Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Burgers, Barry, Bellagio, & BYU Football or What Happens in Vegas Gets Posted to my Blog

I recently took a typical mormon Vegas Vacation with my hubby and his family. After dropping off our kids with my family (thank you thank you thank you, and sorry about Lilly's diapers!), we drove straight through and stopped at the quintessential In-N-Out Burgers. For the first time, I tried the protein-style burger (lettuce wrap instead of a bun). It wasn't bad. Not quite as satisfying as a bun burger, but still good. I'd like to say that I went protein-style because I'm health concious, but if you were there and saw me down the chocolate milkshake and animal-style french fries, you'd know better. Then, we went to the strip and headed straight for the Barry Manilow show, which was AWESOME! That man has written the most romantic songs ever created. Here is the man himself in yellow!
After the show, we left the casino without once pulling a slot machine (you'd be proud of me, Mom!) and headed straight for the Bellagio Fountain show. We hung out there for an hour, gawking at some of the passerbys in between shows and cheering when we saw other BYU fans. It was around midnight when we finally got to the car and headed for the hotel. I zonked out within minutes of the car ride. I don't quite have the stamina for late nights that I used to. (Who am I kidding? I've never had stamina for late nights.)

The next morning, we hung out at the luxurious resort hotel, playing a little pig and horse on the basketball court, swimming at the pool, and watching cheesy Adam Sandler movies on cable. We made it to the BYU vs. UNLV game with plenty of time to watch the pre-show. We cheered loud whenever BYU scored one of its dozen touchdowns and when one player ran a 92 yard kick-off return. (I hope I got that term right). Mac ran into his boss from work and a former mission companion. (Typical, right?)

Here am I with Mac, our cheesy grins and all. And Dad, Mom, Shea, and Kent. And here is Mac, Rhett, and Dad again, who is responsible for the great trip. Thanks Dad!
Our wild and crazy trip to Vegas for BYU football was, as always, a hit. We'll see you again, Vegas, in two more years.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Grosgrain: Queen of Hearts and Alice in Wonderland Costume Set GIVEAWAY!!!!

Grosgrain: Queen of Hearts and Alice in Wonderland Costume Set GIVEAWAY!!!!

Super cool giveaway, and perfect for two of my girls. I'm always amazed when I see what people can make with a needle and thread. Depsite the fact that anything beyond sewing a button on seems amazing to me, these costumes are truly amazing and beautiful!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Twinkle Toes

After her nap today, I went into Lil's room to get her, and this is what I saw.

That's my 18 month old! Just old enough to start nursery, which I can't believe. She doesn't seem old enough, not even close. She's been a difficult baby, but a very cute one, and I've wanted to hold onto that cuteness for as long as I can, but it seems she's growing up despite my best efforts.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My favorite place in the house

We bought a piano this summer, and I love having it in our house. No one can play it just yet, not unless you count dinking out the right hand melody as "playing", and I'm not even very good at doing that. Luckily, at least one of these three will turn into a budding musician.

Kate starts lessons in a week, and I am so excited for her. I always wanted to take lessons when I was young, but I never got the chance. Now I'm living vicariously through my daughter and getting so much joy from it. Hopefully, she'll like piano lessons and appreciate what we're doing by giving her this opportunity (yeah right). You want to know what she said when we bought the piano? She said, "I want to play a different instrument."

I furrowed my brow and asked her, "A different instrument? Like what?"

"The violin," she told me. (There's a girl down the street who plays the violin.)

"Well, you have to start on the piano," I told her. "And after two years, then you can start lessons on a different instrument if you want." (If we can afford it, I wanted to add, but she wouldn't have understood that at her young age.)

Monday, August 31, 2009

Seven Years & Three Kids Later . . .

Seven years ago, my young husband and I got married and went on our honeymoon to the exotic place of . . . Jackson Hole, Wyoming! It really was kind of exotic to me because I had never been there. However, if I had known that just two years later we would be moving within 60 miles of this exotic destination, I might have suggested we go somewhere else. But, we didn't know that we would be moving to Idaho Falls at the time, so we went to Jackson and Yellowstone Park and had a great time.

Don't we look young? And carefree?

Here we are at the famous arch in Jackson. Again, don't we look young and carefree? Now look below.

Not so young anymore, and definitely not carefree.

We're smiling, but we're exhausted. Taking three kids under the age of five for an overnight trip anywhere is A LOT of work, as we found out.

