MG is 3

Emma girl,

Today's your third birthday.  Three years ago I marveled at the difference I felt between giving birth to a boy and a girl.  I still marvel at that difference, nearly every day.

If there was ever a girl who was made of sugar and spice, it was - and is - you.  You are feisty and sassy and silly and sensitive.  You are downright hilarious when I least expect it.  You mimic your older brother, dote on your baby sister, happily share your toys (most of the time), and talk about your best friend Gracie if you haven't seen her for a day.

We call you our dancer girl.  You dance your way through life, twirling in church and swinging your hips, shaking your limbs without caring who's watching. I love that about you. You ask me constantly for ballet lessons, and I really better get on that.

You're the early riser of the family.  I see your face by the side of the bed and if Dad's already gone, you ask, "Is Daddy at work?" hoping you can climb onto his pillow next to me.  You love makeup and nail polish and dresses and "girl colors." You sing all the time. You'll eat almost anything I give you, which I'm VERY grateful for on days when Will is especially stubborn about food.

You want to grow up fast, and it seems that you are. When you tell me you want to be a mom, I'm pretty sure that just means you want to be a grownup. Still, I don't mind saying that a mom is the best thing to be. Motherhood makes you something greater than yourself.  

I love you fiercely, my Emma.  I think that's the only way to love you.




"Which creature in the morning goes on four legs, at mid-day on two, and in the evening upon three, and the more legs it has, the weaker it be?" asked the Sphinx.
"Man - who crawls on all fours as a baby, then walks on two feet as an adult, and then walks with a cane in old age," answered Oedipus.

Last week I attended a Relief Society meeting where a young mother asked the rhetorical question "what are my hobbies and interests? can I have any hobbies with kids??" and the rest of us smiled and shook our heads.  I don't even read books anymore, hon, and that makes me wonder sometimes who I've become.

But this season of my life has brought some pleasantries.  Aside from the joy of conversing with 2- and 4-year-olds constantly, there's the benefit of being "established." For the first time in my life I'm wondering which to buy first: kitchen furniture or bedroom furniture?  What would I like to put in my house?  Where shall I spend the money that I actually have?  
So really.  I can't complain.  I guess I'll read books when the kids are grown.

Baby Lucky is growing like a bamboo shoot, crawling (at seven months - two months earlier than her older siblings!) and weaning herself and snuggling more than any other babies. (WHICH I LOVE.)
MG is making waves in nursery, prompting other adults to ask me where she gets her personality.  Also prompting me to wonder when/where I should put her in a dance class.
Liam is writing funky letters and pretending to be a Rescue Bot, and giving me multiple hugs and kisses at night because he "loves me so much."

I'm squeaking by with my three side jobs, wasting time when I should be knocking things off my to-do list ..... and forgetting half of the things that needed to go ON my to-do list.  It's getting out of hand, actually.  Any volunteers for a personal life coach?


Bear Lake 2014, or, the first EVER Edd Reunion

My parents and siblings and I, we do this monthly meeting where we conference-call over Skype and catch up on everyone's lives, get a spiritual thought, and brainstorm all the things we will do one day with the futuristically massive Family Fund.
(Family Fund: each Edd family member voluntarily, when they are able, contributes 1% of income to an account that can then be loaned to family members on an as-needed basis. Has saved the bacon of several of us at one point or another. Can also pay for emergency things like plane flights and family vacays.)

This year during our meetings, we planned a reunion. The first one ever! And we booked a big house in Garden City by Bear Lake. We left Roosevelt on Monday morning, July 28th.  I had been roasting in my home for weeks, so I didn't even pack a jacket.

(See what I did there? Foreshadowing.)


My truffles melted in the truck on the way there, despite the cold drive.

Two days later, I had this conversation with Matt, who was stuck in Seattle for this lame Amazon internship.

