Wednesday, July 25, 2007

It feels so good to be clean when you've been so dirty.

Today I headed out to mow the backyard grass (affectionately known as the jungle). Between the downpours before our vacation and the time away from had not been mowed in awhile (Don't worry the front was mowed...we won't be headed to code-infraction court anytime soon). LD decided napping wasn't a good plan this morning and I had other things to do as I didn't get out there until 10 o'clock. It was already hot, really hot. By the time LD woke up and started screaming I was sunburned, tired, and drenched in sweat. I came in, calmed LD and left him with the big kids, and headed for the shower.

Now, showering is nothing new to me. I shower daily. It feels good, but mostly it is a matter or routine and personal hygiene (I'm a poet today!). But...on days like today...being clean never feels so good as when you've been so dirty! Washing off the particles of dust, grass, probably some poor fire ant parts that were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and sweat felt incredible.

It really made me reflect. I think that someday I will have the opportunity to face my Savior and thank him for making it possible to be so clean when I felt so dirty. And, it will feel so good.

On another note, I apprehensively stepped on the scales for the first time in a few months. I did lose those nine pounds in April/May. But..that was BEFORE my walking buddy traded me in for a local gym, my kids got out of school, my stress level with the clinic skyrocketed (and I am Queen Stresseater--no matter how hard I try---Give me Stress and I will EAT!), and I went on vacation (vacation=fast food on the drives, eating out to "celebrate" with friends and family, and lots of together-time eating). So, I expected to be back to square one with the weight losing...SURPRISE! I had lost an additional ten pounds since my last weighing in May! YIPPEE! Now I am down 19! Only 20 more to go to be where I want to be (although honestly ten would make me feel pretty darn good!).

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What color blue are you?

I saw this blog quiz on my new blogger friend's site. I love blue, so I had to try it. These are always fun for me and curiously, they are often accurate. Try it and see.

You Are Periwinkle

You're very intuitive and sensitive. You often know other people better than they know themselves.
You're also quite optimistic, and you think well of yourself and others. You know your dreams will come true.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dancing in the Rain

I discovered (or rediscovered) a truth today. There is a reason why we are supposed to have our houses/lives in order: it enables us to be happier, to serve, and to be better parents. My life is in order. My house is in order (momentarily, I am sure). But, tonight, when the kids asked if they could sit in the garage and watch the rain, I could say "yes." Then, when they wanted to go running in the rain like crazy wild drowned rats...I could not only say "yes," but I could join them. Our memory and the crazy fun we had playing tag and racing in the rain will stay with us much longer than my freshly vacuumed floor. What a lesson and what a blessing.

This is a older picture that I never posted-a couple of Sundays ago K asked me to braid her hair into a crown. I thought it turned out pretty cute. It was another fun binding time.

Sunday, July 22, 2007


I just wanted to add a little note to the travel log. I am sorry if I bored y'all, but I dual-purpose this blog as a journal and I wanted to add detail and pictures. If you know my family, you know I come by it naturally.

Now, we have been home for a week and a half. All is going well. Kitten is doing well...we can watch her for hours. She is so curious. She is also a little wild. I hope that my couches survive the onslaught. She and the dog get along really well and they love to play games similar to tag or hide-and-go-seek with each other. It is fun to watch.

The clinic is going well as well. This is a huge blessing to me. We have our main receptionist back and she is doing her duties well (so I don't have to go in until midnight anymore!).

I am really working on The Total Mom book that I mentioned before. I love it. It works well for me. I am very systematic and this book is really helping me to become the person I dream of being. Why wait? Why not be the best me now? in a nutshell. Now that the trip is logged, I can begin normal blogging again! :)

Trip Day 13: July 12, 2007: We're going home!

We got up early on July 12th to make the long journey home. It took me 16 long hours of driving (remember I was by myself with three kids!). We only had to stop a couple of times for construction. For lunch I was sick of fast food, so we got the kinks out by walking around WalMart for an hour and buying sandwiches from the deli. It was a good break. We also stopped at two rest areas that were incredibly nice. Both had awesome playgrounds, a 24-hour on duty guard, super clean restrooms, millions of picnic tables and trails. They were nice breaks, too. One of them was a necessity as I was getting sleepy and we had to stop. The kids were watching the DVD player, but decided that they also had to fight and so my nap was cut short. We only had one near-accident, but it was very scary. We were entering in a smaller town and a guy turned left in front of me. To this day, I am unsure how we avoided an accident. Angels again? We finally got home late at night, so grateful to have made it, so grateful to see DH, and so annoyed by the humidity!

