Thursday, September 30, 2010

Here I Go Again

I just signed up for another triathlon...and I haven't been swimming in 2 months. Is 6 weeks enough time to build my stamina back up? I guess I'll see right? I am loving that the swim is only 400 meters and in a pool.

Time for another training schedule! I am wondering if I really remember how much work this involves...because all I seem to remember about my last race is this:

That felt pretty amazing.
So here goes...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I don't know what it is about *September but I always get antsy to sew something. And then I do and feel super accomplished, and then wait a whole year before sewing anything else. Not the best way to build up my skills...

But the YW in my ward have been making scripture bags the past 2 weeks and after helping them cut and iron and sew I felt like I should make one for/with Cares. She was so excited to choose out fabrics and help hold the ruler as we cut and measured. She even sat right by my side while I was on the machine to keep me company :)

This is what we came up with:

Cares showing off the matching interior

and since we were tricky and used photo booth to take pics of the bag,
we had to take some silly pics too.

*Maybe this is secretly motivating me?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Finding Fall

Saturday, September 25th

Silver Lake

The rich, golden aspens were stunning (and I'm afraid my old Olympus didn't do them justice...but at least we had a camera to use, right?)

We continued up the mountain behind Silver Lake

Even after soccer games these 2 were eager for an adventure

I love spotting these little hikers in the bottom of so many shots

Climbing higher--I love the view behind the kids

and finally up to Twin Lakes

proof that my hubby carried a heavy toddler all the way up the mountain!

Livvies at the lake--she loved the grainy sand and eating snacks--simple pleasures :)

and giving kisses

Cares needed one too on the way back down

Golden leaves scattered all over the trail--made for a gorgeous setting. We love our mountains.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Just a whole big slew of pics and movies from the iPhone:

Cares playing at Bruce and Lynette's house (Joseph's uncle and aunt)

Livs and Connor at the cabin

Mini-golf at Mulligan's (while I was in CA)

They also built this fun rocket while I was away

Livvie's cute hair after her bath the other night

Shirt-stickers--Joseph helped the kids makes these after morning soccer games today

And some fun movies too:

Friday, September 24, 2010


Months ago my whole family was together discussing the books we loved most (a post for another day because we listed some outstanding literature.) My mom was trying to decide on her all-time favorite and a few weeks later told me she had chosen a winner: My Antonia. It had been too many years since I read it (the summer before my senior year of HS) and could hardly remember it. So I grabbed it from my mom's book shelf and dug back in this summer.

It took me a while to finish as it is not exactly a page turner--more like a steady, rolling, poetic homage to the great American wilderness and the stalwart souls who dared to settle it. It is a book dedicated to its setting and filled with beautiful, deep descriptions of red wheat fields, stark, snowy hills, and sunsets on the prairie. It is also a story of humanity, both the ordinary and routine as well as the raw and emotional. It is a lovely piece of literature and I am glad I invested in it again--it definitely meant a lot more to me now than it did when I was 17.

A favorite passage:

"While I was in the very act of yearning toward the new forms [my education] brought up before me, my mind plunged away from me, and I suddenly found myself thinking of the places and people of my own infinitesimal past. They stood out strengthened and simplified now, like the image of the plough against the sun...I begrudged the room that [they] took up in my memory, which I wanted to crowd with other things. But whenever my consciousness was quickened, all those early friends were quickened within it, and in some strange way they accompanied me through all my experiences. They were so much alive in me that I scarcely stopped to wonder whether they were alive anywhere else, or how."

Are those lines not true in some way or another for us all?

I also read Eat, Pray, Love last week (after I saw the movie--it worked for me because it included a lot of depth that the movie left out. And I thought the movie was fine--nothing amazing about it which meant the book could possibly sway me more in its favor. I think it did--not that it's one of my favorite novels, but a good read.)

I loved this concept from it:

"I keep remembering one of my guru's teachings about happiness. She said that people universally tend to think that happiness is s stroke of luck, something that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it...You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming, upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't you will leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainments."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

12 Years Ago

"At 11:00 am today a big group of us took a boat ride on the Thames in 70 degree weather. We passed many famous sites: St. Paul's, Tower of London, and Sir Christopher Wren's Fire Monument. I learned that the Thames is 215 miles long with a 17 to 26 foot rise and fall each day--wow. Our journey ended in Greenwich--home of the Prime Meridian. While at the National Maritime Museum the digital clock there read:
Year: 1998 Days: 262 Hours: 14 Minutes: 31 Seconds: 20

It was so cool there--the Royal Observatory is on a hill in the pretty, lush Greenwich park and it overlooks the Thames as well as the gorgeous Royal Naval Academy. Architecturally it is stunning..."
--from a journal entry dated September 19th, 1998

Gathering up my essential documents and treasured books and albums the other night, my London journal joined the ranks. And I have been rereading it the past few days when I grab a free moment eating lunch or while the kids are asleep. Such an amazing time of my life and I am so happy I became a religious journal writer during it, capturing each experience, day trip, morning run, museum visit, random event, cute boy (I mention these often :) and night out during the entire semester. I wrote almost every single day and always had a ton to say.

