Tuesday, April 15, 2014


This sweet girl left us yesterday. After thirteen long dog years, her unbelievably kind spirit finally left her aging - but stubborn - body. We were as ready as we could be for her to go. It was her time. But it doesn't make it any easier. She was just a lover of a dog. She loved us, and she loved the people we loved. She's a special breed (Keeshond) that can smile when they're really happy. Their mouths curl and their teeth show, and it's just the best thing in the world. Every time I'd come home to visit, she'd come bounding out, even in her arthritic last days, beaming. 

I think it's a rather extraordinary thing that Heavenly Father gave us these animals to be our companions. I think that some of them - like Chamine - are super special. They understand us, they take care of us, and they love us to the very tiniest parts of our souls. They are truly a gift and a reminder that God loves us. 

Chamine was the best dog I ever knew. I feel so lucky that she was ours. And I am so grateful for everything she gave to us. Until we meet again, sweet girl. Thank you for loving us. 

I love you Tuss. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

it's been said

{upon examining a toy cow figure}
Lou: Hmm. What's dat? Dat poo?
Me: Um, no. It's the udder. It's how we get milk from a cow.
Lou, picking up the toy horse figure and examining its underside: The horse no get milk?
{while Jess attempts to wrestle Lou}
Lou: Get away boy!
Belle: Mom, can I wear my Rapunzel dress for just a second?
Me: How about after naps?
Belle: Mommmmm. How about after just half of a second?
Lou: Sissy! Dis is terrible!
Annabelle: What is terrible?
Lou: Mommy's in her bed, she say, I tie-wed!
{storms off to find me with her demon face on - 
I was not in bed and heard and witnessed the whole thing -
 it was hilarious}
Me: What do you think of the soup?
Belle: It's pretty good, but pretty different. It needs corn. 
{my mini chef}
{while watching Rise of the Guardians}
Lou: Oh, it's a scary part! Sissy, you keep me safe?
Belle: Yes. Just sit down. You're safe with me. See, is this part okay?
Lou: Yeah. Thank you Sissy, for getting me safe.
{and then my heart broke in a million pieces}
Lou: Jack and the Frost = Jack Frost

Me: Lou, who do you love? {expecting her to say, "Mommy."}
Lou, whispering: Jesus.
{after she's been too quiet for too long}
Me: Lou? Where are...oh, what are you...
Lou: I pooping...Leave me alone.
{while I cut raw chicken}
Lou: Moooommmm! Mommmm!
Me: Belle, will you go see what Lou needs? My hands are all gross.
{Belle runs upstairs}
Belle: Um...Mom? Lou's in her bed...and she can't get out.
{NOTE: I did not put her in the bed.}
{while watching Toy Story 3, under her breath}
Belle: Andy's room isn't clean...why does my room always have to be clean?
{for the record, her room is hardly always clean!}
{while praying}
Lou: Tankful for Daddy and tankful for tattoos...
{awesome - she's referring to temporary ones Annabelle got for Valentine's from preschool}
{while I laid on the couch with her flu bug}
Lou: Mommy, you sick?
Me: Yeah, I'm not feeling too good.
Lou: Oh, you need medicine? I can't get it. It too high. Lemme see...here lemme feel your belly. Now breathe like dis (huffs and puffs). Dare. Feeling better?
{she was sick so often for so long that she has every diagnosis routine down pat}

Lou: Oh my gosh!
Me: Lou, say, "Oh my goodness."
Lou: No. I can't. OH MY GOSH!
{while playing princesses}
Lou: Hi. I Belle.
Me: Oh, hello Belle. How are you?
Lou: Uh...where my prince?
{while playing at a friend's house}
Me: Wow! Look at this cute play kitchen!
Little friend: My mom made it.
Me: Wow, your mom is so creative!
Annabelle: I wish you were creative Mom...
{on Saturday night}
Belle: I don't wanna go to my class. I'm tired of church!
Me: Your Daddy is crazy!
Jess: Your Mommy is crazy!
Lou: No...Me is crazy!
{true dat}
Belle: Oh my goodness grief!
{as Jess repeatedly kisses my cheek}
Lou: Oh guys. Stop kissing!
{Jess walks over and kisses her}
Lou: Oh, that's much better.

{while hiking in Capitol Reef National Park}
Me: What do you think is in those tiny holes in the rocks?
Belle, without hesitation: Bats and rats and spiders.
{while hiking in Capitol Reef, when her shoes filled with sand}
Lou: My foot is dragging!
{over and over}
{still hiking in Capitol Reef}
Lou: I a hiking guhrl!
{as Jess attempts to wrestle Lou}
Lou: Daddy stop! I not a baby anymore! I just a kid!
{while in the back garden (yard)}
Lou: The bugs are in my sun!
{while praying, while Daddy is at work}
Lou: Thankful for Daddy...to be in the back garden.
Me: I'm trying to find a hotel for us...
Lou: A hotel!? I love hotels!
Belle: Me too. I wish we lived in a hotel and not this house...

