And then see where you end up.



I suppose now is as good a time as any to dump my recent pics in here and blabber on about a vacation. Eh?

Since we had no idea what our anniversary trip would look like last time I mentioned it, I'll just start at the beginning: Orlando.  We got a big condo in a posh resort in a great location for $200 FOR THE WEEK (thank you Mom & Dad, and Ultimate Vacations) so the planning went from there.  Kids to Idaho, Thor 2 in IMAX, red-eye flight from Salt Lake, rental car at the airport.

Then we got to the resort and they offered us discounted tickets to venues if we sat through timeshare/travel club presentations.  So, we spent an afternoon at Kennedy Space Center:

they call this the "rocket garden," which does not cease to amuse me
space shuttle Atlantis: coolest exhibit on the island
blurry Slice pretending that he's weightless.....?
 and two days at Universal Studios, mostly in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter OF COURSE:

Early admission tickets!  Score.

I totally went on the ride that is built into the castle.  Twice. Pregnancy what?
Two of the three butterbeers we consumed in two days after dining at the Three Broomsticks.
Magical, I tell you.
AND, lastly, a day at SeaWorld which cost us $20 total.  This is the only photo I took there.  It was actually cold.

Other highlights of the trip included a surprise!! visit to my missionary sister Kiana's ward on Sunday (a two-hour drive from Orlando):

She looks amazing and I look like a chubby 12-year-old
a temple visit that, naturally, came only after much difficulty:

On the only hill in the entire state of Florida
and lots of reallllly good eating.  We frequented The Melting Pot three times (that's where all the money went ...), Hard Rock Cafe, Joe's Crab Shack, and an Italian place with Chicago-style pizza and the best balloon master I have ever seen.  Totally took me back to my college balloon-animal-making days.  Guys, he was UNBELIEVABLE.

Just thought I'd throw that one out there.
FINALLY after 24 hours of traveling we made it back to our frigid home with our little ones who hardly even missed us, and my swelling eventually went down.  Florida was hard on my body.  Maybe it was because we walked for several hours a day and ate for the rest?  Hmmmm?

I have decided the best cure for wanderlust is to take a long trip during pregnancy.  Middle to late pregnancy is best, but first trimester can be effective if the trip is long/strange enough.  By the time we got home I wanted to stay inside these four walls for the next six months.  Not even joking.  Remind me next time to take a relaxing vacay, please?

Also, in case you're wondering, the contractions are coming regularly now and I'm just not listening to them.  Here's a smudgy mirror picture from a few Sundays ago, when I wore my freshwater pearls from SeaWorld and my kids called them "eggs" all day.  Yes, I like to wear eggs to church.

Welcome back to real life.


MG turns 2

My dear Emma Girl,

Today you turned two.  Whenever someone said "Happy Birthday!" you threw your hands up in the air and said "I be twoooo!" like it is the greatest thing ever.  And maybe it will be.  You'll be a big sister while you're two, and you are pretty darn excited for it.  You keep asking to see the baby that's hiding in my tummy, showing me your own, putting your hand on my belly and trying to figure out just what is going on.  I think you're going to be a great big sister.

You are becoming a real girly-girl.  You tote purses around and ask to have your fingernails painted and express very strong opinions about what clothes you'll wear. You've grown to love that doll we gave you a year ago - it's the first thing you want in the morning and the last thing you ask for at night.  I'm also pleased to see your deep and abiding love of books.  We can get you distracted from anything at the mere mention of a book! The silly little Princess book you got for your birthday is probably your favorite present. I plan to nurture your love of reading as long and as well as I can.  Reading will change your life, little one, if you let it.

You've got such a happy and fun-loving personality; you love to make us (and other people!) laugh.  You and Will are playing together now, although the "playing" usually turns into "yelling at each other" in a short amount of time (rinse and repeat).  This sibling contention has really baffled your dad, who didn't grow up with siblings anywhere close to his age.  I have to constantly remind him that yes, it is normal, even though it's not pleasant.  Despite the bickering, you and Will really love each other and miss each other when you're apart.

We've had so much fun watching your language and little personality grow. You tell me I'm wrong all the time ("No, that's not a lion. Only a tiger.") and will tell anyone off if they are bothering you ("Stop buggin' me!").  You love brushing your teeth, coloring, putting away the clean silverware in the dishwasher, having your feet rubbed, and playing with my phone. You also ask to go "with me!" if I ever look like I'm leaving the house without you.  We love your silly shifty eyes and your hard-won kisses, your singing and dancing.  You are such a light in our lives.  Keep shining!




I've lost the will to blog.

Please send help.


