Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Happy Birthday, Bear!

My little brother turned 15 yesterday, so I want to say a little somethin' somethin' about this unique kid I've gotten to watch grow... I am so very proud of him! When we were younger I couldn't stand him because he worried about everything. Getting out of the house was a mess cause everyone had to get their coats and such. Turns out, though, that this has become a very important strength of Aaron's! He cares so deeply for everyone and doesn't ever let anyone feel left out (it's no wonder he's a student body officer at his junior high). He is very intelligent, part of the school's honor program & still earning 4.0s! He's performing in the musical "Honk" at the end of March, and is a magnificent trumpet player! I have a special fondness of him since he looks & is a lot like our mom & my son is almost his twin! Yay for Aaron (aka Bear)!

On his birthday the guys had planned to go to the Jordan River LDS temple with their stake, so I met up with them for dinner there. It was a super cold day, but I loved the snow capped mountains so I had to grab the fam for a beautiful picture!

Wordless Wednesday

"More Snow"
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Monday, February 26, 2007

Listening for Lions

This book, Listening for Lions by Gloria Wheton, was recommended to me by a couple people, the only problem was that it's not really my type of book. Most of the time I felt like I was just dragging my feet in mud trying to finish it. And I had the big "twist" figured out quite early so it came as no surprise. BUT... I did love how this , Rachel, could inspire young women to have such integrity, to have enough confidence in themselves to fulfill their potential. I imagined myself as a young reading this book... learning individualism and my own hopes, dreams, passions, and talents. This Rachel had such wonderful parents that taught her to be amazing full of important morals. Because of this she was able to be honest and proud of her wise decisions. These things I can relate to, and it makes me happy. Any can have such success as long as they believe in themselves!
As a side note... I have been in a serious rut. I haven't read a real fantastic book for at least a few months now & it's really got me down. So I will gladly accept any other recommendations, please!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ready For Spring

I meant to post these forever ago... as in Friday when the weather turned on us! Thursday the kids wanted to go outside and play. The weather was super windy, but we were so excited for sunshine. It is a real good thing that we did get out to enjoy the sunny day, cause when we woke up the next morning there was six inches & still falling snow outside our window. I tell ya, the weather has some sense of humor. Always teasing us. This winter has been a few days of jacket weather, my favorite, then a blizzard of snow. Not so kind! Those of you that live here in Utah totally understand, and it could very well be playing the same joke all through out the states... I'm just saying I'm ready for true spring & consistent warm weather!

In the meantime... I had so much fun watching the kids get to play on their playground! It was Gary's first time out there really being able to play and enjoy the toys. His sister loves having a playmate, but she forgets how little Gary is a lot of the time! Our English Pointer, Lacy, loved this warm weather more than all of us, I think! She was so happy to be able to run around, enjoy the sun on her back, and I'm sure it does wonders for her joints. What a great day to have before another snowstorm!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Special Sunday Spotlight

This is, by far, my favorite potty-training tool. When Liv showed that she was understanding the whole potty deal I was ready to venture outside the house. Real quick I ran into the problem of giant toilets. Liv was a good sport & would let Mom hold her there on the seat, but always without progress. So I searched far and wide & finally found this fold-up potty at Baby's R Us. It is so wonderful to be able to take along a seat discretely!
Now that Liv is down to one accident a day I am ready to give my say on the potty-training experience... The book was absolutely fabulous. I learned a lot about patience and the fact that this is a learning experience for her, much like learning to walk. It took us about ten days to go without accidents. We're still struggling with going #2, but other than that Liv is doing how well! I am very proud of my big girl!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Friday, February 16, 2007

At Last, Completed

I started this baby blanket clear back in the fall, then I got on a scrapbook binge so all my crocheting got put on the back burner (especially since I had been popping these little things out like crazy during the sumer for fair booths I did with some friends... I was a little burned out). So yesterday I tucked the threads and officially finished it! It's actually quite ironic since, because I was burned out, I picked this patern cause it's real simple... yet it's taken me so long. But now I'm back on a crochet binge (this is the way of my hobbies... do one until I'm burned out, then another, and another, and then I'll learn something new & be hooked, and so on. Probably not so healthy, I need to learn balance!) so I'm working on a couple things... a special order for my sweet Aunt Shannon C. and designing my first baby blanket patter! Yay for that since one of my lifetime goals is to make my own pattern book. I usually don't work on more than one blanket at once, but offwhite (Shannon's blanket) must be super popular right now since I can only find one skein at a time... nuts! After I get a couple more done I'm going to try selling them on Etsy, we'll see how that goes!

Gary Walks!

