Saturday, May 30, 2009

Abby's Haircut

I have been wanting to give Abby a haircut for a while now. This is much more extreme than what I intended. (I won't give all my excuses.) But I think it turned out pretty cute.

This is what it looked like a couple hours ago:

We put together Briton's exer-saucer last night. He loved it (for a few minutes). It is fun to see him growing into these things!
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Monday, May 25, 2009

Working Out

This weekend we took a couple day trips. We had such a good time! Saturday we went to Ann Arbor and visited some of what the University of Michigan has to offer. On Monday we went to a state park on the beach.

This is my favorite story from the weekend. If you feel so inclined you can scroll down after this story to see more pictures.

We went on a little hike in the state park to overlook the lake and the sand dunes. This particular hike has you walk up 200-ish stairs (I stopped counting after 118) to the overlook.

Midway down, Mike commented, “I must be out of shape. My legs are sure burning.”

This is why (stairs and cargo):
A couple minutes later, Abby said, “Mom, my legs are not burning.”

Then, “Dad, my legs are not burning.”

Again, “Mom, my legs are not burning.”

And again and again.

Finally, Mike chuckled and said, “Way to rub it in, Abby!”

A minute later, Mike casually started saying something like this, “Maybe we should find a used stationary bike or an elliptical and set it up in the basement.

“We could get an old TV and even get an S-video cable so that we could watch online TV shows.”

Nothing like our 2-year-old to motivate us to get in shape! (I’ll keep you posted. An elliptical would be fun.)

Also, here are some of Abby’s recent comments:

On the way home after a day at the beach (not wanting to disappoint with a negative answer) after Mike asked her, “Did you see any sharks in the water, Abby?”: No [pause], I almost found one.
When she saw dad pull out the big sunshade umbrellas: I want me own sun-brella.
Running back to me after trying out the water: It’s very, very cold. Let it cool off.
Waking up very proud after the first night in several in which she stayed in her own bed all night: I go bed all night long by me self!

Lake Michigan

Here are some highlights from our Monday day trip:

1. Overlooking the lake
2. Abby walking (very proudly) part of the sand dune trail
3. Brit and I
4. Beach baby
5. Water girl (very, very cold)

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Ann Arbor

Here are some highlights from our Saturday day trip:

1. Flip flops for $1 at Old Navy
2. No babies were harmed in the taking...
3. Abby's favorite display at the natural history museum was this little Native American panorama
4. A beautiful beech tree (and lovely girl and her dad) on the U. of M. campus
5. Abby has taken a special interest in holding her brother

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Briton laughing

I was camera lady, the narrator and the tickler so I hope it isn't too shaky. He's a good little laugher.

Hope's website

A while back Hope's website got pegged as an "attack site." (We're out to get you!!) We were aware of it, but hadn't done anything about it. FYI - Google considers it safe again. Check it out if you like. We changed it up a bit (the look, the content is mostly the same). We promise there are no viruses. There never were. (The address is There is a link above.)

Abby lately

Lately Abby has really "loved" a lot of things. This morning in the car she said, "Mom, I like this new library book. I love my book." As we were driving around, she saw a mail truck. She really is pretty enamored with mail trucks. (Interesting choice, I know.) She yelled out, "I LOVE mail tractors!" (I think I'll be sad when she stops calling them mail tractors because it is pretty cute.)

She also tells me on a daily basis that she wants to go to high school. (We can see the high school out our back door.) In fact, the first thing she said to me yesterday was, "Mom, I LUB high school! I lub, lub, lub high school!" I'll usually ask her where she needs to go before she can go to high school and she'll tell me "Kin-arten", but that hasn't stopped her from really wanting to go to high school. I think that she is just excited to go to school. Hopefully, it isn't really high school she is wanting! Does she really need to grow up so fast and does she realize what she is asking for?

