Tuesday, October 28, 2014


+ One morning a week or so ago, I decided I'd do a quick 20 minutes of some bodyweight cardio. I've been using FitnessBlender's workouts religiously for quite some time now (and I LOVE them), so I just thought, "Eh, I'll skip the warm up. I'm good." Little did I know. Ten minutes later, my back seized up and I spent the next two days wearing a heat pack, doping up on ibuprofen, and hobbling around like a little old lady. Lesson: I am old and can no longer just "skip" the warm up. 

+ When in St. George, go to Swig, and get a Dirty Dr Pepper (Diet is my jam). Ignore everything they say about sugar and aspartame and death. Dirty DP = worth the risk. Thirty two ounces of risk. Worth it.

+ Remember our little preschooler? Wellllll....she dropped out. She started fuhreaking out every time I dropped her off. And listen - I'm selfish and didn't even want her to go in the first place. So we debated it and decided to just call it good for now and start three days a week next year. She still goes to (and lovessssss) tumbling, and her preschool teacher was super sweet about it and is excited to have her next year.

+ Speaking of tumbling - Annabelle did her first real (unassisted) back walk over while in St. George. I know this means little to most of us, but it's a BIG DEAL. It requires a truckload of bravery plus cannonball shoulders and a core of steel. I'm so excited for her. At tumbling class last week, with the security of the cushy mat below her, she did it over and over and over. Soooo proud. Mommy buttons busting.

+ I don't have my Christmas shopping done. I mention this because usually I do by this point. I have issues. But fall starts and my brain turns to glitter and sparkles and all I can think about is Christmas. I seriously pulled out Michael Buble's Christmas album like ten years ago. Go listen to this. You'll be Christmas shopping in no time. Oh, if you're Christmas card shopping, I've got my stock up in the shop. Click on over here and go crazy. :)

+ Here's a pumpkin cookie recipe for your fall needs. You NEED this recipe. Also, why do we only eat pumpkin stuff in the fall? I'm hereby starting a movement to eat pumpkin cookies year round.

+ Papa Murphy's now has gluten free pizza. Three cheers for elastic waistbands!

+ All you mommies, this article on being brave and somehow accepting that your babies have to grow up in a scary world. Just. I love it.

+ We got Jess a fish for his birthday. It's red, which is important when I tell you the next detail, but only if you are as awesome as us will that detail make sense. His name is Jean-Luc Picard. I know. It is hard to describe how much I pride myself on the nerdiness that pervades in our home. And it's some kind of cute when the girls run to his tank at night and shout a "Good night Captain!" 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

prom night

Jess recently started working at a new job. (Fireworks, pom poms!, cartwheels!!!!) He's still a lawyer, but he went in house for a solar power company. It's been life changing in so many ways.

Including this.

Note: He's hiding a box of Junior Mints in his clenched fist there.
I do enjoy that it makes him look super stressed, however.
For the first time in many years, Jess and I got dressed up - I mean dressed up - and we went to the ball. Jess' company was a sponsor of the Governor's Gala this year, and as such, they were invited. He text messaged me one day with a, "Do we want to go to the Governor's Ball?" Me: "Yes. No idea what it is. But yes we do."

The last time I put on a fancy dress and actually focused on achieving the perfect liquid line occurred seven years ago when we got married. (Danielle? Rissa? That reference was for you.) I gave myself a whole hour to get ready for this shin dig. A whole hour. Not a lash was left uncurled. So naturally I took selfies and sent them to my sister in Houston with whom I'd been sharing all my shopping anxieties regarding finding an appropriate ensemble.

This outfit brought to you by (Target's brand of) Spanx. Thank you and Amen.

When my beloved Target didn't turn up anything appropriate for such an event, I went to the mall. It was as painful as I anticipated. I left the mall with nothing but bad anxiety and a case of hives. Thankfully, my sister-in-law Whitney has a fabulous closet, and my shopping experience there went much better. I also went shopping in Grandma Cheney's jewelry. Basically I married into really great clothes and accessories.

The Gala's theme was "On Broadway," and it was simply lovely. Hale Centre Theatre (a local community theater - and apparently the largest community theater in the country) spearheaded the deal, featuring powerhouse voices singing the familiar theme songs from seven musicals, including Wicked, Annie, and Les Mis (tears). 