Gary took his first steps a couple of weeks ago, but they were more like stumbling while falling. But on Tuesday the 13th he really started walking! It was awesome! He'd get this real big grin & the more we cheered him on the more determined he was to get going. He'd even stop, catch his balance then step some more. I am so proud of him... it's a big "step" in growing up ;)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

"Happy Valentine's Day"
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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Special Sunday Spotlight

I've noticed, while blog-surfing, that everyone does these cute things for the different days of the week. I think this is wonderfu... but I like to be as original as I can so the Wordless Wednesday is the only deal that I've wanted to do (being, that is, that a word is worth a thousand words... if not more). Besides that I've wanted to come up with my own special daily funs! So here is my first "Special Spotlight Sunday"... (I try to keep my blogs quick and to the point while being fun... but I can't promise that with these, sorry!)

It only seems right that the first spotlight I do is on my fantastic mom... She is the most wonderful thing that's ever been on this earth. I know that's only my oppinion & I'm very biased, but for me it's 100% the truth! I don't even know how or where to start telling her story... She was a down to earth girl, but I never knew all that much about her teenage years. She didn't keep a journal so all I learned was from stories that she told from time to time. I know she had two real steady boyfriends in high school (no, not at the same time) cause she always warned me not to do the same... of course I didn't listen, as teenagers don't. She was on the Pep-squad and won a competition. Their event started with the members scattered throughout the bleachers of people... clapping to begin their cheer as they stood up and headed down the isles to the floor. She was the senior class vice president and on the debate team (which the debate coach later ended up being my junior high principal). My mom and dad were set up on a blind date... their friends lied to my dad about her age (mom knew this) since my dad didn't want to date anyone younger than 19 (let me know if I get any of this wrong dad), my dad would've been 21, I think. It was September and my mom would be turning 19 the next month, so it seemed justified. Well, after hitting it off on their date to the fair, my dad was excited to celebrate my mom's "20th" birthday with her... of course she was really just turning 19 that day & so the truth came out! All worked out fine since they got married two years later, then came me three years after that. The picture is one of my favorites... Mom pregnant with me. She wasn't so fond of having her picture taken while pregnant and that's her "Come on" (like, let's get this over with) face. Now that I'm a mom I appreciate these pictures because I understand more how she was feeling! After I arrived she continued to work at First Security Bank as an assitant manager. In 1990 my sweet little brother, Nathan, arrived. Less than two years later came Aaron, little brother #2! In 1996 she was let go from the bank (since they were downsizing, most likely in preparation for the merge with Wells Fargo that would occur down the road). This was an okay thing since I was starting junior high & was definitely going to need my mom readily available as I went through that most awkward phase! It was the best thing ever to arrive home from school and head straight down to our computer room where Mom would be working on the computer doing data-entry (an okay job to do from home) & then I'd talk all about my day... the drama of girls, the boys, the homework, the demanding teachers, and so on. These are the days I think Mom and I bonded the most and became best friends. Of course, while a teenager it wouldn't ever be cool to admit that my mom was my best friend I am proud to say that she is definitely the bestest friend I have ever ever had! She was always there for me, and to go off on that tangent would make this entry super duper long! I am especially grateful for the beautiful dresses that she made for me for high school dances (since I'm 5ft and was 85lbs, nothing fit me & definitely nothing modest), for sticking by me through boyfriend drama & always letting me vent while kindly offering advice instead of a scolding! Way back when I was still a young girl my mom brought home a Suzy Boggus CD. We sat on the floor by the sterio and listened to her song "Letting Go" (a song by a mom having to let her daughter go off into the real world, like college, now that she's 18 and how hard it is) and cried. This became our song & it was DEFINITELY a super hard thing for her to leave me in Cedar City, Utah were I attended Southern Utah University. Her and I talked on the phone almost everyday... it was just as always, recounting my day and the drama. It was a year after I met Todd that we decided to get hitched. When I asked him when he wanted to get married he said "as soon as possible," so my roommates and I headed out to go dress shoping and start looking for the earliest dates available at reception houses. Our engagement was only a month and a half, so everything happened real quick. Some days I regret this cause I don't think Mom and I really got to enjoy the bonding of the planning cause I think we would've really enjoyed it. But I did pack up my stuff to spend that last month living with the family, so that made it all the better. Todd and mine's wedding was fabulous! I'll never forget my mom's face as I walked down the isle, so proud and happy for me... she had down very well raising me and there was her baby girl all dressed like a princess!

