Run, run, as fast as you can...

A couple weeks ago, my brother and his cute wifey entrusted me with the care of their little ones while they were in Puerto Rico for six days. I absolutely loved the time I got to spend with the adorable sprouts (I did get some help from Liz's sister, but had four solid days with no breaks ;). I'm kind of proud of myself).

I'm sure my family all knows this as I don't hide things well and can easily be read like a book, but not because I talk about it ever, because I don't--ever. I don't want to be one of those 30-somethings who complains about not being married and my biological clock ticking like a time bomb. BUT, truth be told...I cannot wait to have some of my own. When I awoke Tuesday morning in my own bed, I was kind of bummed that I had to wake up to my alarm instead of Avery calling out "Chaety....Chaety..." or Quincey's cute face popping up over her crib rails and I really missed the morning snuggle with her rolly-polly babiness. I won't lie, the week was hard work! My hat really goes off to you moms! Especially my friends whose breadwinners work long hours and travel most of the time. Holy cow you are all amazing! Playing mommy by myself for a few days taught me a ton.

Realization #1...Never turn your back on a potty-training 3-year-old, or 3-year-old in general, or you might find her finger painting with you know what or climbing in the crib with the napping 1-year-old or climbing on the counter to play sandbox with a whole can of formula...

Rule #2...Be prepared to read a new favorite book a bazillion times. After the 100th reading of the Gingerbread Man, Avery was running around the house singing, "run, run afassas you can. You ca' ca' meee, I'm da (mumble mumble) man!"

Realization #3...I want a small house when I have little kids. One big play room with lots of storage and a tall desk for me to do some work at, a couple bedrooms and a kitchen. Nothing extra. I don't know how you moms get anything done. Really. Oh, I also decided that I want to put the TV in the kitchen so my kids will actually sit there and eat. Is that bad?

Realization #4...The cure for a lead foot is precious cargo. I didn't even mind that cars were passing me on the road. I followed every traffic rule and probably even added a few of my own.
Realization #5...My SIL and brother have done a fabulous job raising these girls. My mom, bless her heart, agreed to help me take the girls to the big city for a friend's gallery opening. Afterward we took them over to Temple Square to have a chance to run around before getting back in the car. In the temple visitors center, I was following Avery around the exhibit about prophets in the basement--running from life-size replica of Moses to Isaiah to Joseph Smith (whom she called "daddy" when she first saw him, with her eyes all bright) to the video of President Monson, the current prophet. There she pointed and watched the clip slightly mezmorized. We walked into another section for a bit, then she turned to me and said, "Wanna go see d' propet?" and led me back into the other section to listen to me tell her the names of all of the prophets again so she could repeat them. Seriously, it was one of the cutest things I ever heard. "Chaety. Wanna go see d' propet?"

Realization #6...Make sure the kids get a nap on days you feed them ice cream.

Realization #7...when you tell your kids that Jesus loves them, they may think that means the 20 foot marble Christus really wants them to climb on him :). They don't really get the whole "keep off of Jesus" thing.

Realization #7...those kisses are some of the best.

One great weekend. One great book.

And the clouds parted for a day of water skiing bliss...

Yes, it really was that cold at first. I don't think I've ever skied in a wetsuit. I'm usually too chicken to get in the water if it's cold. It's amazing what I'll do to make a good impression ;).

I am ever-so-slightly aware that bringing out the slalom ski is my equivalent of bringing out the big guns. I was equally impressed with my male companion(s). Tim turned out to be an excellent driver AND can cut like a champ. check and check!

k. wallace tearing it up!

DC lent me some of its finest this weekend...It's going to have to last me six months. boo! or maybe I should say hoo...ah. either way it's going to be a long six months.


I am thoroughly enjoying and will highly recommend this book. It's a very interesting commentary on life, war and books. Many thanks to L&C for gifting it to me and to their new airplane friend en rout from Nashville.

mes de cumpleanos

I love birthdays. So, in my mind it's no big deal for the birthday celebrations to last a full month + a couple days. (ps, I did steal several of these photos from facebook. Many thanks to photographers, Joanna and Adam.)