{while watching General Conference}
Lou: Hey! That's Tomlinson! (Thomas S. Monson) That's my man!
{while watching General Conference}
Lou: Sissy! It's Uchtdorf! I love him! I marry him!
{after Lou spits a half-chewed banana in my hand}
Belle: When I'm a mom, I don't want to hold slobbery things...
{good luck with that}
{after her teacher gives her extra homework, per her request, I find her crying}
Me: What's wrong? Do you not want extra homeowork?
Belle: No! It's too easy! And I want MORE. Why didn't Miss Sam give me more!?!
{Miss Sam now gives her two packets per week. It's hilarious.}
Annabelle and Lou: hanitizer = hand sanitizer 
{and why not?}

Sunday, April 6, 2014


So have y'all heard about Home Depot's monthly Kids Workshops? If not, I'm pretty sure it's my duty to spread the word. On the first Saturday of every month, Home Depot hosts a free Kids Workshop. Kids get a little woodworking project and a mini Home Depot apron, and they get to take home both. It's so clever, and so much fun.

Of course, these little projects generally require the assistance of an adult, and we were lucky this week to have an extra grandma, grandpa, uncle, and aunt on hand. I was most grateful as I almost always get at least one step backwards or wrong, and I was happy to hand over the reigns to Tanner to help Lou.

Those are tiny little bird feeders that the girls are holding. They took their jobs so seriously in putting them together and getting the paint job just right (mostly pink). So cute. Next month is a flower planter...you know you want to make one! :)

A Grandpa photo bomb. Epic.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

puppy people

So the morning we left St. George after my sister's wedding, Jess noticed it was a wee bit quiet outside in the backyard, so he went out to survey the goings on of our children.

My mom has two dogs. The girls love these dogs, especially as we haven't a single pet in our home (and the older I get, the more I'm really really okay with it). But apparently, they also like to be dogs. When Jess walked out, they looked up with the "Am I in trouble face?" He just laughed and went inside to get the camera. LOOK HOW DIRTY THE DOG CRATE IS. And note that they're wearing their fancy wedding shoes.

Most people get a dog when they don't have babies. We have babies so we don't have to get dogs.

And yes, she got stuck in the dog door. And yes, her father took pictures before retrieving her. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

back to tumbling

Many of you may recall that Annabelle is our little tumbler. We enrolled her in a little class with one of her friends when she was barely three because it was something fun for her to do, to get wiggles out, to be in a class setting before preschool. 

Some of you may also recall the showcase. My heart still aches a little about it. She was so scared and so brave. That said, after the showcase, tumbling was never the same. It's like she realized how to be nervous. She started to totally come unglued every time we went to class. She didn't want to go in without me, and even with me there, she wouldn't join the class usually. She wasn't loving tumbling anymore. Tumbling - this thing that was hers - had become not fun. She dreaded it, and it broke my heart.

So we took a break. Preschool was starting up anyhow, and I knew that would be a hurdle by itself. Of course, preschool has worked wonders on our girl's confidence and bravery, so when I asked her in December if she'd be interested in tumbling again. She mulled it over, and one day said, "Mom, I want to do tumbling again." I'll admit I enrolled her with about ten gallons of hesitancy. But she insisted. At her first class, she had some nerves, but her teacher was quick to involve her and she started with the class. 

And it has been full speed ahead since then. She's rapidly progressing and having the best time. Her body seems to be made for the sport, and although she's just a baby, I hope it's something she's able to stick with for years. She gets such a sense of satisfaction from it. She's proud of herself, and she thrives on the challenge of every new task her teacher presents. I'll sit behind the glass and watch her teacher demonstrate something, thinking, "Nooooo. She can't do...Oh, okay. She did it." Little known fact: Annabelle is double jointed, and I think many of the tricks come fairly easy because her body bennnnds easy. 

These photos are from her showcase this year. It was held in her regular class room, with just a handful of parents and relatives, which was much more her speed than the big intimidating showcase last year. She zoomed right through her routine; even when she skipped a trick, she didn't let the mistake get her down, and she went back and fixed her routine. She has grown up so much lately. There's really not a single vestige of babyhood left in her. It's both amazing and painful. Either way, we are so proud. :) 

Our tumbler's back. Our house is  back to the regular ruckus of cartwheels and handstands, of falling down and getting up, over and over again. And we love it.

Monday, March 17, 2014

ha ha ha

My sister and her new husband are your basic technology nerds. Both studying computers and graphics and things like that that most of us don't understand. Both super smart. She started brainstorming for her guest book, and came up with something brilliant. When guests entered the reception, they sat down and took some photobooth photos. They could then add their message or advice to the happy couple, and in some sort of fancy ingenious way, they'll just push print and have a magic book with everyone's photos and messages. Brilliant, no? 

We neglected to take our photos until the very end of the reception. Look at Lou. So sad. But kind of hilarious. Longest day ever for a baby with no nap. But such a good day. So glad we took these. :)

Friday, March 14, 2014


Google tells me the first day of spring is March 20. I say spring is whenever the air is warm enough to run and play. And by warm enough, I mean just enough. We don't need much. Last night, we went to our favorite spot - not yet officially open, but we duck under trees and bushes and cut our way in - and went for a "hike." This is the first time Lou has been old enough to really take it all in (or had enough command of her words). When we pulled up she said, "Oh I member this! Oh I duss love hiking and running!"

We hiked and ran and threw rocks (and snow!) and pretended that it was spring. Because for that hour, it was.


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