My cousin is living there right now--at the same old (perfectly situated) BYU Centre that I lived in all those years ago. Reading her blog brings it all back to me. Good memories to think back on for sure...and man, was I young! I am laughing at so many of my entries and how, well, naive and immature I was. Maybe we all were at 19 years old but I for sure thought I was quite grown-up and cultured for my age. Such fun...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

California Girls

Now that the fire danger seems to be mostly abated and not at the top of my anxiety list, I am ready to blog about my weekend away...except that I don't have my fun pics to document it all. Lame. This post still has some potential as my friends are sending pics my way...

Thursday's Mexican lunch in Old Town San Diego:
**would have shown a picture of us with the Old Town sign**

Thank goodness we got this classy shot from Heather's phone:

Later that day we sat on the beach, happened upon a lively street fair in downtown Oceanside, and then caught a late showing of Inception--a movie I have been dying to see. And I was not disappointed--such a creative, interesting movie.

On Friday morning we gathered Katherine from the airport and indulged in breakfast at the Hotel Del Coronado. That is a gorgeous place with an awesome beach right off the hotel's property--I'd love to stay there with my kids someday.

Thanks for the photo Kath!

We drove to a nearby mall so we could shop at H&M and try on both over-the-top outfits and things we could actually buy. It was so funny trying on ugly/trashy things and then laughing about it together. I honestly have so much fun with these girls--we have to pull out a few silly antics from our high school days right? Who else can you do that with anyway?

Again we hit the beach for a few hours and then drove into Leucadia for a late pizza dinner.

hooray for iPhone pics--I love these cute girls

Saturday morning we went for a run/walk right along the boardwalk and then stopped by a local spa for pedicures (which I'd love to show you pictures of...sigh...) We grabbed lunch to go and went out to the beach where we stayed for a good 4+ hours. I never sit around laying out like that (hours on end!) but when it is a gorgeously warm day and there are 3 great friends to chat with non-stop, the time just flies by. We may have gotten a bit giddy and taken some Top Model shots to entertain ourselves for a bit. Again, those were lost with the camera and its dishonest new owner (who hasn't turned it into Lost & Found--I know because I have been checking back like clockwork...) At least I hope they got a kick out of us and our beach poses...because we sure did :)
One shot we caught with Ang's phone--me and the seaweed:

see what I mean?
and have I mentioned that I am so sad I don't have our "real" beach pictures? arghhh....
Heather sent me the only one of all 4 of us in the sun that day:

It was hard to pack up and leave the beach that day knowing our trip was almost over. But we enjoyed one last dinner out and spent the night talking and talking, looking through an old HS yearbook, watching The Proposal back at the beach house, and eating delicious Ghirardelli brownies.

Sunday morning we were all up and out the door by 7:45 am--off to the airport and our flights back home. Did I mention that between the 4 of us we have 13 children collectively? Our helpful (loving, wonderful, devoted) husbands were about at the end of their ropes by then too.

Such a great adventure. And while the beach was lovely and a fun destination, I know I could have just as much fun with these friends anywhere. The last time we really got away together I was brand new pregnant with Caroline and we spent a weekend at my parents' SG house. I don't want to wait another 5 years before we do this again, ok ladies? Love you all (and all of you who couldn't make it!)

Sunday, September 19, 2010


My woes over losing my camera have diminished because of this. Please pray for all of us out here and all of those who have already lost homes to the fire.

No, no, no

I am home from a fabulous girls' weekend away and have just in the past hour realized that my camera is lost. Actually, it is not even my camera but Joseph's--his fancy, amazing Nikon SLR that I wasn't even going to take but at the last minute, packed it anyway (and put it to good use!)

This morning it was in my carry-on bag until security pulled it out to rerun it through the X-ray machine. I remember slinging both the camera bag and my carry-on over my shoulder and then putting my shoes back on. But after that I do not remember carrying 2 things instead of one--and somehow my brain thought I just had the one carry-on. I was home for a few hours before I even realized I didn't have my camera anymore. Why is my brain so fried?