Trip Day 12: July 11, 2007: Resting, Preparing, and Visiting

We began Wednesday July 11th by visiting my dad's work (grandpas love to show-off grandkids to their co-workers). The kids loved it as he works in a library and they got to see some behind the scenes stuff-perfect for an aspiring librarian. Then my mom took the kids home and I got to go eat lunch with Aimee. It was awesome to be together with her. Most of you just don't understand the bond that she and I had (and still do, although time and distance have changed it a lot). In high school we were the only two to be in every play production. We planned our "free" periods to be together. We ate lunch together every day, went to play practice together every day, went to each other's houses every day, and then talked on the phone every night. She is the one that kept me on the "straight and narrow." She and I are different religions, but we have the same values and always supported each other and did things like left the cast parties before the drinking began (or got too out of hand). We also made sure we dated good guys and kept each other accountable for good dating habits. I love her so much and this lunch was a great blessing to me. It was also nice that my mom had the kiddos so that we weren't distracted.

During the afternoon, I packed, took a nap, and watched as my kids spent 5+ hours playing outside again. I guess that it made me wish we lived in Colorado (or at least had a more established home with mature trees here in Texas).

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Trip Day 11: July 10, 2007: C's birthday, fun backyard, and amusement park

K climbing tree in backyard.
A giving C Star Wars stuff.
Aimee and I:bbf!
This picture is blurry, but if you look close it captures the moment much better than the still ones. C is having a blast. K is scared to death. It is classic. More park rides.
C with more presents. He loves "art" and this huge pad of paper was one (of many) presents from my parents.

Tuesday, July 10th, was C's 6th birthday. We spent the morning relaxing and hanging out. My parents have a huge, shaded, and tree-filled backyard. It also was not nearly as hot as Texas and there was no humidity to speak of, so it was pleasant to be outside. This was especially nice for K and C, since before the trip we'd spent weeks inside due to rain. They literally played outside in the backyard for 2-3 hours AT A TIME!

That evening, we went to an older amusement park. It is really fun even though it is small and the kids' area is actually quite large. C LOVED the kiddie roller coaster. He rode it probably at least 10 times. His face was so classic. He is a thrill-seeker. We met my best friend in the whole world (clear from high school days), Aimee, and her hubby there. It was SOOOOOOOOOOOO nice to see her again. The sad part is that it makes me miss her even more to see her again. My brother A and his girlfriend also went with us. After the kids were in the kiddie area for a couple of hours, we went on the train around the lake together. Then, Aimee and I rode some rides ourselves. It was a blast. We could almost have just ditched the kids, my parents, and her hubby and just rode rides the rest of the night together like we were 16 and in high school. We started leaving just as a thunderstorm approached and we missed most of the rain.

After getting home, we ate ice cream cake and opened presents. Brother A had given C a present before the park (since he and his girlfriend were going to Harry Potter at 12:01). He gave him a bunch of his old star wars toys. C LOVES them. They are so cool. The biggest one is a Millennium Falcon that opens up and there are all the Star Wars guys and Ships inside. It is really awesome. He also got a few presents from my parents and a small one from me (the bigger ones were for after we got home so DH could be there).

All-in-all, it was a GREAT birthday! Happy 6th, C!

Trip Day 10: July 9, 2007: Driving to Colorado

We woke up semi-early to get "on the road again." It was a beautiful day--a little sunny, but beautiful. We drove through Wyoming to get back to Denver. It was relatively uneventful. We had a near-accident when an old lady decided to pass the vehicle in front of her, but I was in the lane next to her. After that incident, K said that the angels must have been pushing our car so that we didn't get hit. I think so, too. I don't know how we avoided a collision....except that I was all the way on the shoulder...and the angels must've been pushing, too. We had to stop at a rest area since Little Dan was screaming and there weren't any towns for miles. I don't stop at too many rest areas since I don't want to make it obvious that I am a woman by myself with three kids. This was a nice one, however, and the break was welcomed by all.