I'd like to say that we hiked up this mountain, but when your two oldest girls cry that their legs hurt when they're only walking around the block, you know your limitations. We took the tram up above Teton Village to enjoy the view.

Lilly kept trying to escape from the carriage ride.

Kate tried to do it too. But we talked her out of it.

I told you we were exhausted!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

If Only . . .

If only I had a spare $1200.00, I would buy this.

Instead, I picked up some old student desks for free (thanks to freecycling), but they aren't pretty in the slightest. My kids don't care, though. They think the desks are the coolest thing in the world. They love to color, do worksheets, and other independent stuff at their desks (which I think is GREAT!). But I hate how they - the desks, not my kids - look, and I really want to refinish them. The only problem is, I think the tops are made out of formica, and I don't know where to begin, or if I can even do anything about them. I really want to make them pretty. Can I paint over them? Could I sand them down? I've never been into crafts, and I'm about as clueless as you can get when it comes to stuff like this. But I'm willing to work at it if I only knew what direction to head in. Here is a photo of one of the desks. The other one looks similar, only the top is a brown, wood-looking surface, but it feels like formica too.

I know the metal part I can spray paint, but it's the surface I need the most advice about. I really think it would be cool if I had crushed flowers or something really pretty on top, with a smooth varnished surface of course. Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions, offers of help would be great. The blogger world can be pretty amazing, and maybe someone out there knows something that can help. Here's hoping!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mistaken Identity

July has been the month of mistaken identity for me and Mac. First, I get a facebook message from a woman, pleading with me "as a wife, mother, Christian . . . " to break it off with her husband and rethink my plans to run away with this man and break up the families involved. Part of me felt really bad for this woman and her situation, but another part of me thought who in the world would send a message like this and not know to whom they were sending it? So I blocked her. Then this week, Mac receives a letter from a local business offering condolences on the passing of his mother. They thought we may like a copy of the obituary, so it was included, and it was for a woman with our same last name, who happens to have a son with almost the same name as Mac's.

Wierd. And this video clip, kind of about mistaken identity, is even more bizarre.

How do you make that mistake?

Monday, July 6, 2009

Boomerang Diet

I must be on the boomerang diet: Lose 5 pounds, and slowly gain it all back.

The boomerang diet sucks.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Whining isn't pretty

I really should learn to stop whining. I wrote the last post on the morning of my birthday, and I didn't think I had a lot to look forward to. Except that I DID! Only the best birthday ever!!! Practically every year since I've been married, Mac manages to surprise me with something, and this year on my 30th birthday, Mac surprised me bigtime!
First of all, the day of my birthday wasn't half bad. My grandma surprised me with a birthday cake before I left town (and yes, my grandpa was able to fix the disposal). And on the drive home, all three of my girls were amazingly good. Even Lilly slept and didn't fuss once. What a great birthday gift!
So the surprises didn't start happening until Saturday, June 20th. Let me first explain that I asked Mac NOT to get me anything this year for my birthday because of a trip we decided to take to San Diego last minute, and Mac agreed. So imagine my surprise when, upon waking up, Mac told me that he was taking me (and the kids) to IHOP. I LOVE eating breakfast, so I was really happy to hear this. And IHOP was great. When we came home, Mac gave me a card. When I read it, there were some nice things said about me, and then another surprise - a manicure and pedicure had been scheduled for me at a local spa! So I quickly jumped in the shower, got dressed, and rushed off to my appointment. I didn't even have time to do my make-up. No big deal, I'll just do it when I get back, or so I thought. When I was finished at the spa (I'm still sporting lovely dark pink toes!), the lady at the check out handed me ANOTHER card! I opened it and read some more nice things and discovered that - SURPRISE! - I had an appointment to get my hair styled! Mac had conveniently programmed the address into our GPS, so I followed the directions (except when they told me to turn the wrong way down one-way streets) and found the place. It turns out Mac's assistant at work. Alese, does hair on the weekends, so it was fun to chat with her while she used a flat iron to make my hair look great, especially since I hadn't had time to get it looking good before I left in the morning anyway. And now I'm really wanting a flat iron of my own! They are magic!
You're probably thinking like I was at this time - what a great morning and what great presents, but that was it, right? Nope. There was more. Alese handed me another envelope, in it another funny card with directions to take myself to the mall where I would meet a "personal shopper" and have my own shopping spree! I'm not kidding - that's what it said. So I meet my personal shopper (who turned out to be my friend Andrea) at Barnes and Noble, and I got to buy some nice things. Andrea had an envelope of cash that I was not to see or know the amount that was in it, and anything I wanted, she paid for with cash from the envelope. I've never felt more pampered! It was a whole lot of fun, and I think it's proven now that I'm married to the most thoughtful guy in the world. Thanks Mac!
Here I am giving him a chaste kiss in front of the girls to express my thanks (don't worry, I thanked him a lot bit better once we were alone . . . .)

