Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Birthday Celebration #1

New Years Resolution #2 accomplished (well, this one is always ongoing). Finish craft projects. On Monday, as a stress-case, I finished Samuel's ABC photobook and then I finished sewing the birthday banner (thank you Tyler for relieving me of the kids for a bit so I could focus my attention on the book making). I also wanted to make a banner and so 6 1/2 hours (up till 2am--ya, I was tired the next day) and less than $20 later I made this:

For this: (Birthday party #1, or in other words, party w/4 friends, one for every year he is old)

Samuel, Dakota and Parker's birthday's fall w/in one week of each other so decided to have a joint party for them. (Samuel turned 4 while the others turned 3).We went to Wheeler Farm (which is free, great idea Melissa!) and let the kids run around. Samuel kept asking when the party was going to happen. I think he meant the cake and presents. We then headed over to an empty pavilion and had the cupcakes (compliments Leanna's Baking, and Melissa's fab photog skills), balloon sitting/popping and bandanna goody bags (half bandanna, sewed up and wrapped around a paper sack, looked sort of like a cowboy dude w/o a face--yes, even some creative thoughts happen even at the $ store)which included a plastic horse. Then we had them each open their gift (from us, the mom's). And no fighting over toys and each kid went home w/a star shaped balloon, horse and all sugared up. But most importantly, Samuel had fun. He was happy w/the toy he helped me pick out the night before and there was no bickering, jealousy or anger. Happy birthday boys!

the zoo

I was able to meet up w/my friend Jamie, whom I hadn't seen since Samuel was just born. Both our husbands names are Tyler, we both were married the same year in October and both our birthdays are in March. Crazy! It was fun to see her and her children again while she made a quick stop in Utah. Thanks Jamie!

Oh, and the kids hit it off well too.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


One new years resolution checked off. Run 5k. I had the goal of running it non-stop and easily like I can do in the mornings. So when I went to register the night before the creator of this 1st annual race told me what I should expect. When I told him it was my first 5k he looked surprised and said, "You chose this one to run for your first?" He told me it was it was really sloped uphill, not a typical 5k course. So then I got worried. But was still determined to just run it the whole way, even if I can't do it in my goal of 30 minutes (which was lofty anyway, since I'd only done it in 35 once during practice).

Well, I couldn't sleep well the night before. We drove to the race, under-dressed, as it was a cool 60 degrees near the valley at the point of the mountain in Draper. I put the kids in shorts (luckily they had sweaters and blankets). Anyhoo, I drank one of those energy drinks (nasty)

and the kids go to see a firetruck first hand. Post-race they also had a live band, jumping things for the kids, and a bunch of freebies. It was fun for everyone!

Then I stretched and waited for the race to begin.

anyway, I am making this story way too long and bold it for you so you don't have to feel obligated to read the whole thing.......the race was 2/3 uphill. And I am talking like San Fransisco streets (okay, maybe more like Seattle). It was hard. I had to walk. At first I was frustrated w/myself but most of the others were walking too so I walked briskly up some of the hills and then luckily the last part was down hill. I still managed to run (walk :( ) it in under 35 minutes. Tyler didn't think I could run it that fast and so he missed me coming in at the finish line (I am not sure how I should take that...) but it was great having he and the kids there for support. The race was fun! It was challenging. But I made a goal and reached it! That's what makes me the happiest. I never thought I could run more than a mile w/o getting winded. But I've been running fairly consistently for a year now and really pushing myself since June. It's so much easier now and I've developed a love for running, which I did not think was possible. ever. And now I love it!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where were you when it happened?

I will always remember two national occurrences that happened during my lifetime, so far. I remember my mom telling me about watching man walk on the moon, JFK's assassination. But also practicing drills of hiding under their desks in case of attack. But that was way before I was even born.

For me, I will always remember the Columbine shooting and 9-11. Where were you when you saw these happen on TV or first heard about them? The Columbine shootings were a prolific and particular school shooting that I remember because I am from Colorado. I was at BYU when it happened. A few days before I was to go back home to Arvada which is a few towns away from Columbine High School. I remember watching it on TV, after my roommates told what was going on. I was in shock that something so horrific could happen in a public school by two teenage boys, and at a school that I had taken a drama classes in and competed in Forensics at. I was saddened for days because of that incident.