We rescheduled the boat rental from Tuesday to Thursday, but braved the waverunners in the Wednesday rain.  We had a family lip sync that will now become tradition.  (Right guys? Right??)
We ate Bear Lake raspberry shakes every day.  We stayed up ALLLLLLLL NIGHHHHHHHT LONNNNNNNG with a crying Lucky baby.  We militarized the sleep zone upstairs, so the little ones would get some sleep.

And on Thursday ... the sun came out. For a little bit. Behold, it was fun.

Thursday night Slice and I went to Pickleville Playhouse, to watch the outrageously clever and delightfully funny Who Shot Juanito Bandito? on a rare date.
and ate a huge pickle!
We took silly selfies.

And silly not-selfies.

We played a round of "The Not-so Newlywed Game" after the kids were in bed, and laughed until we cried.

Friday, we packed up and left.  Not without grabbing two more shakes to compare.  (The consensus: LaBeaus really IS the best, even if you can only get one size.)

We drove to Ogden, and spent the night, and went to Wicked the next day with dear Bonnie and Adam, after a lunch at good ol' Siegfried's next door.

We survived.


just checking in

I realized today that I haven't even checked my Feed-Reader for over a month.  As in, I FORGOT to check it.  I guess blogging is officially dead, and it happened at the same time as my Instagram initiation.

It's 9:30 on a Friday night and Slice is still at work, so my house is quiet except for the 4-year-old's intermittent hallway trips, the dripping bathtub faucet, and the screaming kids in the neighboring circle.  We were planning on making a trip to Cedar City this weekend but plans changed when we all got sick.  It's an achy, feverish sickness that I am sincerely hoping to be rid of by tomorrow.

Baby Lucky turned six months old this week, and I turned 27! What a day. I got a little irritated when someone at church said, "in a few more years you'll be lying about your age!" because, when did this society decide it was unacceptable for women to age? And WHY are women still buying into the stupid notion?? I hope I never lie about my age, and I wish others would stop doing the "I'm still 29" thing.  It makes me disgruntled.
(But of course I find something to be disgruntled about!)

Life goes on.
My kids get a little educational experience from Ms. Frizzle,

Lucky misses naps sometimes, but we love her anyway,

We have yard sales that take weeks to prepare and execute (and then get rained out),

 And the children bathe all together for the first time.  Rub a dub dub.

This summer came and went much too quickly for my liking, as usual.  I never get enough s'mores or firework shows or pool days or boating trips, especially with these little ones who make it very difficult.
(Not to mention Slice, who usually crashes when he walks in the door.)
We had one big trip to Bear Lake for a reunion - blog post coming - and that's it. We haven't left the Basin for anything else in months.
So .... that's my life right now.


For the First Time in Forever ...

I've been exercising regularly.

Can you imagine? Me?
bum shot courtesy of MG
About a month ago I started doing T25 in the mornings with my aunt and cousin and sister. Turns out, that's the trick!  When I have a set time and people expecting me to show up, I actually do!  And it's fun!
(It also helps that I can have my baby sleeping next door with a monitor so I can work around naps.)

What I like about T25 is that it's a good overall workout, but still short and no-nonsense. One day we tried another Beachbody aerobic workout and the lady just about killed me with her annoying chatter. "I'm so excited for you to go shopping!" (Because that's why I'm doing this? Gag me.)  So, anyway, thanks Shaun T.

But of course I have more to say about this.  I'm getting excited about how good I'm looking - pretty good, BTW - and I'm thinking I can keep this up, maybe for a really long time.  That's good, right?

Then I come across this article and am reminded of everything I believe about my body right now. Because the short little article says it all in six-ish paragraphs: my body is not my masterpiece. I didn't create it, first of all. It was given to me with very specific instructions, all of which concern WHAT I DO with this precious gift.