And here I am with my girls and the birthday cake my grandma made me. Thanks Gram!What could I possibly wish for after such a great day?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

It's almost nine o'clock and I'm sitting at my parent's table in my pajamas while my kids watch PBS, dreading the chore of packing up all my stuff that is scattered throughout the house by now, not to mention the cleaning I have to do before I leave so that when my parents return home from Florida, they won't be greeted by a total mess. In our short time here this week, my girls and I have managed to break a precious piece of pottery my dad made and which is my mom's favorite, and the kitchen disposal. I'm working on that last one right now. I'm hoping my Grandpa Marquiss might be able to fix it for me, I mean, for my parents so I don't have to tell them about the destruction I've wreaked while staying unsupervised at their house. And then I have the four-hour drive home to look forward to, by MYSELF (minus the three kiddos) because Mac is in Arkansas. Did I mention that I am now 30?

It's my birthday, and I'll cry if I want to.

I'm throwing myself a party - a PITY party!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'm the kind of mom who, on days I do make myself do the girls' hair, it still looks like they slept in the hairdo made the day before. I also let them dress themselves a lot of the time, and you know this means mismatched socks and odd ensembles of shirts and pants. That's why this photo shoot with the girls is so wonderful to me - it shows them off at their best. I can look at these photos for hours! When I do study these pictures, I'm reminded of how lucky I am to have a house full of girls, which means (if I focus on the positive stuff) there is a lot of giggling, picture-drawing, and dressing up. Currently, every day, the girls draw me and Mac a picture, decorated with multiple stickers. The drawings for Mac usually end up by the front door, waiting for him to walk in and see the nice surprises the girls have left for him. Mine are often handed straight to me, and then I put them on the fridge after effusive thanks and praise. Sometimes, like when I've gone for a run in the morning, I'll come back and the girls will have drawn me a picture and put it by the door, like they do for dad. And other times, they'll draw pictures for their friends across the street or at church and save the precious drawings until they see this friend. These are good times, when our young daughters are so enthusiastic about sharing their love and talents with as many people as they can. I get a kick out of how Kate draws her pictures and how she loves to sign them "Love ?" so we have to wonder who drew us the beautiful picture. It's so fun to see Avery's drawing develop - just recently, her scribbles have turned into people with actual bodies and looooooong legs.
Yes, despite the whining and the occasional tantrums, mothering these three girls is pretty awesome. I'm really glad I have these beautiful pictures to remind me of that.

For Your Viewing Enjoyment

With all the worry and work that goes with trying to sell your house in a slow house buying market, I'm finding it difficult to make time for blogging. But I can quickly pass on the tidbits of entertainment that help take my mind away from my stress. Mac and I thought this was hilarity perfected. Just copy and paste into your browser - you'll be glad you did.'Brien/video/clips/birdwatching-21709/1022961/

Thursday, May 21, 2009

My Radio Prize

I received my prize for being the eighth caller on KBYI a couple days ago: The new Mormon Tab CD, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. The songs are lovely. Some are lively and energetic, and others are soothing and peaceful. I love it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My New Favorite Thing

One of my new favorite things right now is the radio station KBYI (100.5 FM, I think). I discovered it by accident one day, but I paused long enough on the classical music it was playing to think, gee that's nice - the kind of music I can have on in the background even with the loud noise from little children and not feel like pulling out my hair or grinding my teeth. So the dial on the radio stayed put, and now it's been weeks and that dial still hasn't moved. The music is simply fantastic. I swear I can feel my blood pressure lowering immediately upon listening to it, and for some odd reason, I feel smarter when I listen to it too. And if that's not enough to convince you to give it a try, today they played the the entire soundtrack from Seven Brides For Seven Brothers!