But the other event, which still makes a lump in my throat, is 9-11. I vividly remember the few events that happened when I found out about the twin towers. I went to my acting improv class on Tuesday at 9am. I was the T.A. and was asked to pick up some add/drop cards at the main office upstairs. While I was in the office, the receptionists asked if I heard what happened. I didn't watch much TV back then and didn't browse the internet that early in the morning. They said, "We've been attacked. One of the twin tower in NYC have been hit." I looked at the newspaper sitting there on the counter and she said, "No, it won't be in there yet. It just happened." Honestly, at the time I didn't understand what was happening nor the impact it was already having on America.

So, I went downstairs to hear the rest of the class discussing what was happening. Our teacher asked us what we wanted to do for the rest of the class. Did we want to continue, leave early or leave right then? We all agreed we should cancel class and find out more on our own as to what was going on in NYC and elsewhere in the country. We said a prayer together and then were released.

Several of us went upstairs to the KBYU studio which had a TV in the lobby. There were already several people watching and the receptionist there told us that one tower had already been hit and then in a matter of minutes we watched it all unfold. We heard the reporters getting worried and with a tremor in their voice as they showed video of the 2nd tower being hit. I was horrified, shocked and confused. Watching it makes it so much more real. This was happening to us?!?! I couldn't believe it. I then got scared. That's where I was when I found out.

Instead of the usual scheduled devotional that day, which happened to be the first one of the school year, President Bateman spoke to us about what had happened just less than an hour before. The Marriott Center was packed full of students. The tone was nervous yet anxious yet calm. He spoke to us about the events that occurred that morning and offered a prayer of peace. It was so hopeful. I felt so much more at ease after this devotional.

About a month and half later my dad and I went to NYC. I went to assist him at a trade show. We were able to go to Ground Zero. As we came out of the subway exit we were immediately hit with the smell of smoke and sulfur. It was hard to breathe. People were still wearing masks. We looked at part of the big hole that were the towers. There was a banner on a fence that we could sign and leave cards. They were still cleaning the soot that was emblazoned onto the surrounding buildings walls. The mess reached not just the two towers but blocks and blocks of buildings. It was touching. It was hard to see. But it was good also. This may sound weird but it felt as if we were on sacred ground.

And at the time I was amazed at how it united us as a Nation of so many different nationalities, religions, races and cultures. How many people remembered their religion. How we came together in prayer in so many different venues and found common ground. I like to remember what happened. On this anniversary I like to watch documentaries and hear the stories of the individuals who lived to tell it or of those who were angels to others but did not survive. We will always remember this day and the events that took place on September 11th.

****Here is a link to Pres. Bateman's talk. Just open the PDF file on Adobe

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tut, tut ,smells like rain!

Today set off to be gray, gloomy and gruesome (well, not really, I love rainy weather, but I had to find another "g" word). We headed to the library for story time and was pleasantly disappointed. Samuel kept asking when it was going to be done and saying, "can we leave now?" It only lasted 1/2 hour! How is he going to handle preschool? He wanted to go and "buy" some books instead. Then as I was checking out the two bandits decided to jump on the leather chairs, luckily w/o shoes, and running back and forth in front of the front doors, nearly running into several elderly folks. Luckily, the librarians were laughing and not scolding me for not keeping my kids under control.

But we came home and the kids enjoyed some productive activities.

I love rainy days!

Before's and After's part 2

Before: the permanent marker (or rather after the Aboriginal's artwork)


Thank you Magic Eraser!

Before: The shaggy, frightened to death (of haircuts and me clipping his ear again while screaming bloody murder) mini Elton John

After: Melanie's quick, painless and easy haircut. Thank you, Melanie!

Monday, September 8, 2008


I haven't posted in a bit but I've had things on my mind. So this is a bit of a deposit into my "blogging bank" so it will be a little jumbled and no specific them other than to brief you all about the thoughts swirling around in my mind.