Here's the turn in the story... the month after the wedding, while Todd and I were settling into married life, my mom was learning life-altering news. She had found a lump in her breast on her own one morning (yes my mom did annual mamograms and doctor visits but neither of them found this devestating lump... always do self examines women!) She gave me a call so I'd have the heads up & I didn't really know all that much about it at the time & thought there were so many women that were survivors, no big deal... ignorance is not bliss. Turns out the lump was cancer and a date was set to remove it the first part of August 2003. I headed up that week so Mom and I could hang out and have some fun before the surgery and then I'd hang out a bit afterwards so I could help with the recovery (Todd had to stay south to work). All went well, the lump was larger than they'd thought, but were able to get a good margine around it. (no they did not remove the breast... good or bad? We'll never know.) The tests showed that the cancer wasn't in her lymph nodes but was in her blood, so she would start chemo and then do radiation treatments. It was not a good experience at all... talk about feeling sick. And of course she didn't want me to worry since I was back in Cedar City doing school and now pregnant (due July 2004), so I don't think she was always so honest when I asked how she was. But she endured with so little complaining... what a woman! By January (maybe Febuary) 2004 she was done with chemo and radiation. Then she noticed this odd lump growing on her left shoulder blade. She questioned her oncologist about it, but he dismissed it saying that breast cancer doesn't metastize that way. At her follow up with her surgen he suggested that it may not be cancerous but to remove it to make sure... and no one wants a lump on their back like that anyways. By the time the next surgery arrived she had five other lumps throughout her skull and another on the other shoulder, as well as extreme tightness in the abdomin... this was no good. Turns out the lump was cancer, so were the others. Todd and I packed up our stuff at this time and moved in with my parents so we could help with everything & so I could be close to Mom just in case worse came to worse. So she began the chemo treatments again, and real tuff stuff this time. But that sneaky cancer wasn't going to give in. While the chemo was shrinking the lumps throughout her body the cancer had snuck into her spinal column. By this time I had had my sweet daughter, Liv, so when my mom said that she was having extreme headaches that felt like contractions I totally understood and sympasized with her pain. The scans showed that there was the cancer spread throughout the spine and the tissue around the brain. This became the greatest concern, so chemo was stopped and radiation began on those areas to stop it's spread into the brain. Unfortunately, this super aggressive cancer took off right away totally devouring the abdomin organs. It was a Thursday in October that we received word that the cancer had taken over and there was nothing left to do for her. Her friends swarmed to her hospital room as soon as they heard to say their goodbyes & she worried if she had "made a mountain out of a mole hill" unfortunately this was not so. It was a monument of the woman she was by all the people that arrived that day. The following Tuesday, October 26, 2004, she passed away after we had gotten her in the comforts of her own home. Her funeral was an honorable tribute to the magnificent woman she was.

I am so grateful to this wonderful woman for the talents she passed on to me. She was full of creativity and geniune unconditional love. She had a lot of enthusiasim for us kids and loved helping us learn and do school projects. My heart aches that my brothers (who were in junior high at the time of her passing... ninth and seventh grade) don't have her there to do so many of the things she did for me & I only hope that I'll be an addequate enough substitute. It was a tiny miracle that Liv arrived when she did so that my mother could enjoy her grandbaby even if just for the four months that she did. And it is such a wonder that Liv looks almost identical to my mom's baby pictures... what a treasure! I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of eternal families and that I will be with my mother again... "No righteous person is taken before their time" (I'll have to look up that scripture to get the exact wording later, but it's always forward in my thoughts of Mom). In memory of Suzanne Montgomery who fought the great fight, 1960-2004.

Perfect Valentines!

I love to dance with my hubby, he is so much fun on the dance floor (even though he has no idea what he's doing!) so I snatched up the opportunity to go to the Sweetheart's Dance that our stake was putting on. I told Todd that this is all I wanted (which was a wonderful thing for him to hear since our money is going in so many other directions). My sweet dad had given me some cash for taking my little brother out shopping for clothes for his upcoming play. (Thanks Dad, you really didn't have to do that, but it's much appreciated!) So I told Todd that it was to pay for our Valentine's Dinner. I know, I know, Valentine's is on the 14th, but I HATE going out that day... it's just pure insanity! So we headed over to Rumby's, a Hawaiin Grill, and ate some super yummy food! We met up with other couples from our ward at the dance & let loose. I know I look like a teenager, but I think I made it real convincible last night! I was jumping off the walls, taking pictures of all my friends (no, they did not like that so much, and were super happy to snag my camera and get shots of me bouncing about doing the "Boot-Scoot Boogy"... you'll notice that I DIDN'T post any of those shots!) It was the PERFECT VALENTINE'S EVER! Just what I love to do... dance, let loose, and party with friends! Thanks Honey!

As a side note... you'll notice that I've been playing with my photoshop, YAY! It's so addicting!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Congratulations Clary Family

Last night the family and myself went to visit the Clary family. Mindy is my super quilter-crafter friend that lives in Provo, Utah. I met her through a mutual friend & couldn't be happier (unless we lived closer). While we were celebrating Gary's first birthday they were welcoming into this world their own beautiful little boy...