On that note (growing up), she is trying to pronounce her words "correctly" and I am not too excited about that. Everytime she starts saying a word the "right" way, I get a little sad because we'll never get to go back...This week she was talking about a blanket. Toddlers are supposed to say "blankie" and Abby has always called them "bankies" but this time she paused before she said the word and I could tell she was really trying to think it through before she said it. It came out "banklet". It was cute in itself, but again she's growing up!

As she always has, Abby still loves to read. She hasn't been loving her naps or bedtime as much lately so I've been letting her read in bed with a lamp on until she falls asleep (which is usually pretty quick). Yesterday during her nap, I found her asleep cuddled up to stuffed animals on the floor with her bed covered with books. (She says she likes to have "plenty" of books on hand.)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Bloggers Block

I've had some blogger's block lately, but here are a couple things I am happy to post.

I discovered garage sales this past weekend. I went with some girls from the branch to a couple subdivision wide sales. Those things are gold mines. Do they do those in Utah? I mean the subdivision ones. I know they do garage sales, but I never got into them there. It seemed to hard and hit and miss. (Bike + Exersaucer + Rocking horse + Scooter + Filing cabinet + Books, game and videos = $54)Here is a picture of us and Hope's yummy birthday cake. Abby decorated it. She was very proud, but a bit confused when I told her we were making a cake for Hope's birthday. She started asking if Hope would come eat it. We talked about it for a while and she concluded that "Hopey eat cake in heaven."Tonight we went and had a little picnic at the township cemetery (so pretty - lots of trees like the SLC cemetery) in honor of our picnic tradition for Hope's birthday. Thursday was way too windy. It was a bit chilly, but very peaceful.The other day Mike and I were downstairs in the living room while Abby was upstairs. We became intrigued when she kept enthusiatically repeating, "Bubbly, bubbly, bubbly mirror." She was having so much fun and it was pretty cute (albeit soapy and very wet).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Happy, happy birthday!

Happy 4th birthday, Hope!

Here are a few of a gillion things running through my mind:

May, 14th, 2005 was one of the best days of my life and perhaps the most spiritual. I am very grateful for the memories I have of that day.

I Wonder When He Comes Again is one of my favorite Primary songs. It was sung at her funeral. I am glad that Abby has been wanting to learn it lately.

It's hard to believe that I have a 4-year-old baby. (I think of all the little girls in the 3rd ward born within a couple months of her - Lauren, Olivia, Annie, Anna - and look at the girls in our branch her age - Abby F. and Miriam - and can sort of envision what she'd be doing as a big girl 4-year-old.) She'd be a Sunbeam!

It also seems like it all happened so long ago. Life has changed a lot since then.

As much as I would like Hope here with us, I would never trade in the experiences we passed through if given the option. I am grateful for what I learned and the ways I grew (and continue to grow). As crummy and tough as it was, the experience as a whole was a blessing.

I wish I knew Hope better. Sometimes I feel like I have little glimpses into her personality. Someday...

I wonder what she'd look like. What color would her hair be? She had all the dark hair when she was born and so did Abby, but Abby's has lightened up a lot. Would hers have too?

Thanks to all of you who remember her, who refer to her and who ask about her. It makes me feel good. Sometimes I don't feel like her mom because I'm not doing the day to day motherly stuff for her, but those things remind me that she is mine!

Here is one of my favorite Hope scriptures. "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable (1 Corinthians 15:19)." I like to read it like this: "If in this life only we have [Hope Elisabeth], we are of all [families] most miserable." Fortunately, through the blessing of the gospel brought about by Jesus Christ, we don't have to be miserable because she is ours long beyond this life!


This is what I see running across my back fence all the time.
This is what my baby looks like in the morning.
This is what my baby looks like in the Bumbo. (He likes to look around but I haven't gotten the smiles out of him in it.)
This is what Mike made us for Mother's Day breakfast (and this is what our hair looks like fresh out of the shower). Mmmm--fruit pizza!
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Saturday, May 9, 2009


Happy Mother's Day!