Work Play Work

I'm starting to feel like I need to begin every post with "I'm still here!" because I am still here, just not taking the time to post on my own blog.  I used to blog during naptime and I now I a) edit/upload photos b) clean house c) teach piano/English or prepare for cub scouts or d) sleep.  I'm pretty tired these days.  All the time.
(I used to sleep at night but now I .... see above)

Photo business is good, partly because of the time of year, I'm sure. For the first time I'm trying to catch up with my sessions.  We made two Salt Lake trips last week, one for wedding photos and one for the BEST DAY EVER where my dad was confirmed in the state senate to be an 8th district judge, and all my siblings except the missionary were there.  Jordan flew in for the day, Brent & Megan came for a few weeks, Matt & Heather drove from Idaho to see it.  We ate brunch at my Grandma Woodruff's, spent a couple hours at the capitol, ate dinner at the Red Iguana and thoroughly enjoyed each other's company.  We just don't get to see the cross-country family often enough.

and then Jordan missed his flight back home....darn late Senate

This Friday we spent the afternoon with some old family friends and their horses.  I got brave and rode for a while, even with this rapidly-expanding belly.  Good times.

We still haven't decided where to go on our big vacation in 2.5 weeks.  Ha!  The important thing is, Slice will have 9-11 days off AND he's getting a 5% bonus with his next paycheck. Thank you Newfield! Sometimes I love the oilfield, you know?  Those times are usually when Slice checks the bank account.

Let's see ... that's about all that is going on here.  Between play dates, family time, photo shoots, work and everything else, we've been gone a lot the last few weeks.  I'm not expecting things to slow down in the next month - but after that would sure be nice!  And no sick kids, pleaseandthankyou.


big little success

Last Thursday we finally finished the bunk beds. (And by "we" I mean mostly Slice.)
This design is cool - it's two separate beds held together with an outside railing. So if we ever want to use the beds separately, we can take it apart easily.  Sweet versatility.

It was a risky venture putting the children in it, because we took MG out of the crib and took away her bink AT THE SAME TIME.  Miraculously, and I do mean miraculously, she was happy enough with her new bed and pillow to go to sleep.  She slept all night.
We've had a few rougher nights and naps since then, but still, the cold turkey method worked for us.

The rest of last weekend was a whirlwind - Slice went to a 2-day paintballing camp. He got home, I went to the Relief Society dinner and part of the broadcast. I left early, we went to the high school and took Homecoming pictures until 11:30 p.m. On Sunday, my other nursery leaders didn't show up (but 14 toddlers did). Monday we worked all day and attempted family pictures in the evening.  It was sort of a disaster.  My children were very obstinate and the wind didn't help.  Oh well!  We got an updated-for-now family photo!
my fave, despite/because of Slice's goofy half-smile
Yesterday I moved my gallery wall in the front room.  It's been bugging me since I moved the piano a few months ago, and finally I bit the bullet.  Spackled/repainted the wall and shifted my artwork around, and now all I need in that room is a tall skinny bookshelf to fit by the piano.  Like, hmmm, this?  $119 on Amazon?

Well, that and some new carpet .......

Today Slice is back at work and I am putting away the seven loads of laundry I also did over the weekend.   I have 7 photo shoots coming up, which is exciting, and an ANNIVERSARY TRIP IN NOVEMBER to look forward to!  Guys! I'm going on a trip!  



This time it was Carolyn who spied the ultrasound strip hanging on the fridge, while we were canning applesauce in my kitchen.  It's an adventure to can anything with little ones underfoot, but we've done both applesauce and peaches and I'm pleased with the result.

This time what's consuming my thoughts is how to fit everyone in this house.  I'm constantly doing this anyway, but when I'm nesting it gets worse.  I've been bugging Slice for months about getting/making a bunk bed for Liam and MG, preferably smaller than a twin size so it will fit comfortably in their 10'x10' room with large windows.  (BTW, at 21 months MG is still sleeping in her mini-crib.  It's time to get her out of there.)

I've been Googling and Pinteresting and, once I got him on board, Slice started Youtubing.  I liked this one, he liked this one; since he's building it, we're going with the latter. Without the bulky ladder and strange paint job.  The only place in this country with a mattress size between toddler and twin is IKEA, so I ordered two mattresses from there to go in the bunks.  We're making progress!  I'll let you know how it goes.

In other news: RAIN.  Like the rest of the Utah, we've had incredible amounts of rain in the last two weeks.  Last time this happened was June of 2011, when there were no gutters on our house and the water ruined our basement walls.  (Still not fixed, in case you're wondering.)

Watching a storm from the back of the Explorer
We did take our kids camping for the first time last weekend, though. It was a ward campout and we hauled my parents' trailer up. It rained when we got there, most of the night, and again in the morning when we were packing up.  All around, a pretty good time.

Liam started preschool and tumbling a few weeks ago.  He loves both, and MG loves having some one-on-one time while he's gone. I'm really, really enjoying my kids right now.  MG is starting to chatter all the time and communicate pretty well.  Liam is smart enough that I can talk to (i.e. reason with) him like a much older person.  They're both loads of fun and I'm grateful for the time we get to spend together.


Show and Tell

Emily likes to remind me that I haven't posted on my blog in three weeks, so let's just get a couple things out of the way.

1. It was summer and I warned you I would be NOT posting while I was enjoying it.  Enjoy it I did.  With a lot of Netflix, plus naps.

