Sunday, April 4, 2010

Please don't let me forget...

There are a few stories or experiences that I have been thinking about recently that I don't ever want to forget. It breaks my heart when I think back on times in my life or the lives of my children and have blank pages where a story used to lie. I am hoping to fill in some of those blanks and leave the newer pages vibrant and full.

I have a favorite memory which pops up every Easter from when we lived in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Our dear neighbors, the Winters , who lived across the street had a young son named Nicholas. Even though he was three years older then Britton, they played together almost daily and were dear friends. Nicholas attended a christian pre-school and had come home from school on the Friday before Easter and informed his mom that he had learned about Jesus and the ressurection. Nicholas was usually a very kind and sweet little boy, but that day while Nicholas and Britton were playing, he hit Britton with a stick, which was really out of character for him. His mom though she would bring in some of his new-found christian teaching to understand it wasn't a good idea to hit, so she said to Nicholas, "Nicholas, how do you think it makes Jesus feel when you do that?" Nicholas responded, "He doesn't feel anything, mom, He's dead. He doesn't rise again for three more days."

Yesterday, I was driving with my kids to my mom's house, and Britton was telling Emily that they needed to get to bed as soon as possible so either the Easter Bunny, or the mom's and dad's had plenty of time to hide the Easter eggs. I said, "Britton, mom's and dad's? Don't you believe in the Easter Bunny?" He said, "Mom, I'm just saying it is a possibility, I mean every time you talk to parents about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, they get all weird." "We do?" I said. (In an animated, high pitched voice.) "What do you mean?" He said, "I mean your voices get all high and you start moving your eyebrows up and down a lot." He is absolutely right. I am a terrible liar. I do start to talk high and move my eyebrows up and down a lot. I am afraid I am caught.

One last thing I have been thinking about lately that I don't want to forget...
When I put Brock down for a nap or for bed, we have a very set routine. I enjoy this time because it is really the only quiet one-on-one time I have with him. The routine is, he picks a story, I read . He then asks me to sing a song which usually directly relates to the story, so I am often making up songs such as "The truck on the road song" or "The extremely weird animal song" or "the daddy song" if nothing really sparks his attention in the story, he relies on the old stand-by, "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". After songs, he lays down and I help him say a prayer which usually goes something like this: "Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus. Thank you for my family. Thank you for my blessings. Please help daddy have a good day/night at work. Please help me have a good night's sleep so I can be healthy and happy and kind. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen." (Brock's ability to be healthy, happy, and kind is directly tied to how much sleep he gets.)
Then comes my favorite part. I ask Brock what kind of hug and kiss he would like. He started out asking for just a hug and kiss (which is now known as "the regular"), an eskimo kiss, or a butterfly kiss, but now he has become more creative with his requests. Sometimes it is a snake hug and kiss, or an alligator hug and kiss or a spider hug and kiss. Tonight, he asked for a "bop" hug and kiss. Whatever it is, I usually figure something out and he usually laughs. Finally, as I am walking out the door, He says, "Wait, mom, I need to ask you a question. Can I leave the light on for just one more minute?" I say "Yes, Brock. I love you. Sweet dreams." He says back, "Sweet dreams to you too, mom." and I close the door.

My children are all young enough that they all still let me read them stories and sing to them and give them hugs and kisses, but I know it will not always be this way. Each stage of parenting brings with it new joys and new challenges, but I never want to forget the tender moments that make each day as a mother worth it.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


We took our kids to Disneyland in October. It was our first big family vacation and our first time visiting Disneyland as a family. I knew the kids would have fun, but I had no idea how much I would love it. It truly is a magical place. We spent three days in the park and were there from sun-up to sun-down. We couldn't get enough of it! I thought I would spend a lot of time waiting with Brock while the big kids rode the big rides, but Brock was tall enough (by a hair!) to ride nearly every ride, so he did Space Mountain, the Matterhorn, Thunder Mountain Railroad (his favorite), Splash Mountain, and even the Tower of Terror without batting an eye! He is one brave little boy!

Britton, Emily and Brock in the Magic Kingdom!
The kids and Kennedy! (side note: one of the biggest changes of the last few months is that our niece, Kennedy came to live with us! We initiated her into the family by taking a trip to Disneyland a few days after she came to live with us. We couldn't have done it without her! We love having her fun-loving personality in our home. She is in 8th grade and is doing well. We are doing our best to be parents to a teenager with an active social life and a busy schedule!)
Check out those muscles!

Catch-up, part two

Fall is our favorite time of year. This is a Sunday afternoon drive to Cedar mountain with the family.
Pie Fest 2009! I love pie and I love to make pie, so every year, we invite our family, friends, and neighbors over the weekend before Thanksgiving to eat pie! I love this event! I really loved hosting it in our new home. We had about 70 people at our house and we had room and pie for everyone!
Here is a picture from Expedition St. George. Jeff, Betty, Betty's sister-in-law and friend and I ran this fun race in St. George in December. It took us from downtown St. George, through Snow Canyon, down to the Arizona state line and back to the St. George tabernacle. This is a great race and I can't wait to do it again next year!
The beautiful ballerina! This is Emily's first ballet recital. Emily started taking ballet from our new neighbor in the fall and has turned into a graceful dancer!

Six months between blog posts is way too long!