Birthday month started with a joint bbq bash for two of my besties, me and Jed (who took those fabulous 80s prom pictures). I'm really not sure what I would do without these two ladies--my social life in Utah would be fairly dismal.

Hands down, best purchase EVER! These garden laterns have brightened so many festivities. I'm surprised they are not in pieces.
The actual day of my birth. We celebrated at the Sunset Grille and kareoke bar in OBX, NC. At one point, a new friend Dave asked me how many of the people sitting at our table did I know prior to that week. I counted one. The ever-faithful Brent Peterson. Everyone else was new. I seriously made so many great friends that week. Absolutely worth using my voucher to linger on the east coast.

Dave, Curtis, me, Dustin, Brent

Brian Williams, another ever-faithful, really came through with the ice cream cake from DQ. So good!
Thanks to my design skills, I was able to take the existing frosting and change the name on the cake. We re-lit the candles and sang again in honor of Scotty's b-day on the 29th.

Not sure what it is about May minus 9 months that gets Mormon's to procreate--but there are seriously a lot of us gemini's out there. Happy day to Dave M on the 28th.

And of wouldn't be a bday without going to dinner with my family.

I love this pic of Q-cheeks. Is it obvious where she gets her nickname?

The cake that no one ate.I am such a nerd. Yes, that is me embracing a sewing machine. I have wanted a serger for years and couldn't be happier now that I have one.

(For those of you who know sergers, don't worry, I did trade the singer in--after two hours of fidling with the tension and finally giving up--for a janome...which I love even more than this picture can display. Watch out bijou. Em, I know, I still need to get you pictures.)
So far, 30 has been good to me and I promise to be good to 30 (i.e., summer goal = learn to ride a full-size moto).

Within You Without You

In April, before my parents came home from their cruise and "officially" announced their separation and after I found out and had prepped my siblings for the upcoming news, my sisters and I were walking through the mall engaging in some retail therapy. We passed a table donning a sale sign and neatly stacked, familiar looking jewelry boxes. We decided that at this pivotal point in all of our lives we needed matching, commemorative necklaces.

There were several different charms displayed. I picked up the lotus, one of my all-time favorite flowers. I had just been researching the symbolism of the lotus for a marketing campaign for my aunt's essential oil company, which only increased my love for the flower. About the same time I was reading the message, Bethany picked up the lotus and read the message to herself, eyes welling and said, "Are you joking? This is perfect." We all agreed. We needed this necklace. After purchasing six of them, one for my mom, each of us and both sisters-in-law, we continued on our shopping trip with smiles on our faces.

New Beginnings
lotus flowers grow from muddy swamps into beautiful symbols of creation and rebirth. let your necklace remind you of your own beauty and strength. enjoy!

As a kid, one of my favorite picture books told a story of a child who fell asleep on a lily pad floating on the water. Since then, I have been enchanted by this aquatic perennial.

Let me share some of the reason why I love the lotus.

Or in other words...

It may or may not be a secret that I love Kierkegaard. It's rare enough to find a Christian philosopher from the 1800s, but one who writes extensively about love is...well, I just kind of love it.

While I was in DC waiting outside the metro and then again on the plane, I was slightly sucked in to the first and second chapters of his piece, Works of Love. When it came time for me to prepare another Sunday School lesson, I decided to find a way to include some of my favorite insights--no matter what. Kind of like the tracting game we would play as missionaries--pick a random scripture while walking up to a door and make your companion find a way to incorporate it into their door approach. Why we got a kick out of that, I still don't know.

Anyway. I'm hoping this will be a little more successful.

The Christian philosopher discusses the commandments to “love God with all your heart, mind and strength” with the command to” love your neighbor as yourself”.

tah dah!

After two weeks of struggling to design the marketing for Bijou, I just finished the e-flyer...and I must say that I think it turned out so cute. Thanks to my new friend Tracy at Pottery Barn for your great ideas.