It's been said before, but I'll say it again: my body made and housed and nourished and birthed three babies (without a single stretch mark! Knock on wood!).  It has nursed and carried and rocked little bodies through sleepless nights and long, wearying days.
Way before that, this body danced on stage and hiked in the dark and swam in disgusting golf course ponds.  It walked countless miles through the streets in countries across the globe.  It dug sprinkler trenches with a shovel (thanks Mom and Dad), weeded gardens, pushed a loaded handcart up a sandy hill, sledded and tumbled and roller-bladed.  It stayed up late, late nights in high school and college, and still managed to pull pretty good grades while working at least one regular job.

What I'm saying is, I don't want to obsess over my body, ever.  I don't want to cross that line between "health and fitness" and "gotta post a shirtless picture online!"  I don't want to see a piece of cheesecake and think only about what it will do to my waistline.  I don't want to spend my life wishing I looked different (or using enough makeup/procedures to make that happen).  I don't want to hate what life and time have done to me. I don't want to become that self-absorbed.

I want my life to be about what I've done and with whom.  I want to be healthy so I can enjoy everything there is to enjoy.  I want to teach my kids, like my parents did, to spend more time working on the "inside" than the "outside" of them.  I want to accept myself and help them to do the same.  I want to use this paintbrush to create a masterpiece.


Staying Sane

So, I left a few things out of my last post, but of course there were the daily battles going on in the midst of the Major Madness War.  My sanity was sometimes often teetering on the edge.  No one ever asked, but in case you're wondering how I stay sane (or if you're the only one struggling - YOU'RE NOT) let me first point you toward two articles I really resonated with.  Both HuffPost, sorry.

When You Are Tightly Wound - especially this part:
It happens every night. Twelve hours of parenting have passed, the kids are finally in bed, and I feel the weight of it all on my chest.
Austin will suggest we go to bed. We need more rest! But I cannot go to bed. I am too tightly wound.
Anyone who has parented a human for more than five minutes has felt the coils of the day wrapping around their insides, making the chest tight and the stomach hungry for nachos. By 9 p.m., I have no words left. I just want to sit in the dark, watch Michael Scott, and not have to think any intelligent thoughts.
And, I Miss the Village - YES YES YES. I think about this all the time, how mothers were not meant to raise their children alone. I'm less "alone" than most (I mean, my mom, sister, and aunt all live within 1000 feet of me) and still I feel very "alone" sometimes.  It's a solitary thing, being confined to a house or nursing baby or mother's lounge in the church building. I don't think it has to be that way, but I don't have any logical solutions except to move to my fantasy hand-picked community where Laurel is my next-door neighbor and the rest of you are down the street.  I do, however, nurse without leaving the room whenever possible.  That's a post for a different day.
AND NOW for the things I actually, actively do to keep myself from wallowing in the despair of sleep-deprivation (hint: not exercise. Although I've heard good things about it).
Play dates. We all know these are for moms, not kids.  I prefer to surround myself with the low drama type of women who have similar parenting styles to my own.  Then I don't have the pressure of feeling judged on a weekly basis.  Weekly or even thrice-weekly playdates! Gets me dressed and out of the house for a couple hours.  Also occasionally serves as a vent session.
Ladies Night. Like a playdate, but without kids.  I play bunco once a month and have also attended many a "Ladies' Night" at our local ice cream place.  We sit and laugh and eat ice cream and leave our children home for a few. But we don't husband-bash or talk about other women. (Low-drama friends. Key.)
Date Night. This is like the cream of the crop, and I SO WISH I could say we do this on a regular basis. Alas, my nursing baby and projects up to my eyes have kept the couple time to a bare minimum.  But even a dinner together with a babysitter at home gives me a better perspective and renewed commitment.
Finally, chocolate. Lindt dark chocolate isn't going to make my problems go away (or do the dishes), but I'll be darned if it doesn't make me feel a little better.
(What do you do to stay sane?)


Light at the End

There is light at the end of the tunnel my friends.  And it is good.

The peak levels of stress I've experienced over the past several months (more than year actually - I knew we'd need to move as soon as I found out I was pregnant) have made this calm even sweeter.  In four more days we should be closed on both houses, fire training will be done, and Slice will be leaving his new job for an even newer, better one.  (Ah, oilfield.  Reluctant friends make for lasting relationships.)