My parents and brother also drove home to Colorado that day. They usually take I-70, but (I didn't know at the time) had decided to take I-80 to follow me just in case I needed them. When I found out about this, it was a comfort to know that they were twoish hours behind me....just in case. We ended up making it "home" before they did and spent a couple hours showering, playing, relaxing, or crawling.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Trip Day 9: July 8, 2007: Mountains, Church, and Goodbyes

Cousins by a stream
The mountains!
LD never cuddles...but with his buddy (his grandpa) he does!
It is so hard to say goodbye!
Happy birthday, C.
Happy Belated birthday, K.

Sunday was another busy day. In the midst of all the business, we had yet to take a drive up a canyon. This is really important to DH and I and we wanted our kids to experience mountains as well. So, we got up early and drove up the canyon. DH's brother, D, went with us, as well as his daughter, B. It was so beautiful. We really miss the mountains. We love camping and camping in Texas is just not the same as it was in Utah, Colorado, or Oregon. It was also nice to spend time with D and B.
We got home later than we'd hoped and rushed to get ready for church. We made it (thank-goodness for Utah and chapels less than a minute away!). DH had to say goodbye to his family after Sacrament meeting to go catch his plane. C and LD went with us to the airport, but K stayed to go to primary with her cousins. A nice end to the baptism weekend.
After dropping off DH at the airport, I went to Z's house where we prepared for the rest to come for dinner. We had a wonderful, very yummy, dinner and the kids got to play together for the last time. We also had cake and presents for C, whose birthday was in two days.
It was so hard to say goodbye. It was so hard to acknowledge that our wonderful time together had come to an end. There were many tears and hugs as we left. (Back to my favorite quote: "The pain now is part of the happiness then.")
We then went to my sister's (who had so generously given up her dinner time with us so that we could say goodbye to DH's family). She also had a mini-birthday celebration planned for K and C. We skipped the cake, but had ice cream again! YUM! Then, the kids opened their presents---which they LOVED!
I got to spend a few minutes chatting with Sis and her hubby, then off to bed since the driving had to begin again the next day!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Day 8: 07-07-07: Baptism Day (and MORE pictures)

Looking in the font.
My grandma with K.
Baptism girl with her dad.
Baptism cousins.
Best Buds--DH's dad and Little Dan were great friends throughout the trip! They have a bond.
The Jazz shirt--see below!

Best Friend Cousins.
Grandparents with all their grandkids.
DH's parents and siblings (all together!)
Our Family...I am a little overeager in this picture...but the ones I look best in someone else looks crazy.
The In-Laws (all the spouses of the siblings).

Saturday, July 7th (07-07-07) was a wonderful day. In the morning, it was like a scene from Home Alone: We had 24 people to get bathed/showered, clothes ironed, hair done, etc...before the baptism. It was a little crazy. We got to the church and the unique thing was that there was a parade going on right in front of it!
The baptism itself was so spiritual. It was worth the drive, the headaches, and all the obstacles that we had to go through to be there. The talks were given by the common grandparents of the kids (DH's Mom and Dad). They were wonderful. Then, B was baptized first. CR was baptized second. Finally, K was baptized. Her foot kept leaping up and she had to be baptized three times. We'd even practiced bending her knees...but she gets so nervous with water (HATES to get her face wet)...that she'd freak out at the last second. My dad and DH's dad got to be the witnesses and that was special, too. Words cannot describe the tangible feeling of the spirit that was there. And...for me...(besides Little Dan losing it and screaming through all the confirmations) was a memory that will always be with me.
After the baptisms and confirmations, we went to another church for a luncheon. It was a lot of work the day before, as well as setting up and cleaning up (but it is working together that really bonds a family, I think) and it turned out so well. It was a nice time to be together. I especially enjoyed talking more with my brother's wife that I haven't been able to get to know yet really.
A funny story: DH's sister knows how we love the Utah Jazz. She found some shirts for us and gave them to us just before we left the church. K was so excited that she put on the jersey right then and there...over her baptism dress!
Right after the luncheon....crazy time again...we had to re-do the family pictures. The others hadn't turned out. So....everyone was going crazy washing clothes, ironing clothes, doing hair and make-up, etc.... We went to Temple Square and it was a gorgeous night. It wasn't hot like before and the lighting and backdrops were even better. The kids had fun running around crazy together and I think the pictures will be great!
After the pictures, we stopped for ice cream at Ben and Jerry's. DH then had to say goodbye to Z and J and their kids. It was the first sign that the wonderful trip was nearing an end. Another exhausting, yet wonderful, day had come to an end.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Day 7: July 6: Visit to my family, BYU, and a grown-ups only "date."