Carson Mathew Clary

He came in weighing 7lb 2oz and is an ity-bity thing. I know that his weight is normal and he is healthy, but I forget how small these little ones are. It was fun to just hold him... I miss that part of an infant, my kids were climbing all over me today like I was a mountain to reach the peak... to have a child just lay in your arms and gaze at you, curious of this new place... breathtaking!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

The Series of Unfortunate Events: The End

It's time for me to make my official say on this long awaited end to The Series of Unfortunate Events. I started this book way back in the day when there were only three out. I thought it was a fabulous idea... a story that DOESN'T end happy. (I was in need of a huge change in story line, if you couldn't tell.) I got some of my family involved in the unfortunate stories of the Baudelaire orphans. One especially... my mom. Her and I figured that there would be 13 books to the series since there was always 13 chapters, which is why I found it so stinkin' funny that the 14th chapter, the last say on the Baudelaires, is exactly 13 pages long... HA! So this is my point... I didn't so much like the ending, I didn't so much like the last few books as far as story line goes. It was so so & the Baudelaires were always learning more, in a very weird way... anyways, it was all so random and confusing, their story, that I kind of stopped caring what happened to them. So why did I keep on reading? I love love love this "Lemony Snicket's" quarkiness! His random explanations of words or sayings, the silly talents of the children, the bizarre twists, the insane characters... these things kept me hooked. What imagination! I so want to know who this guy really is, ya know!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

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Happy Birthday Gary!

Today, a year ago, was one of the longest days ever... waiting for my little boy to arrive. They thought it'd all go real fast after they started my labor 8am Feb. 6th, 2006... 11am they said he'd be here, but NOPE! Not until after 8pm did my little guy arrive... 5lb 5oz and 17.5in long. Absolutely gorgeous! As for today, I took him in for his one year doctor check up where he received three shots for immunizations and a diagnoses for an ear infection... what fun ;) He's still a little guy, weighing in at 17lb and 28in long... but still healthy as ever!

As a side note... it's finally warming up here in the valley. My favorite kind of weather... sun shining, cool breeze, jacket weather... it's got to be in the 50s. Anyways, so I wasn't shocked to see the motorcycles out, but while driving home from the doctors I saw a guy wearing SHORTS on a motorcycle... GOOD GRIEF! That's still crazy if you ask me!!

As another side note... I found out that the consumer union is recalling their claims (which is a rare thing to ever have happen with these guys). The report said that crashes were at 35mph, but really they were 70mph. All car seats with bases being sold legally have already passed tests ranging in those lower speed limits. I asked my doctor all about it since I heard rumors of the mistake after I made my carseat safety post. So don't stress so much anymore, it's not as insane as I thought!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Super Bowl XLI

The last couple years have been a whole lot of fun since my husband is a late bloomer when it comes to sports... he was, and still is, a nerdy Dungeons and Dragons (and all that type of fantasy stuff) geek! But since he met my family & Madden05 he's a changed man. Anyways, we went over to my aunt Kim and uncle Khaled's place (as is our tradition now days). The majority of us were cheering for the Colts since Grossman is so unreliable. The game started out unbelievably, but turned out as we all had hoped... with the Colts winning! What a good feeling it was to watch Manning achieve such a feet! I wasn't real into the commercials, which is bizzare since back in the day that's why I watched the event (as with most women). This year I was chasing around my little ones so much I wasn't really able to enjoy much of it all... except watching Todd get all into the game and eating yummy food! But I did catch the one about coming to an end... well I don't remember much about it except watching the superfans do their end of the season rituals hit home since my husband has been going through withdrawls since the playoffs started... the overall point of the commercial was that Brett Favre wasn't retiring yet, but that'd have to be my favorite (what does that say about our selection anyways??) It was a great time, thanks all!

As a side note... Liv is doing marvelous at the potty training! It really does just click one day & then it's like "Yay!" The weekend went with only one that was her fault (sad to say the others were from a nonbelieving mom, sorry ) And yesterday we didn't have any s & today only one poopy! Yippee! That's my big !

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Birthday Party

Today we celebrated Gary's birthday. He'll be turning one on the sixth... I can't believe my baby is a whole year old! Anyway, the party was a BLAST! Gary looked as cute as ever and I appreciate the family and friends that came out to play with us! The pinata was super fun, this time it was Burk's fiance, Heidi, that busted it open... she even dove for the candy, I love when people get all into it like that! Gary wasn't so sure about the cake which is real odd because he loves to eat Mom and Dad's cake when we're eating it. I guess it was just overwhelming, so he played with it and probably didn't eat so much! As soon as we got his toys out, though, he was all for playing until he was totally exhausted. It was still a battle to get him down for a nap... who can blame him, what a fun morning!!