*Creativity* Since my last post I've been obsessively checking out Etsy. I love looking at stuff that people create, sell and make money from. But really I just like to get ideas. I love craft stores and can spend hours in them but know that I cannot spend too much money on too many projects at once as I know they cannot get done fast enough. But I need to use my creative bug and get it out of my system. So in the next few weeks I need to make (before Sammy's birthday) a digital alphabet scrapbook and a birthday banner made of cloth. I had so much fun picking out the fabrics and now I just need to assemble it. Don't worry I"ll post pictures. And thanks Melanie for letting me borrow your sewing machine :) Then I want to make a few "pillowcase" dresses and a handbag out of cloth placemats and napkins. Oh, I wish I could spend less time dreaming about how to create these projects and get them done!

*Jocelyn's 18-month check up*....2 months late. She is nearly 21 months old now. She hates doctors and doctor's offices. She remembers the battle wounds they give her (shots) and the crinkly white paper on the benches. She cried through most of the appointment and glared at the doctor when he was not actually examining her. But I am happy to report that she is normal in weight and height (she's in the 70/80%-tile range). But I was especially glad to find out that she is above average in speaking. The doctor asked how many words she says and I said "a lot." And he said, "like 50?" and I said, "ya, I think so." And he was surprised and said that she is doing well then, above average for her age. And so when I got home I made a list just to make sure I wasn't lieing to him and simply pleasing myself with my little talker . And she says at least 75 words, and those are just the ones that came to mind in 10 minutes. She repeats nearly everything we say. It's fun!

*Partners in crime* So Jocey is Sammy's little shadow. She does and says everything that he does. She just adores him. He used to say that she was his best friend. But as of late he "loves" Zach, the 6-year old neighbor, and his cousin, Olivia, whom he pesters and teases uncontrollably, is his new best friend. But anyway, when Samuel is not pulling on Jocelyn's hair (I honestly thought that was just a cliche) or tattling on her, they play really well together. As earlier stated, they were Aboriginal children once. They play trains and cars together. They mess up the house together and they both love watching "George" together. It's really fun to watch. I didn't think they'd get a long so well being opposite sex, 2 1/4 years apart, etc but they really do enjoy each other's company, for the time being. I hope it lasts a while but that they're criminal escapades don't last through their teenage years.

*teenagers* speaking of,....I was channel flipping one morning and came upon the Today show. They had this awful singer, dressed like a playboy bunny but w/o the ears singing a song that had lyrics something like "I kissed a girl and it was okay. I'm still innocent, and am not in love w/her" over and over again. There were teenage girls to grown women lip-synching the whole time. Are you kidding me? Do they know what they are listening to? Do they get what she is saying? Hello? ugh. What is our world coming to???

*5k* I am running my first 5k this Saturday. I am excited to complete this goal and hope I have the energy to reach my goal of running it in 30 minutes. We'll see :) I really do enjoy running now. It's fun and not so painful as I thought it was. I only wish it would steal some pounds away. At least it gives me more energy and a little more definition.

Well, Autumn is my favorite season. I only hope Utah will give us one this year. I have a lot planned already and now through Thanksgiving is booked. I hope I can complete some of these projects and still maintain a healthy temper w/my kids. I really hope my kids don't remember how poorly I sometimes raise them now. The poor things. They have to learn through me living vicariously through them as a mother. I hope they forgive me when they're my age.

Thanks for reading! It seems to be feast or famine w/my sporadic posts. See you next time!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Hello my Murray-ite friends!

I am thinking of enrolling Samuel in pre-school to start in January. I'd like a more liberal-arts based yet inexpensive school to enroll him in. Does anyone have any suggestions? Names, phone #'s, locations, etc?

Or....would anyone like to participate in Joy School w/me starting in January? I can probably only do the Jan-May curriculum as we will be moving at the end of next summer. It does cost $ to participate and you, as the mom, have to rotate teaching classes, which is 2x weekly. But it is still much cheaper than formal pre-school and you still get the kids out of the house! Anyway, if anyone is interested please let me know as I am strongly considering doing it for Samuel in January but I'd like to participate with other children and not just one-on-one w/Samuel.

Otherwise, any other suggestions for pre-schools are gladly accepted! Thanks!