I spewed out a few frustrations here and on Facebook, but for the record - since I certainly haven't been journaling! - this is how the last several months have gone down.

February: Baby

a real sweetheart.  not getting enough fat from my milk, so formula-supplemented diet it is.
March: Prom (took over my living room for three months)

not Prom-related pictures
April: Baby blessing, painted the entire basement and stairwell, put up a FOR SALE sign, stressed out and worked so hard to get my house clean just ONE TIME! to show it. Luckily, the second people to walk through made an offer.  

May: Surveyor. We wanted to split our lot and after jumping through a bunch of hoops realized that it wasn't possible. So we moved forward with the loan process, and married off miss Kiana on the 30th.

yes I took this photo.
June: Packing. I applied for a job with DYT, didn't even get a reply. Plumbing/appraisal problems. API pictures. Moving. We bought a fridge and washer/dryer set, sold my lovely kitchen table. Sixth anniversary.

poor guy had to give away his first dog.
July so far: lobbied for City Council position, didn't get it. Tested my thyroid - it's been off.  Also, strep.  Again.  (SO THAT'S WHY I CAN'T GET OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING!)

Things are really good now. After a round of antibiotics and five days of a bigger dose of Synthroid, I feel like my life couldn't get any better than this. I'm not planning to move again, ever. (Unless it's out of state/ out of the country.)  (Remind me I said that! Not moving again ever.)  I have space for my kids to play, a real closet, and a master bathroom, and no thumping cars in the McD's parking lot all hours of the night. I even live next door to my mom.
the view out my front door
There is light at the end of the tunnel.  And it is good.


Emma selfies

I promise she does NOT see me do this.  Especially the duck face!


the thoughts

All the thoughts, you guys. All the thoughts and feelings that have been going through my head with YesAllWomen and the WarOnFreeRangeParenting, the Shootings and OtherHardThings in the news these past days.  Shock/horror/disgust from all the stories. More faith lost in the goodness of humanity. More news that makes me wonder how to protect my precious, precious children from the growing evil out there, and how to raise them to be kind, respectful, strong, responsible people who are aware but not afraid of life. Who can tell me anything and have my unwavering love, but never a blind "not my child!" eye.

I've been thinking about how blessedly naive I was in my Vienna-wandering days, walking home alone at 2:00 a.m. after a night out in the city.  2:00 a.m.!  Alone!  A 19-year-old girl!  And in Venice I left the hotel early enough to watch the sun rise and the city come to life, alone. In Italy. You guys.

I've been blessedly naive and free from abuse, assault, and the accompanying shame; blessed to be surrounded by kind and good men who have helped to keep me safe throughout my life.  Until recently, I was largely unaware of how rare that is. How unfortunately rare.

And all I can do, I guess, is to teach my kids about boundaries. Set them, respect others', expect (and demand, if necessary) that others respect yours.  Keep an open dialogue - and a weather eye out for anything amiss.  For my part, as Mad-Eye Moody says, CONSTANT VIGILANCE!

Most importantly, I want them to know how loved they are, always and forever.  Not just by me but by a much greater, more powerful, perfect and infinite Being.

It's just not practical to stick them in a tower deep in the woods with no way up or down.  Tempting, but not practical.


May the fourth be with you

Dear William,

It's your fourth birthday!  Your fourth and last birthday in this cute little house.  We're moving soon, and you know it, but I still wonder how you'll do when it actually happens.  I'm excited to have more space for you to play - inside AND out - and I'm even more excited to not have people knocking on my door at any given time asking, "Did you know your kid was outside??"
(Thank you, well-meaning people. Yes I know he's outside. Yes I know we live on a busy street corner. No I'm not worried about him.)

