Tuesday, July 22, 2014

home sweet

we drove to utah. it is 10.5 hours of driving. that is a lot of driving.

let's only mention two things about the drive:

1. ava is an amazing traveler.

2. sarah is the worst.

we hung out at my sister-in-law's house because ryan's cousin and dear friend russ got married. hooray for them! and it was perfect timing because ryan's sister shannon just had a baby. and we all got to sit around and hold him and wrap him in blankets and then hand him over when we were done. and i loved that part. i think maybe i really am done having babies because this baby didn't make me hungry at all. and then, to top it all off, ryan's aunt and uncle had a farewell at church because in a week they leave for a mission...to zimbabwe. 

it was a fast trip (we drove out thursday and drove back on sunday night), but a good one. it's good to see family. especially when that family is getting married, having babies and serving missions. 

sarah's favorite toy. she laughed when you bounced her and cried when you stopped.
  ava soaking up some brand new baby
torturing sarah at the bean museum at byu.
 cousins in taco bell, after the temple and before the luncheon. it was a long, long day for those kids.
 kate and great-grandpa
the drive home with our little stowaway, davis. i brought her back to california to entertain my children so i wouldn't have to take care of them anymore. it's totally working. i blogged because everyone's so busy playing together! heaven.

we loved seeing our family, but i have to admit that we were more than happy to be home. there's something about home, you know? and i guess ryan and i are growing older, because the road trip isn't as appealing to us as a blanket on the lawn and some good books. home from vacation makes home so much sweeter.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


 dear sarah,

happy nine months! this month you have officially been out as long as you were in. how can that be? in eighteen months you transformed from a cluster of cells to a little person who learned how to blow kisses in a day. A DAY. sarah, i know i'm your mother and am therefore biased, but you're a genius, no question.

this month you learned to crawl, which is delightful because now you can keep up with everyone else. you're happiest when you're in the midst of us. i've seen you crawl and scoot quickly after the stampede of ava, seth and kate as they move a game outside, a look of sweet determination on your little face. i love that you love your siblings, i love that they let you play with them. i DON'T love that you love to stick all sorts of everything small and easily choke-able in your mouth. luckily for me, you have a tell: you keep your lips tightly sealed. that cheeky (literally) grin can't make an appearance if you have to keep whatever exciting treasure you're trying to keep me from finding hidden behind your lips.
you love: pineapple, watermelon, strawberries, cheerios, applesauce, zucchini, beets, carrots, pears, peaches, doughnuts, ice cream, otterpops, fountains, pools, the dogs, your blankees, books, teddy bears, sand at the beach and going for walks.

you hate: the bath, long car rides, being left behind or forgotten, having your diaper changed, errands and not getting a nap.

you are easily appeased, usually. yesterday we strapped you in your car seat without feeding you lunch so they we could drive you down to chinatown (ha!) for lunch at our family favorite. you cried the whole time, arriving with red-rimmed eyes. your aunt amanda held you on her lap and then uncle aaron, where, surrounded by the people you love, you were easily appeased with a chopstick you used to poke everyone around you. and when the sizzling rice soup arrived? i could hardly feed you fast enough! you were sweet as pie.
on monday we went to the beach. the tide was high and the swell was gentle, so i put you on the sand and let you play in the water. you loved it! you splashed and played and tried your best to shove fistful after fistful of sand and seashell into your mouth.

sarah, i love you. you're a sweet little apricot pudding, with your mouth full of teeth and your chubby little hands that wave to everyone, or slap kisses everywhere instead of gently blowing them. you clap sweetly and, of course, you swing your leg with joy when you are with the people you love. you stink at snuggling, often wanting the offending would-be snuggler to stop it and take you somewhere interesting. happy nine months, you sweet, sweet thing.




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

7 quick takes

1. i just read these and laughed. and laughed. and laughed. and ryan watched. and watched. and watched. and when i finally caught my breath and looked up he said, "it's really fun to watch you laugh." i warn you: there's a chance it was just funny to me that one time. sometimes i do that. a lot.

2. we're supposed to leave for utah in 24 hours. i have done absolutely nothing to prepare for it. NOTHING. so....there's that.

3. kate is tired of summer. it just isn't her cup of tea to go-go-go all the time and lately our schedule has been so hectic we haven't had a time to do the whole activity-rest-activity-rest that she favors. yesterday she threw a true fit at the beach because she wanted to go home right that instant. today she threw a fit at a restaurant because she thought we were all eating chocolate without her. we weren't. we were eating chinese food. i'm tired.

4. summer, while being an amazing time to run around and swim and beach and eat and visit and play is also a fabulous time to create. we've been putting together all sorts of things together. in addition to painting several pieces of furniture and making plans for ava's bunk bed, i put together a little wreath from coffee filters and teas. it was really fun.
5. my children are in love with pokemon. the same pokemon that my brother and sister loved when they were kids. it is so, so fun. 

6. last week we kicked things off with some vicious teething. then i developed a most severe sinus infection. then seth got stung by a bee and we learned that he is deathly allergic to them. it was not my favorite week.

7. things i should pack for utah: clothes. a few snacks for the drive. the summer journals. a few movies. clothes for russell's wedding. my camera...anything else???

Monday, June 30, 2014

camping in snow canyon

remember that time we went camping? probably not. because it was several months ago and i am just getting around to blogging it. four children is making me total fail at blogging. at least i'm not failing at feeing my children. THAT would be bad. 

so this year's camping trip took place in snow canyon, which is just outside of st george and is absolutely be-you-tiful. we went with my aunt and uncle, who arranged everything, and met up with another aunt and uncle, some cousins and a sister (mine). it was fun. an awful lot of family time. we loved it. 

we hiked, swam, mountain biked, slept under the stars, used the dutch oven for the first time (it turned out well!) and used the ice cream maker for the first time also (that turned out even better!). it was a great trip. camping has become one of my favorite times of the year. 

 my aunt brought scooters and seth spent almost all time at the campsite on one of these scooters.

 my cousin sam was there with his wife and two little kids. violet is about the same age as kate and the two just LOVED each other. 

 my cousin cameron's little girl, jill, who sat in the backpack carrier and munched on crackers with those sunglasses our entire hike.

 cousins on the rocks. there are a lot of girls in this family.
 my cousin cameron. his daughter isabelle saw him and shouted, "hey! that's my dad!"
 seth found a little spot of his own

 my uncle gordon, cousin conrad, ava, cousins hannah, sam, sonja and helen.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

about a father on fathers' day

he puts small children to bed by brushing their teeth, changing them into pajamas, telling stories, singing songs, snuggling and giving goodnight kisses.

he patiently sits and is read to, even when the reader is young and takes a really long time.

he climbs on to the roof to retrieve frisbees, balls, bats, toy cars and stuffed animals.

he worries that our daughters will think that they can't be scientists of mathematicians because they are girls.

he holds babies that cry because their mother wants to go to yoga class. he never complains.

he pushes children on swings.

he ties shoes.

he drives children to school every morning, walking them to their classrooms and waits by the door to wave goodbye to them when they turn around.

he is a father, a superior one. a man of faith, a man of careful thought, a man of careful words. there is no way i could handle these four children without this man. he has saved me. he is the eye in the storm that is all of those children, the reason i have not been committed.

i am grateful to him. for the laughs, for the hugs, for the encouragement, for the willingness to heat a can of soup for dinner when i am fried.

happy fathers' day, rodge.