I have made many calls in the hopes of finding it--I don't even know if I left it at the airport or on the airplane. And I am just sick about it. Such a dreadful way to end an amazing weekend.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Liver Lous

This baby is a little star in our family. We all dote on her and think her every move is either "cute" or "so big" or just plain fun. Take this video for example--we play I Gotta Feelin' for her all the time just to see her bouncing and laughing:

*sorry the volume of the song in the background is so quiet...maybe we'll have to film another take in the morning :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Last week on Labor Day we needed an outing. We'd returned from the cabin, grabbed lunch at Jimmy Johns, and Livs had (finally) slept 3 1/2 hours of the day away, waking up as a happy, rested, but busy baby.

This was a huge relief because she started the day quite early and after being awake about 10 minutes, she suddenly became the saddest, grumpiest, most emotionally fragile baby I have ever dealt 6 years of parenting. Seriously, she was very upset and nothing would calm her down--not even a hand-held show on the iTouch :) It was really sad. And discouraging when we had so much work to do cleaning and packing after our long stay. Joseph and I had to take turns cuddling and soothing her so at least one of us could be working--slowed us down big time. But I learned to feel more gratitude than ever before that I have never had a colicky baby. Even at 18 months an inconsolable baby is hard.

Anyway, that afternoon we were headed east for a family dinner so we stopped at Gardner Village for some down time on our way. Just the first of many fall visits to one of our favorite places...

Livs was not about to share her bread with the ducks--it's a good thing we had fresh bread with us and not the old, dried up stuff we usually bring :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Weekend Pics

Boys' night out on Thursday

My soccer girl (just after team pictures today)

My blondie babe trying to keep up with the big kids

And one movie to document Bentley's big day:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

5 Things

1) I'm wearing this Nordy's sale find today. It's super soft and I love how it feels like a cardigan and a scarf.

2) I wasn't going to watch Bachelor Pad this summer...but now that I have (catching up from my DVR) I am dying over it because it is such a mess! Elizabeth alone makes that show too funny to me--but if I knew her in real life I think I would be seriously scared of her with those emotions all over the place and all sorts of crazy revealing itself. Great TV :)

3) I learned how to make these fun necklaces from my friend Jennie a few weeks ago and now I am just a little bit hooked.

4) Did anyone see the Nickelodeon Mega Music Fest? We caught a repeat on Tuesday morning and my kids are in love with all the characters singing I Gotta Feeling. I'd post a video if I could find one--we just keep listening to it on our TV from the recorded episode. Laurie Berkner's song Family is pretty fun too.

5) I booked tickets to Chicago for all 5 of us next month! We are going to stay with Johnny and Krista in Evanston and do all we can with our kids to explore the city, bond with cousins, and snuggle new baby Anders (a huge treat for me...and my tiny mom in training Miss Caroline.) Joe's little brother Bob is starting a new accounting job there this month so it will be fun to see him too. I am especially looking forward to hanging out as adults in the evenings when the kids are in bed, and shopping along Michigan Ave. Such a cool city--we are super excited.

Last time we were in Chicago together, October 2000

Dinner at Ralph Lauren
Old pics are such fun :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Our friends the Barnes just happened to be spending the weekend at The Canyons so they kindly invited us over for a swim on Saturday. Our kids are all exactly the same ages which works out so well. We also made them grab dinner with us on Friday night at Squatters. We had our own room which was perfect for our brood of 6 kids ages 6 and under. The kids were certainly "busy" and a little bit giddy but we're used to it and had a great time together!

On Sunday we made some homemade gluey-goo (slime) and it was a huge success--I think it occupied Cares and Beans for well over an hour.

Fake sneeze=fake boogies (this was such fun for my little guy :)

On Sunday night the Horsleys joined us for a delicious schnitzel dinner and of course more cousin playtime. I only managed to catch one pic that night--of Grandpa Sherm and the girls catching a secret sharing moment together:

If you want to make your own gluey goo here's how:

Put 8 oz white glue in a large bowl.
Add 1 cup water and stir until blended.
Add paint/food color to desired color, set bowl aside.

In a small bowl stir together 1 1/2 tsps Borax powder (laundry detergent) and 1 cup warm water until dissolved.

Slowly add the borax mixture to the glue mixture while stirring constantly for two minutes. Knead the sticky slime with your hands until it's smooth and stretchy. There may be some excess water and it will feel really slippery as you knead, but empty out the extra water after a few minutes of kneading and then let the goo sit for a bit--it will ease into into the right texture after about 5 more minutes. The best surface for play is granite or tile (and not wood).

Store in an airtight container.