Friday, February 19, 2016

When Heaven Isn't so Far

My little Cali. Last night Scott was away on Young Men's duty and so Cali laid next to me in my bed. It didn't take long until she was sleeping soundly, her heavy, tired breath was a soothing back ground to my book. Scott eventually came in and I guess the noise he made startled Cali a bit because she woke up, stood straight to her feet and stepped off the edge of the bed. Luckily Scott noticed her and saved her from what would have been a painful fall. She was completely out of sorts and disoriented which was making her frantic and panicky.  I knew exactly what she needed and exactly what she wanted.


I am the answer to all of Cali's problems.

I gathered her up, whispered softly, ran my fingers through her long hair and in seconds she melted against my chest. I sat there holding her for a long time. Tracing her features with my fingers, kissing her lips, holding her hand and memorizing the weight of her growing body in my arms. There are these moments in life that nearly burst your soul with love. Just glimpses I think of Heaven and what is in store. It feels like your ordinary human heart just isn't built to withstand the weight of all that love and devotion and that's when you know that Heaven isn't so far away.

And I am pretty sure that Cali is the answer to all my problems too.


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Softball Dates

One of my New Year commitments was to "date" Scott. We had gotten in a rut of "dating" by going to dinner and then to Costco. Woowhoo and fun!! But not so much.

I decided we needed to actually make plans and actually do the things we enjoy together instead of just the things we need to do.  So I planned the first date of the New Year and I will just say that it was a home-run. I planned a picnic in the very first place that we lived after we were married and it was awesome. Then in February Scott took me out to one of my favorite spots on the lake where we had had dinner together once when we were engaged. The drive up there was even fun and relaxing. Genius idea!

At the same time I was thinking about raising the dating bar, a friend of ours invited us to play on their coed softball team. Back in the day Scott and I played coed softball continuously. We played every season and would even bring a play pin to set up in the dugout after we started having kids. It was ridiculous! But so fun.

Eventually we just gave up playing. Too many other needs and stresses and demands and way too much in the cost of babysitters. We haven't played on a team in at least 12 years. But this time we were ready to play again and it has been so great. I didn't even know how much I had missed it until we played again. Perfect activity, perfect timing, perfect date.

Coed 1998

Coed 2016

I have sure loved dating again!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Good Company

Its been sunny and warm here in the low deserts. It is JUST the way I like it. Cool in the shade, warm in the sun, lawnmowers whirling over back yard fences and blue BLUE Arizona skies.

I had an absolute killer morning. Trying to get everyone fed and packed and arranged felt like coordinating the Olympic games and with only seconds to spare between each event to boot. Speaking of boots Ella had to wear hers today because her school shoes have apparently vanished in the 12 hours since she wore them last. Not to mention I have had 67 appointments, meetings and errands this week. It been a doozy and I needed a little bit of Arizona in February to save my soul.

After stopping in at the elementary school to see a very important performance (think Superbowl half time people) at the Friday assembly, Cali and I met up with one of my dearest old friends. We had missed our Thursday evening running date and we were making up for it. Our babies are both now huge pre-schoolers and pushing the two of them in one stroller is not for the faint of heart but we did. After running we stretched and chatted in the yard while the kids played and then we stopped by the park until we both had to face the clock and get back to responsibility and all that junk.

Between the good company, the exercise and Arizona in February I nearly died of relief. But mostly because of the good company.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Metal Mouth

We have a lot of braces in our house right now. Brylee and I had them put on in June.

Brylee because she needed them and me because of a lovely little rare syndrome that I was a lucky recipient of called Parry Romberg Syndrome that causes damage to the soft tissue of the left side of the face including the tissue that helps keep your teeth in one spot.

Its super fun.

Notice how perfectly straight my teeth on the right are and how messy the are on the left.

Good times!

So we had no plans to have braces put on Branson anytime soon. BUT then we went for a regular cleaning at the dentist and found out that Bransons adult K9 teeth are lodged crooked and sideways up in his pallet, pushing on the roots of his 4 front permanent teeth. Killing them.


By the next day we were in the orthodontist with him and within a 2 week period he went from nothing to a mouth full of braces, wires, expanders and metal. His whole face hurts. In a few months we'll schedule his oral surgery and in 3 YEARS he'll reach the finish line.

There was a time when I was all like,

"Holy cow babies cost soooo much! Diapers, wipes, cribs, strollers, pre-school."

I wish I could tell that young Mom to enjoy it while it lasts because...Holy Cow! Braces, cars, insurance, sports, clubs, missions, college! Good thing they are all so cute, right?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

House on the Hill

Lets move to the hills. Is what I say to Scott about every other day when I decide that life is too taxing, demanding and stressful. I just picture a little house all by itself up on hill and I think SALVATION. Forget the internet, forget car pools and schedules and homework, lets just live off the land and never leave the house on the hill ever.

Lately Cali has been ever so so so clingy. She watches my every move and follows me with palpable anxiety that she might loose sight of me. She has been hanging onto my leg ALL through Primary, crying on her way out to pre-school and  just being generally unhappy unless glued to my body. She is also avoiding any and all attention. The other day I tried to get a quick picture of her in her cowgirl clothes and she cried the whole time. We got a lot of shots like this...

The whole thing is sorta of breaking my heart and I want to say THE HILLS my Dear! The hills! Lets go! So what to do when you feel like running for the hills and never speaking to anyone ever again? Never attending another parent teacher conference or play date or meeting or anything? I don't know what you do but yesterday after pre-school I put Cali in the bed next to me, held her hand and watched her fall asleep content and safe and what do you know-I felt content and safe too.

I guess the house on a hill can wait for another day.

Friday, February 5, 2016


Cali- MY BABY turns 5 on Sunday. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? She is so much like Brylee. Easy going,  a lot tom boy and a little bit princess. She wanted a cowgirl party and I thought it was the perfect fit for her.

 She had a great time.

And my sweet friend Kristen was kind enough to help me put together a little hay ride over to her Dad's property to see the horses and cows. This was for sure the high light of Cali's whole life.

Jaren and my Dad were even nice enough to lug this heavy as heck "bull" over to my back yard.

We played pin the tail on the horse, had a boot pinata and the kids decorated cowboy hats. It turned out really fun and was easy-peasy.

All for my sweet little cowgirl. How I love her, heart and soul.

Monday, February 1, 2016


So wow, I have really been blog flopping lately and neglecting to write and record. But January 2016 will go down in the books as the month that I finally made some needed changes and IT HURT. But it also felt so good all at the same time. Hooray for that I say.

With the help of our wonderful General Authorities Sunday has become an even more special day than it was. I mean Sunday has always been special. We have always treated Sunday as a holy, set apart, different day but now it is even more of all of that. Scott and I are better at being deliberate with Sunday and "making" things happen or not happen that we want for our family.

Yesterday after a dinner of pork chops and mash potatoes we dug out our old VCR, dusted that thing off and pulled out Scott's High School football highlight tape and one of my cheer highlights from my senior year. I died when Branson held out one of the VHS tapes and asked, "how does it go in?" We had to explain "rewind" and "fast forward" and our kids looked at us like we had been raised on another planet.

We huddled around the TV and laughed and joked and made fun of the 1990's. Then we sat in a circle to fold the weeks laundry, had an arm wrestling tournament and ended with family prayers and hugs good-night.

I can see and feel the purpose and need and joy of the Sabbath Day. And I love that for one sacred day each week I get my family back.