You've learned lots of new things in the last year. You can write your name and "mom" and "dad"; recently you even started sounding out words to write on your own. You loved your year of preschool with Miss Lana and Miss Diana (AKA Grandma), and it didn't take you long to figure out when to use the right names for them. They taught you so many new songs that I didn't know all of them. That was frustrating for us - when you were asking how the song went and I couldn't tell you!

In the last year you got potty trained, took a week-long vacation to Aunt Heather's in Idaho, got bunkbeds, started tumbling, went camping for the first time, started going to Sunbeams instead of nursery, and you got another baby sister. You love little Lex, and she loves you more than anything. Anytime she hears your voice she starts looking for you. You're always asking to hold her and feed her bottles. It's nice to have some helping hands around.

Your favorite things right now are superheroes. Anything with a cape or a weapon! You and Emma are pretty much fighting constantly but you still won't play without each other.  You've both become masters of "excuses to get out of bed."  You're becoming an annoyingly picky eater.  You used to eat anything I put in front of you but now we remind you EVERY DAY that you DON'T KNOW IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT BECAUSE YOU HAVEN'T TRIED IT YET.  This clearly hasn't sunk in.  You just don't believe us.

Not a week goes by without me thinking that you are a genius of some sort. Your memory is a fearful thing to behold. Your dad and I are always asking each other how we can keep you intellectually stimulated; luckily, we have another year before we have to think about public school.  Whatever is in store for you, it's gonna be big.

It's a little strange for me to think that you're now my boy and not my baby.  You are such a joy to be around, and our conversations are never ever dull. I'm so excited to see what this next year brings!

Love you,



I have approximately 30 seconds to update the ol' blog here, so this is going to be a stream of consciousness.  Sorrynotsorry.

I now know why three kids is the most stressful.  I'm living it!  Let's see:

  One newborn who is nursing a good portion of the day, but not napping
+ two toddlers making messes and fighting with each other
+ Dorian home maybe 10 hours a week 
+ trying to get this house ready to sell (we bought a sign the other day but haven't put it up yet...such a commitment!) 
+ selling/buying a car 
+ taking Prom pictures, editing and uploading and ordering them 
+ other photo shoots 
+ family gatherings, wedding planning, etc.
+ sleepless nights (like last night, when MG threw up all night, all over)
+ other commitments like Housing Authority Board and my English class

I think that sums it up.


Birthing 3.0

One week ago, at this minute, I was lying in bed with a Hypnobabies track on, trying to decide if it was time to go to the hospital.

before church - glad I got this picture!
Last Sunday I went to church - four days past baby's ETA - with nothing more than sporadic uncomfortable contractions.  By 6:00 in the evening they were coming faster, stronger and finally! more painful.  Slice and I took our little family up to my parents' for a couple hours, then came back and went to bed. I put my headphones on, timing and trying to get a little sleep.

I couldn't sleep, so like last time I labored in the living room, relaxing as well as I could, for almost two hours.  We called my mom just before midnight.  By the time she got to our house, my contractions were right around five minutes apart.  Again, on the seven-block drive to the hospital, I wondered if we had waited long enough.  I was also slightly worried about a posterior baby because of the intense pain in my back.  (I should know by now that MY LABOR IS IN MY BACK.)

We checked in, walked back to Labor & Delivery, and the nurse at the desk asked what I was there for. (Kind of a dumb question?) I said "to have a baby," and she looked at me like, "you don't know what you're talking about."  Maybe she had a bad night.  I dunno.
I got in the room, undressed and hooked up to the monitors, and when the nurse (different one) checked me she said, "You're at a seven!"
Moment of truth!

They called the doctor, he came and broke my water, and I labored some more.  Back labor is excruciating I tell you.  Slice was digging the heels of his hands into my lower back with each contraction and it was never hard enough.  I did some standing, some lying down, some on the medicine ball. I was practically whimpering in between because I was JUST SO TIRED and I wanted to be done already.  With Emma I got a little sleep before the worst part, this time I was exhausted before it even started.  Oy!  Why do I even do this "natural labor" thing?!  (I said that out loud, to Slice, and I meant it.)