LD in Grandma's Chair
My Family With Grandma
My Parents with all their Grandkids
My Parents with four of their five children
On Friday, we headed down South to Utah County to visit my dear Grandmother. LD got to sit in her little chair---one all the kids have sat in and that has been in our family for generations...I don't quite remember the history at this point or exactly how far it goes back.
I also got to take pictures with my parents and all of their grandkids so far and another with my parents and all of their children, except my brother that is on a mission in Washington state. That was cool.
After much debate, we ended up going for lunch at the Brick Oven. It was yummy and so nice to have a whole couple of hours sitting by my grandma.
After we said good-byes, DH and I went and visited BYU. Sis and her hubby and kids came too. It has changed a lot since we were there. In certain buildings, we could almost feel the stress coming back. My main building was the Talmage and...I could've just walked in, plopped myself down and began studying...craziness!
After we got back, we went out to dinner with all the adults. That was a welcome reprieve from the kids and they had a blast playing with all the cousins. LD did okay.

Day 6: July 5: Pictures, Lunch, and Temple Square

Our Family
DH and me
DH and his three siblings
Cousin B, C, and K
B and K
Isn't this picture awesome!?!
Karl Malone Baby!

Since all of DH's family had not been together for 6 1/2 years....we thought we'd better have professional photos done. We went to a park and used their grounds as the backdrop for the pictures. We wore khaki on the bottom and white, light blue, or dark blue on the top. It was soooooooooooooo hot. We enjoyed being together, though. Thank goodness since the photo shoot lasted a couple of hours between the whole family, groups, individuals, etc. We then went to a buffet for lunch. It was such a relief to have air conditioning! It was also such a joy to be all together!
We then went to watch the Joseph Smith movie on Temple Square. The others left at that point, but we haven't been in Utah for so long that we wanted to continue being tourists. We went to the conference center, the church museum, Temple Square Visitors' Center, the statues of Karl Malone and John Stockton, and we drove up the hill to the Capital Building to see the city lights at night. It was a long day and we didn't arrive home until after 10, but well worth it. We got to keep K's cousin, B, who is her same age with us. That was great fun for those two girls who live hundreds of miles apart, but are inseparable when together.

Trip Day 5: July 4: Pickup DH, picnic, fireworks

Waiting at the Airport
All the cousins in their matching shirts
DH and sisters
Little Opportunist
Cousins waiting for Fireworks

Wednesday was the 4th of July! This is my very favorite holiday! Usually we eat breakfast and have a parade with our ward. Then we barbeque with friends. Then we drive to the fireworks and catch a free shuttle to the park where there are free bounce houses, music, and some of the best fireworks ever! Aside from all the heat and sweat, what could be better?
Well...this year perhaps topped it. We went to the airport to pick up DH. The kids were soooooooooo excited, particularly C. We waited and waited for him to emerge and when he would have thought that they'd not seen him for years instead of days. How lucky I am to have such a great DH that the kids love so much!
We went straight to DH's sister's house and saw all the cousins and DH's sisters (his brother flew in at he wasn't there yet). They had made matching T-shirts for all the cousins with their names on them. That was a special touch. We then went out for a picnic lunch...which is always an adventure with DH's family. We finally got food and found a park to eat at. It had a huge shady pavillian, but it was still very hot. The kids were out playing tennis and on the playground and they got so red from heat.
That evening, we went to friends of DH's sister for dinner. They live somewhat in the country and it was a beautiful evening (although they might have been a little crazy to invite all of us over!) The yummiest part was the berry cobbler! Yum Yum! LD crawled away and got into leftover plates on the lawn. He seemed to think that Doritos were very yummy! :)
Then we walked to the fireworks. I only had my sandals and it was sort of a long walk, so my feet hurt a little, but it was a nice night. The fireworks were incredible. I missed having music with them, but the display was awesome. LD was a little crazy, so for much of the time it was difficult to see them. At least they didn't scare him at all...he just wanted to climb all over all the people laying on the lawn!
We love DH's family. He has been so blessed and now we, in turn, have been blessed as well. It was a great way to begin the time together!