Once again, here I am playing catch-up so I don't forget the big events that have happened in the past six months. I know my pictures are not facing the right way and they came through in the wrong order, but imagine I am good at this and hopefully I will do better next time. So... in opposite order, here are a few highlights from August, and September...
My old friend and roomate, Kelly Southwick Small miraculously got tickets to Oprah last September and had an extra! I was lucky enough to get to tag along! I haven't ever taken a "girl trip" and had such a great time. The show was probably my least favorite of the season, but it was fun to be in the actual studio and see Oprah in real life. We ate great food, saw beautiful architecture, strolled along Michigan Avenue and Navy Pier, took a riverboat tour of Chicago and just had a great time!
This is Brock's third birthday. My baby is no longer a baby! He requested a snake cake and I am pretty impressed with what I came up with. I love this little boy! He is so full of life and passionate about all he does. Our home wouldn't be the same without him!
This is the Bryce Canyon Rim run. Jeff and I ran the five mile race and Britton and Emily ran the one mile kids race. It was a beautiful loop along the canyon rim and through the ponderosa forests of Bryce Canyon. The biggest shocker was that I won my age division! I am usually happy to finish in the top half, but this summer I started to feel like a real runner.
Jeff and I traveled to Dallas Texas in September to watch BYU beat Oklahoma in the new Dallas Cowboys stadium. It was a quick trip, but we had a blast. We went to six flags all day before the game and rode roller coaster after roller coaster (we realized we might be getting too old for this stuff...), and walked over to the stadium early to buy tickets from scalpers. We were there for an hour before we found a person selling tickets, and we bought them without looking very closely at what we were getting. One of the tickets was in the stadium and one was in the box seats, which could have been a disaster, but we used that one box seat ticket to find Jeff's parents in their box seats, and they snuck us in, so we watched the game in leather seats with a buffet behind us a drinks in our hand. It was the most exciting football game I have ever been to! The stadium was incredible, and the game was even better! I didn't ever think I would ever really enjoy football, but the more I learn, the more I love it. I think I am an official fan.
This is our new home! We are so happy to be in and settled! Although the process of building was much more time and labor intensive then I had anticipated, I love being in a home that functions the way I want it to function and feels the way I want it to feel. We love being so close to the canyon and so close to Jeff's work. We love feeling like we can start to settle in to the community and start putting some roots down. I feel like I'm home.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What we have been doing this summer...

As you can see from my previous posts, out summer has been consumed with the process of building a house, but between the work, there has been a little play. Here are some of the fun things we have been up to...
My dear friend Betty and I at the Bryce Canyon Half Marathon. We finished in 1:52! It was a great race! Jeff ran too, he is just faster than us. (He ran a lightning fast 1:43!)

Here are Jeff and I with our Wasatch Back team. We ran 191 miles over three mountain ranges from Logan to Park City through blistering heat, freezing rain, and a dark night. We finished in about 30 hours. Lots of fun!

Utah State reunion with dear old friends Sheree, Kelly, Kelly, and Amie. It has been 15 years since I lived with these girls and I still love them just as much as I did then! I am so lucky to have wonderful life-long friends.

We love camping and this was our first big trip of the year to the Little Sahara Sand Dunes near Delta. Brock's hair was so long we had to put it in pony tails to keep it out of his face. Pretty cute! Since this trip, we have also camped at the Cedar campground, and Cedar Breaks during wildflower festival.

Here is Emily with one of many caterpillars she caught with her cousins at Zion.

Here is Britton with his undefeated soccer team "The Gators". He loves soccer and had a great season!
Our summer has had some other fun adventures. It kicked off with a Rowley family reunion in Parowan. I loved seeing cousins I haven't seen for years and especially enjoyed the talent show. I have some amazingly talented cousins!
In June, we took an anniversary trip to Las Vegas where we played in the lazy river at Mandalay Bay, saw the Lion King, and visited the shark reef. We had a good time, but next year, we are celebrating our anniversary without kids!
We also had a great time at the Mikkelson family reunion with all of Jeff's family. We spent the day in Beaver where the kids rode four wheelers and played on the water slide all day as the adults visited and ate great food.

I was in charge of my fifteen year highschool reunion and was able to catch up with dear old friends!
My nephew stayed with us for two weeks while he and Britton participated in a Shakespeare camp for kids where they learned monologues and scenes from The Comedy of Errors and Henry V along with learning sword fighting, vocal training, and lots of other fun things. They really enjoyed it!
We are just two weeks away from moving and I can't wait to live in a home I know I will be in for a long time! We have plenty of room for visitors, so if you would like to come partake of the best hiking and theater around, we would love to have you!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

What a difference a month makes...

Wow! What a difference a month makes! As of today we are officially two months out from the day we broke ground ground on our house and we are more than half way finished. Jeff's cousin, Jamon is our contractor and he has really moved things along! The exterior is ready for stucco and stone, the roof is half way finished, the upstairs drywall is hung and the downstairs will be finished on Monday. It is so exciting to walk through and see the rooms I have drawn and debated over for the last year actually take shape, and I like them even better in real life! This week, we are getting our block walls in the yard, the exterior will be scratch coated for the stucco and stone, and the taping and texturing of the walls will begin. I have all my paint and stain colors chosen, the lighting and plumbing chosen, the stone, stucco, soffit and facia, and shingles are ready. The only major decisions I have left to make are the carpet, door and cabinet hardware, and trim styles. I feel like we are in the home stretch! We are going to make it! Now I just need to get ready to move...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Britton's Baptism

Saturday, May 2nd, Britton was baptized. It was a really great day. Fawn and I started it off early by running the Hurricane half marathon. It was Fawn's first half marathon and I was really excited to be able to experience it with her. We were finished and home by 10:00 and able to focus on the rest of the day. Our family kind of ended up running the show at the baptism - my mom read her wonderful baptism book to the children being baptized as the talk, my mom, Fawn and I sang, Britton played cello, and Jeff accompanied a musical number, and my dad said the closing prayer. Jeff baptized and confirmed Britton, and we headed back to our house for a barbecue with our family. I was so grateful to be surrounded by our loved ones on this special day, and so proud of Britton and the choices he has made that make him an exceptional young man and a wonderful son. Congratulations Britton!
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