Basically, I think I should go to the prom at least once a month. It seriously was exactly what we needed and the perfect reminder that things are changing. Jess tried to pass it off as an anniversary date (our official seven year mark was the day before), but not so. His lazy butt was duly noted. 

It's so hard for me to believe that things can be different than the way they've been for a few years now, that our normal can shift back to what we've been praying and hoping for. I loved having this night to remember it.

And also. To take selfies.

And to eat salad in a cucumber bowl. 

Life is good. So good.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


On Monday night, we piled into the car (and I literally mean that - my RAV died over a month ago so we were literally piled into Jess' little Civic) with the goal of going...somewhere. These were the options that Jess and I had pre-determined:

1. Ross to shop for winter coats.
2. Papa's house.
3. Sam's Club for churros.
4. Temple Quarry Trail walk.

We asked Annabelle to pick a number. She chose four. So there we were. Smack dab in the middle of fall. And I would now like to apologize for hating on the smart phones. Because dude. I had a camera. And no, they're not as sharp as if I was hauling the SLR. But they're photos. And they have fall.

Fall is my favorite of all the seasons. This has been well documented. But this fall especially. This fall is shaping up to be full of everything amazing. It feels super surreal around here, the way the tide is shifting. But Imma roll with it. Because it's all pretty dang awesome.

Happy fall y'all.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

it's been said

That there on the right is her pirate face. Kills me.

Get comfortable. I've been saving these up for  months. Enjoy!

Lou: I love my daddy...and mommy. Annabelle too. And me. I love Grandma and Don Don too...and...Cap'n Picard.

and then there was this:

{while watching Frozen, to Aunt Don Don, in reference to the giant snowman monster guy}

Belle: Worf could beat him up. He's a Klingon. Klingon's are really strong.

and also this:

{in church, after someone held up a picture of Captain Moroni and asked who it was}
Random Kid: Captain Moroni!
Lou: HEY! That's like CAP'N PICARD!"

Also, they can each recite the opening lines of Star Trek: The Next Generation. You know, "Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise..." Except Belle says, "Space, the final frontier. These are the boar-dages.." And we love it. :)

{We never claimed we weren't raising nerds...this just really solidifies it...}
{while I'm wearing my glasses}
Belle: Mom, when you look at me, you look like a grandma.
Me: Hey, I think I look cute!
Belle: Um. You look like a cute grandma!
Me: Have you guys been playing on my bed?
Belle: No....we're not playing. We're jumping.
{with ten minutes left of church}
Lou: I wanna go home! I'm tired of churching!
Belle: I'm trying to think what Miley and Chamine's {dogs} favorite colors are.
Hmmm...They can't use words, so I don't know...
Maybe the color of their fur is their favorite color?
{as we get ready to make cookies, Lou takes out a giant salad fork}
Lou: Mom, we need this giant pork to make cookies.
{I love that she still switches her Fs and Ps. 
It means she's not quite grown up, right?}

Lou: Do you wanna build a snowman? DING! {the music}
Lou: jick-oh-rish = licorice
{when checking to see if I was listening}
Belle: Did you hear all of me?
Belle: Can you say, "El Chupacabra"?
Lou: El Chupa-blah-blah.
{from the Planes movie}
{during dinner}
Me: Here Lou. Have another bite.
Lou: No I'm breaking.
{she's taking a break}
{after I give Lou a hug, after working out, before showering}
Lou: You smell like...eck-er-sizing.
{yes, yes I do}
Me: Lou, why don't you poop in the potty?
Lou: I like your beautiful blue eyes!
{and then}
Me: Hey, are you pooping your pants?
Lou, looking around for something to distract me: I'm just...looking...at the dog (a toy).
Me: Lou, who's your favorite princess?
Lou: I like Super Why-a and Jack (from Super Why!).
{when two very disrespectful Asians in Yellowstone cut Lou off from me and start jibbering in her face}
{then literally pushes them out of the way and continues her rant}
Day are so rude! Day are teasing me!
{I died laughing. Especially since we'd had an unusual amount of discourteous tourists that trip.}
Lou waiting for Belle to get out of kindergarten, reciting the letters on the storm drain. Ha ha.