So it's mostly classical music, but sometimes they'll play broadway hits and such. Today, I really enjoyed what they played, but on Saturday I tuned in to show Mac what a great station KBYI was, but unfortunately something kind of wierd was playing, and Mac declared it was over, saying he couldn't stay married to someone who liked listening to that kind of music. (It really was a bad selection of music at the time, but I think Mac was overreacting just a bit, wouldn't you say?) On Sunday, however, Mac gave KBYI props by saying it was way better than KLCE for Sabbath-appropriate music.

So, if you live in the vicinity of Rexburg and Idaho Falls, I urge you to give KBYI 100.5 FM a try. Let me know what you think! (As a side note, I was the 8th caller this morning and won something, but I didn't quite catch what it was I won, and I was too embarrassed to ask, so when it arrives in the mail, I'll be sure to update the blog and let everyone know what I won, since I'm sure you'll be just DYING to know. It was still exciting to win something, even if I don't know what it is yet.)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's day was great. After breakfast in bed, the girls insisted I open my presents. So after much enthusiasm on their part, I opened them and thanked everyone profusely for spoiling me. At this point, Kate sighs, "I wish it was Children's day. When is it going to be Children's day, Mom?" I told her that everyday is children's day, but she didn't believe me. She will when she's a mom, though.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

My Angel Babe Turns Three

It's fun for me to reflect on the last few years I've known Avery. When I was pregnant with her, I got an inkling of the kind of person she'd be by how she was in my womb, and by that I mean that she never moved. Sure enough, when she was born, she never moved either! She slept all the time, rarely cried, and was a complete joy! She rolled when she was 9 months old, crawled when she was 12 months old, and walked just before she was 16 months old. Despite these late milestones, I think she's pretty smart. Plus, she was the easiest baby ever! A great sleeper, eater, smiler, sitter, and non-complainer - what more could a mom want! I could have nine kids if I knew they were all going to be like Avery as a baby. She was completely enjoyable. I can't say that about my other two babies, as much as I love them. As Avery's grown, she's gotten a lot more sassy and defiant, but I guess that happens with most kids. Maybe because she was so easy going for so long, and we never felt the need to discipline her, she grew to think she could do whatever she wanted. She's still a lot of fun, though. Some of my favorite things about her: No one is sillier and can make us laugh as easily as she can. She's a great little mother to her dolls. She loves Beyonce's All the Single Ladies and always asks for me to turn it on. As much as she loves her daddy, she still prefers me to sing to her at night. When she's excited, her whole body lights up. Her speech is still very much that "baby" talk, which makes it very cute but very difficult at times to understand. Happy birthday to my beautiful three-year-old!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

To be small again . . .

Sometimes I wish I was small enough to crawl under my sink, shut the door, and hide there. If I were Kate and Avery, it would be the perfect place to break out my new flashlight, the all-time best ever toy, if you didn't already know. If I were Lilly, it would just be for trying out a new place and experience. But as mom, I might use it to shut the door on the constant house cleaning that faces me now that my house is for sale, or the constant nagging from three daughters who won't even let me shower or go to the bathroom alone. I remember being small enough to crawl in a place this size, but I don't remember when I grew too big for it, only that it was a LONG time ago.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lilly Turns One

My baby turned one on Monday. Here she is NOT enjoying her cake.

I love that little girl!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Mac and I are sitting in the SLC airport right now, waiting for our connection to Tucson. Mac is reading a People Magazine (we just traded so I could use the computer). I always like to buy a People Mag when I'm traveling. I picked up the habit from my sister Aimee. It's the only time I do buy the magazine, and it's fun to immerse myself in pop culture every once in a while. It's amazing what you can learn about people I will never personally know, yet somehow I still care. Like, for example, Mel Gibson, who is getting a divorce. That news made me so sad! And, did you know, that Tori Spelling is NOT aneorxic? Right after she had her latest baby, Dean (her husband) told her she was beautiful. So why would she be aneorexic?

The People Magazine is fun to read, but it's really a distraction from what could take over my mind at any moment and make my vacation less enjoyable, and that is the thought of my three babies with someone else taking care of them for FOUR WHOLE DAYS! Ironically, I really look forward to getting away from the kids at any chance I get. I think it's healthy, rejuvenating, and necessary for my individuality and my marriage to take these "breaks" - until I actually do take these breaks, and then I realize that there really aren't any true breaks from motherhood. That's right - once you become a mother, you can't ever go back. Here I am thinking about my kids, especially my baby, wondering if they'll be good for those watching them, if they'll miss me, if they'll get sad or get hurt feelings, when I should be thinking about where we're going to go out to eat, or if I'll be able to beat Mac in tennis, or something else fun that we'll get to do on this trip that we don't get to do at home.