2. I turned 26.  Closer to 30 than 20, which is fine with me because,

3. I started wearing maternity pants a week ago. Yes, that means what you think it means, and if I broke it down even further it would go something like "four months along, been 'showing' for a month but didn't 'tell' until last week, ready to be done with night sickness, tired of midnight bathroom trips, generally irritable....and already in nesting mode."
So.  We're doing this again.  Hooray!

Now I have a real reason to hibernate until next spring.

P.S. Isn't it weird how like 40 people have announced pregnancy in the last month?  Sheesh!  I can't even keep track!

P.P.S. I need you all to help me convince Slice to NOT find out the sex of this baby. Start pestering him now.


more side jobs

Here's something awesome about living in a small town - you never know what you might get asked to do.  Set up and maintain a city website? Teach a small group of homeschooled 8th graders? Volunteer on the Housing Authority Board?  Buy the equipment for and take high school dance pictures?

We finally got the studio stuff last week (great, more debt), and Slice immediately set some of it up in our front room and started snapping photos.  I have freaking adorable children, even with messy hair and clothes and more attitude than I know what to do with. I should stop looking at these pictures and start looking at the growing pile of laundry behind me.  But come on! That face!  

Slice is back to work, and working more than ever.  Last hitch on he worked for 10 days in a row. We need a cheap but faraway (and long and child-free) vacation.  Preferably before December.  Any ideas that don't include Disneyland? Anyone??


Summer of Love

How many people do you know who got married last weekend?  If it's more than seven, you got me beat.  If not, well....

The only wedding that I attended was that of my good friend from high school.  If you have ever wondered how your really amazing brother will find a girl that is amazing enough for him, you know how I've (pretty much always) felt about Jer.  It's a special honor.

He found the girl, and I'm sure she is deserving of his affection, and I was really pleased to be present for the ceremony.  Pleased enough that I didn't snap a single picture of the occasion.  Slice was unable to come (work) but my parents and younger siblings (who were already in Salt Lake) took the offspring and gave them a jolly good time at Liberty Park.

He's still talking about that Batman car.

Meanwhile, I was gallivanting around downtown, feeling like a real person - not just a mom but a REAL PERSON! - for a few joyful hours.  Thinking about my own wedding day in the Salt Lake temple over five years ago.  Still waiting to see who the rest of the Brotherhood decide to wed...


Dog Days

We're seven days into my favorite month!  Happy August, everyone!
We finished up July with another Roosevelt family reunion, Woodruff side this time.
Missing a bunch of people, even several who were AT the reunion earlier...
Dopp, Battistone, Morgan kids
Dorian took three days off work to be there, and we played hard for those three days.  By the end we all looked like this.

I tried to train for the UBIC 5k, but the day after the reunion ended, my kids woke up sick.  They were barfing by evening and I was trying not to.  I felt sick for maybe two days, then got hit with a nasty cold the week I was planning to do my 3-mile runs.  UGH.

Still I did it.  Last Saturday was the 5k, 10k and triathlon.  None of my sisters were there but Lisa ran most of the way with me, until I had to stop and walk for a couple blocks.  I finished four minutes faster than last year even with my cold, so that's an accomplishment, right?

Red face.  Always.

The rest of UBIC was pretty much nuts, with Slice playing three tennis matches and being in the parade twice and me trying to keep the kids hydrated and happy, and not sunstroked.  They both took 4-hour naps Saturday.  Hallelujah! 

Good thing, because we had a pretty late night with the Spin Doctors and the awesome fireworks afterward.

 All in all, it's been a good couple weeks. Have I mentioned how much I love summer??


more July

One thing I forgot to mention in my "July crazy" post is that Slice is now getting fire calls day and night and so far, he drops WHATEVER he is doing to get to them.  Leave the wife and kids at the park (at a company party) with no vehicle and a piano lesson in half an hour?  No prob.  Nothing is as important as that fire alarm!
His goal is to get there first and leave last.  Well, okay, he doesn't try to leave last.  But he's found a new brotherhood, a new obsession.... and I have to get a little fun out of it.  Especially with my abandonment issues.

In other news, I signed up for the UBIC 5k again, this time without my sisters.  I've been trying to get running again, and dang it is hard.  Partly because I never get going until it's at least 80 degrees outside.  Bad move on my part.  I've only worked up to 2 miles so far.

Kids are still cute, even when they're a pain, which is most of the time.  I'm going to rename MG "Sassy" because - well, if you spend any amount of time with her you'll know why.  THAT GIRL.

Liam is mostly potty trained, which means after 19 months of two children in diapers I only have one.  Hallelujah!  Let's hope she wants to be done with them soon!

Now I'm off to watch my new favorite show Call the Midwife. And throw dirty diapers at the people lighting off fireworks right in front of my house.
(You all read about that, right???)



Here's one thing I did for the yard sale.  Shelf - free. Spray paint - on hand.  Map + glue - on hand.
I just made an easy $80!