Jess: Hey, what do you girls want to do tonight?
Lou, without missing a beat: Go to Lellowstone.
{while the girls play in the parked car and trade seats, climbing over one another}
Lou: ...Uh...this is awkward...
Lou: My shirt is ouching me!
Belle: Mom, can I have a big marshmallow?
Me: Sure. You can have one now or two in five minutes.
Belle: I'll wait!
Lou: I wanna marshmallow!
Me: Okay. You can have one now or you can have two in five minutes.
Lou: I want one now!
{ha ha ha ha}
Jess: Okay Annabelle. Your turn to pray.
Lou: No I pray!
Jess: No Annabelle's turn.
Lou: Heav-ee Fad-der...
Belle: Okay, you can bust the prayer...
{bust it out}
Me: Get that comb out of your underwear.
Lou: But issa like a pocket...
{in the middle of singing a bunch of primary songs while driving}
Belle: We're just busting out church songs.
{while barbecue chicken cooks in the crock pot}
Lou, sniffing: Mmmmm! Yum! I want some of that Barbie chicken!
{the day after her birthday, to a friend}
Belle: I can't believe I'm five! I'm a whole hand!
{after I sneeze}
Lou: Mommy, you sound like a witch!
Belle: Lou, is Mitchell (a friend) a boy?
Lou: Yes, he's a boy.
Belle: He's a boyfriend!
Lou: No, I no like boyfriends!

She asked me to straighten her hair. And then she was twelve.

Lou: I not be a mom OR a dad when I grow up. I be a Whitney! 
{Aunt Whitney, who just returned from her mission in Korea}
{on a Saturday night]
Me: Did you poop today?
Lou: Uh...yes. 
Me: Oh, really? When?
Lou: Uh...Friday...at four.
Lou: Mom, I be Hiccup for Halloween and you be Toothless? And I can ride you? And you have wings?
Lou: Mom can I please have a brownie!? I told you six times.
Belle: I'm glad I have a daddy with red hair. I don't want a daddy with any other color hair.
Lou: When I grow up to be a daddy, I build Lego pirate ships.
{after picking Lou up from preschool}
Me: Were you a nice girl today?
Lou: Yes. People LOVE me.
{true. dat.}
Me: Do you want to go to a fancy restaurant tonight?
Lou: Cracker Barrel?!!!
{while Lou runs around in spazzy circles with a stroller}
Me: Hey Lou, why are you being psycho?
Lou: I not! I being a kid!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


one // I got a smart phone. I know. Jess and I are honestly just about the last people on earth to take the plunge into phone servitude. I have very mixed feelings about this contraption. I really love its convenience factor. But as a long-time dumb phone user, I'm also annoyed by all it's fanciness. Also, in general I don't love smart phones. I'm so tired of the world constantly looking down. All the time. I can't count the number of "conversations" I've had with people without them looking at me once. It's my biggest pet peeve ever. My hope is that my phone is useful and not distracting. I have no games or tricks on it. It's used for work, coupons, directions, and taking photos. Also, the girls don't know it's "smart," and they will never know. 

two // The kindergartner is SO HAPPY. She goes to bed happy and excited and wakes up happy and excited and comes home talking 100 miles per hour, telling me every little thing that happened. I'm so happy she's so happy. She's also been working hard at scamming the people we love to raise money for her school fundraiser. All those bears on her neck? Thank you dear friends and family who bought something from our little con artist - she won those bears because of your contributions. :) (And she literally wears them all day, every day. Including while she sleeps. She broke the original lanyard and is now sporting them with yarn. She's very proud and grateful.)

three // Lou is the most proud preschooler on the planet. And then we added tumbling, which shot her straight up to the moon. She is so proud to be so big. She's absolutely hysterical in tumbling. She cannot follow directions to save her life, and I literally cry watching her because I can't stop laughing. This morning at tumbling, as she literally sprinted away from me (such a totally different experience than her sister), I realized how much easier it is watching Lou grow up. I'm definitely not okay with her getting big; it's that she's so happy to be getting big. It makes it easy to be happy with her. She is so brave and confident, and I'm so glad.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

on the way home

As we often do, we traveled home from Yellowstone via Jackson Hole and the magnificent Grand Tetons. I think this time around, we secretly wanted those Tetons to redeem themselves after our last very soggy, semi depressing trip. And they did not disappoint. ​

We stopped and had our traditional picnic at Jenny Lake, took our time driving through the park and taking photos, then ended with the customary run around the park to get the last wiggles out before driving home. It was the perfect end to the perfect trip.

I love love love how much that Lou loves her sister.


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