I'm looking forward to this trip, but I miss my girls. I took this trip to "get away" and relax. I'm sure that this trip will accomplish that, but I'm also sure that it will have a second, unintended consequence: When I return, I'll smile and hold my kids a little longer. I'll be a little nicer, a little more patient, and a little more fun as a mom. At least for a little while. Life has a way of returning to normalcy pretty quickly, but I'll cherish this time away, and the time when I first get back and I am the kind of mom I wish I always could be.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Silly Girl

There's something about being four years old that makes you think it is so funny to do thisand this and this
when mom tells you to smile pretty.

I love those big eyes on Lilly, though.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Other Man

I've never been much of a fan of Justin Timberlake. Not that I disliked him or anything, but I just couldn't name any of his songs, let alone sing the lyrics. No, it wasn't from his music, not even his NSYNC days, that I got to know JT; rather, it was his comedic stuff that got my attention: his SNL skit with Beyonce (hilarious) and his hosting of the ESPY awards (impressive). I've even seen the Punk'd episode where JT thinks the IRS is confiscating all of his possessions for back taxes (very funny). But other than that, I didn't really think a lot about him, so I was more than a little surprised when he became the leading man in a dream of mine the other night.

In this dream, JT saw some home movies of me as a kid and thought there was something promising about me. (The home movie just happened to be the one where our family is reenacting the Nativity scene. I think I was wearing an old bathrobe that was too big for me. Believe me, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried!) So he approached me and we hit it off. We went on a fun, casual date that lasted the whole day, and at the end of it, he kissed me. Now, it wasn't a french kiss or even a passionate embrace of any kind, but if I had to rate the kiss on a scale of 1 - 10, it would be an 11. It was a soft, slow, warm, kiss, the kind of kiss that makes you feel a little giddy and light headed and tingly all over. I woke up with my lips still tingling. Wow was all I could think as I lay there in bed next to Mac. And then, Oh yeah - MAC! The man I'm married to. What's he going to think if I tell him I had a dream about kissing JT and really liking it? So as I listened to Mac get out of bed and get ready for work, I decided I would just tell him when he got home from work. I didn't want to spoil his day or anything, especially because he had something really important going on that day, and I would hate to cause any kind of distraction for him. (It never crossed my mind not to tell him about the dream because that would make it seem secretive and wrong, and we all know dreams are freebies - you can do all sorts of naughty stuff in your dreams, but you don't have to repent later.)

So I waited until that night to tell him. And you know what? He just chuckled about it. He didn't even care. I guess we have one of those, you know, OPEN relationships, where we're okay with the other kissing another person, as long as it's in a dream of course, not real life. Although I have to say I'm pretty happy that the woman in Mac's dreams, when she isn't me of course, is faceless. At least that's what he tells me. I have to wonder sometimes if he just tells me that to keep me from feeling hurt or jealous. It kind of reminds me of the time Mac told me that he thought Nicole Kidman was attractive. Suddenly, I didn't like Nicole Kidman anymore, but I would always remind Mac, "Oh, but YOU think she's PRETTY." One day, Mac decided he didn't like Nicole Kidman anymore. She was too trashy, he'd decided. (Good man!) But it does make me wonder if that woman in his dreams ever does have a face. Although if she did, I think I'd be okay with it. After my fling with JT, I can be a little more forgiving.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A Shout Out For My Mom

My dad finally started a blog! I don't know how much he'll update it, but he did post this really cool video that features my mom (she's the first person highlighted in the video). Watch it here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Move over, Beyonce!

With three little girls in the house, we do a lot of dancing and singing. Kate's dance moves have really evolved lately, and they are too funny not to share. I'm giving Mac credit for teaching her this stuff, because I'm too embarrassed to admit that she could learn this from me!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

April in Idaho Falls

These pictures were taken this morning.

Here's baby sister wondering why she can't have fun too.

I just LOVE Idaho Falls in the SPRING!

Monday, March 30, 2009

What Color Is Your Day?

After reading about establishing early writing habits from this website, I felt inspired to get Kate and Avery their own journals. They love writing in their journals. It's much easier to get them dressed and ready for bed when they have their journals to look forward to. They usually draw pictures, but I try to encourage Kate to write a few words and Avery to write a few letters. It's fun for them, plus it's rewarding for me to see them enjoying something kind of academic.