After a while I thought I would need to push soon.  Slice called the nurse and doc in, she checked me and said I wasn't ready.  A few contractions later it happened again.  (I'm starting to feel like the boy who cried wolf...) She left, I had another long hard horrible contraction standing, and it was time to push, no question.  I started hollering at Slice and he kept telling me to get back on the bed.  It went something like this:
"I'm pushing! Get the doctor!"
"Get back on the bed!"
"I can't! I'm pushing, I don't care what they say! Go get someone!"
"I will! Get back on the bed!"
"You really WILL be catching this baby if you don't get the doctor!!"
"Get. On. The. Bed!!!"

You can imagine.

Anyway, I did get back on the bed, and the nurse came rushing in while I was gripping the bedrail and hollering some more.  Sure enough, she caught the baby before the doctor even got back in the room.  It was 1:52 in the morning on February 24th.  My half-birthday!  And I had another baby girl!



This is the longest I've been pregnant.

Still no sign of baby and although I know gestation dates are (very!) approximate, it still feels a little surreal actually waiting for and anticipating the birthing process.  My first two both came before I expected, so this is a new feeling.
Baby's turned sideways so my belly is lopsided.  Also, Crocs.  Can't fit into anything else.
Let's talk about something else......

Wanna hear a debt-free scream?  If you've ever listened to Dave Ramsey's radio show you know what I'm talking about.  1...2...3.... WE'RE DEBT FREE!!!!
(Aside from the mortgage, which doesn't count, I guess.)
We didn't have that much debt to begin with, but Slice built up a nice little retirement account at his last job and we decided to cash it out and start clean.  Now the hardest part of all: deciding how long to stay in this house. The market in the Basin is good right now, meaning we could make a chunk of money on our house, but we would also pay more to move into something bigger/newer.
Or, do we stay a while and do a few major projects in the meantime? My list - which is different from Slice's - goes something like this:

  • carpet
  • fix and paint downstairs walls
  • paint the exterior
  • get new windows (SO EXPENSIVE)
  • redo upstairs bathroom
  • fix garage roof
  • fix the driveway somehow
  • do something with the mostly-abandoned back lot
and we'll stop there.  I think every homeowner knows that The List only grows, never shrinks.

So what's up with you?



It's been two months since Slice switched from an 8/6 schedule to a normal 5-day workweek, which means we see him one less day every week.  At the same time, he started official firefighter training, consisting of two evening meetings a week plus several Saturdays over the next couple months.  Not to mention the regular fire calls and the week-long trip to Houston coming up ....

I, on the other hand, have absolved myself of all self-imposed weekly responsibilities (piano lessons, English class, etc.) and hunkered down for the duration.  Everyone knows that three kids is the most stressful.  I've braced myself for and embraced the coming craziness.  Just trying to keep my head above water here - any words of wisdom or treats are appreciated.

In other news, we sent my little sister off to South America a few weeks after welcoming Kiana home early for medical attention...

 They got to spend a little more time together before Em left!

In the meantime, Matt and Kim had a baby girl and I went to Utah Valley for a night to visit and take photos of her.  BY MYSELF.  Consequently I stayed up way too late partying with Lu.
(And by "partying" I mean "sitting on the couch talking about our pregnancies and looking at houses for sale."  Motherhood is exciting.)

We're still taking dance pics, gearing up for Prom and planning to buy a new camera!!  Check us out:

Student Council decorates for all the dance photos.  So cute.
As you can see I'm getting large.  The swelling has come to stay, the sleepless nights are getting reallllly old, and I am heavier than I've ever been in my life. This is the first time I've thought, "I wouldn't mind if this baby came early."  In fact, it would be nice.

Finally, Liam and MG have discovered the joy of cell phone photography.  After Liam snapped hundreds of pics the other day, I told him he could take ONE MORE before giving me back the phone.  He walked around for a minute before settling on this.  A mirror selfie.  HAHA!  
It must be 2014.