Mike and I are surrounded by many fabulous women. I have learned from our mothers, grandmothers, sisters and others and consider myself lucky to have all of them in my life. (Thanks mom, Kaye, Leola, Marva, Ellen, Mary, Beverly, Nancy, Tami, Steph, Kaley, Katie, Bekah and Lara.)

I am especially grateful (1,606 miles away) to my mom for the mother and the friend she is to me. I can always count on her to be (or at least act) interested in the little things we have going on in our lives. She is my best advice giver and I am grateful that we talk and share with each other. Thank goodness for free long distance.

I love this picture of my mom and Briton. I think it has already made it onto the blog, but it is worth a repeat.

The 3 top reasons to love Mother's Day

(And this one is 4th, albeit distant. I am having a hard time knowing it is in my fridge and that I have to wait until tomorrow.)

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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Stake Conference

Stake conference was nice. Here are a few random thoughts:

  • How does it happen that a Utah girl (the Facebook quiz I took told me I was 75-100% Utahn) walk into a stake conference session and think Wow, look at all the Mormons? I guess I have gotten accustomed (very quickly) to my cozy little branch. Stake conference seemed really big.
  • We had a broadcast from Salt Lake. The Stake Presidency didn't know who'd be speaking. (Hence, neither did we.) This morning at breakfast we told Abby that at church today we'd watch a movie with one of the apostles. While she looked at her chart she's been practicing, I said, "Maybe it'll be President Packer or Elder Perry or Elder...." She decided it was Elder Perry. I said, "Maybe. Or maybe it'll be Elder...." "No," she told us, "Elder Perry." On the way to the stake center, the same. To be honest, Mike and I weren't too surprised when the broadcast started and who was sitting on the podium? Yep, Elder Perry. President Monson also spoke!
  • During the first speaker Abby, who was sitting on the other side of Mike, started talking in a non-whisper voice. Not having heard what she said (but I did hear that the speaker was defining hearken - to listen and obey) I did the obligatory, "Shhh, Abby." Mike smiled and whispered to me, "I have a hard time shhh-ing her when she's saying that he is talking about obeying." Yeah, we can give her a pass on that one.
Great weekend and great meetings. I am grateful for the parts that were especially for me!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Some Books

So, I have only read 4 books during 2009. (I've started a few more, but not finished for lack of interest or time.) I kind of stopped reading last fall when our lives got a bit complicated, but I am getting back into it. I am finding that I have less and less time to read with the 2 kids, but enjoying it nonetheless. Here they are:

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch - This is a very quick and motivational read. I enjoyed it and took away a few snippets of wisdom.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - I loved this book. It shared a very interesting aspect of World War II (the German occupation of Guernsey) that I knew nothing about previously. The characters were excellently developed.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith - I've wanted to read this for a while since a few of my GoodReads friends have recommended it. I got the tapes from the library and it took me a while to listen to it. (I'm not in the car as much as I thought I was and Abby is to the age that she likes to have a say in what we listen to. Also, I don't consider the book inappropriate, but there are discussions and words that I don't think a 2-year-old needs to hear.) But I liked it. The story reveals a world that I don't really know. It was definitely worth the time.

Complications by Atul Gawande - This was last month's Relief Society book club book, but I didn't get my copy from the inter-library loan system in time, but I still read it and just finished moments ago. It was fascinating! It is a collection of essays on different aspects of the medical field that prove we don't have all the answers. It isn't a doctor-bashing book by any means. (Dr. Gawande is a doctor.) It is also a reminder though that the medical knowledge we have (although incomplete in many arenas) is nothing short of miraculous.

PS In my last post I listed some good things about Thursday. Here is one I forgot to list. I found my Greatest Hits Carpenters CD that had been lost for years. (It was actually Abby who found it in another seldom used CD case.) It might be outdated music, but I love it!