Saturday, June 27, 2009

Not So Crazy Eights

Aunt Cindy tagged me for "Crazy Eights." My answers are not all that crazy.

Here goes...

Eight things I look forward to...
1. Having a calling. I feel like I haven't had a chance to really serve in a church calling for at least a year and I really like feeling needed at church. (Though heaven forbid I get called to Primary again.)
2. Bed time. Not now, the kids are already in bed, but it's an ongoing thing.
3. Furthering my education...I don't want to quit until I can proudly sport the initials PhD.
4. Getting out of this apartment and back into my house.
5. School to start. Right now, it's just Parker starting kindergarten that I'm looking forward to, but really, I can't wait to have all the crazies in school.
6. Fall clothes. I'm not a fan of summer fashion.
7. Spencer graduating for the last time. He's been in school FOREVER.
8. The J. Crew catalog in the mail.

Eight things I did yesterday...
1. Dutch ovened....GIRLS NIGHT!!!
2. I took the crazies to the spray ground.
3. Another walk to Kroger...flip flops stayed in tack.
4. Chatted with mom.
5. Attempted to keep up with the ever growing mounds of laundry.
6. Wasted time surfing Apartment Therapy.
7. Saw fireflies for the first time all FAVORITE thing about summers in Ohio.
8. Rescued Gray from disaster after disaster.

Eight things I wish I could do...
1. Take good pictures.
2. Break dance.
3. Be a scriptorian.
4. Speak in public without using notes...I'm always jealous of people who can do that.
5. Sing...not just carry a tune, I'm talkin' Broadway star.
6. Never tire of kid games and activities.
7. Eat healthier without it being such an effort or feeling like such a major sacrifice.
8. Shop with unlimited funds.

Eight shows I watch (or 8 shows I'll admit to watching)...
1. Pushing Daisies...unfortunately, I've had to say goodbye to that one after the last few episodes this summer.
2. So You Think You Can Dance
3. 30 Rock
4. Chuck
5. the Today Show
6. LOST (though I'm kind of over this one now.)
7. Malcolm in the Middle...a new found love. I've never watched this 'til a few weeks ago and I laugh my head off.
8. And I can't go to sleep until after I watch Seinfeld.

Eight friends I'm tagging...
1. Autumn
2. Abbey
3. Amanda
4. Kelly O
5. Kelly C
6. Genny
7. Jeanine
8. Becky

Friday, June 26, 2009

Man in the Mirror

I thought Flashback Fridays were back in full swing, but my old photos are in the kids room and I tend to blog while they're napping. So since my flashback plans for the day are thwarted once again, here's something you might not know about Spencer.

OK, I didn't know it either until last night. The passing of the King of Pop brought out a whole new side of my husband. Apparently, he's a closet Michael Jackson fan. The radio station we were listening to last night was playing only his music and song after song, Spencer knew every word. And all this time he's been forcing his ghastly country music on my innocent ears when we could have been listening to Michael Jackson. (Though Michael Jackson is only a small step better than country.)

And when I was still teasing Spencer about it this morning, his comment was, "Come on. Who hasn't put on a white glove and tried to moon walk?" When I laughed, he tried to play it cool like he was joking, but I'm pretty sure he's tried.

Sorry babe for exposing you over the world wide web. Your secret's out. But it makes you even cuter.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wastin' Away Again in Margaritaville

I blew out my flip-flop.

No pop top.
No cut heel.
No booze in the blender.

I guess that's not exactly Margaritaville. But I sang that song all the way home.

I had to run to the store the other day for some eggs. Since it was just a run-in, run-out situation, I slipped on my old flip flops that have made a permanent residence by my front door. They're the kind of shoes that you don't really want to go out in but you always slip on to take out the garbage or go get the mail.

I grabbed my wallet and keys and was headed to the car. Before I got to the car I talked myself out of driving. There is a Kroger within walking distance of my apartment. I always walk if the groceries are carry-able. I wasn't going to walk this time because it was hot and I was whiny. But driving makes me feel lazy and wasteful and lame. So I made a quick change of plans and walked in my cruddy old flip-flops.

Somewhere between check out and leaving the store, I blew out my flip flop. One flip I was fine, but by flop I about face planted it. I caught my balance and didn't actually hit the floor. At that point I still had to walk all the way home. Walking in a busted shoe didn't work. I decided to walk home hippie-style and take them both off, but the asphalt was HOT. So I walked with one flip flop and one bare foot. It was horribly awkward. All the Kroger employees on their smoke break seemed to be having a good laugh at my expense.

Kroger never seemed so far away.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I realize I posted this last Father's Day. But it's timeless. In all my years of taking pictures of my crazies, this remains my favorite. (Sorry Gray...we'll try to get one including you one year.) This is Parker and Reid 3 years ago. I ironed it on a T-shirt for Spence.

He's a great dad. Really truly phenomenal. Everything I lack in parenting skills (which is A LOT) Spencer makes up for and then some. Most of the time, I think he's better cut out for staying at home than I am. Spencer is the ultimate park dad. He asks to go to the park more than the kids do. I think he took the kids to the park four nights this week. And I only accompanied him one of those times. He's compassionate and nurturing. He's sentimental and keeps EVERYTHING they make for him. He gets sad when he thinks about them growing up. He loves the zoo at least as much as they do, maybe more. He's patient and even tempered. He reads every page and every word when reading bedtime stories and even does voices. He's actually great at the whole bedtime routine. He makes up songs and let's the kids have popsicles any time of day. He has a great relationship with every one of our crazies. They light up when he comes home.

I married well. Thanks for being all of that and more to our kids. Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Among Friends

I’ve always been a regular temple attender. I’m not trying to give myself heirs, but I have just always been fortunate enough to live within driving distance of a temple and I feel I might as well take advantage since I may not always have that opportunity. (For more about LDS temples, visit here.)

My first experience at the temple was in Logan, Utah a little over 7 years ago. That will always be my favorite temple. I lived ten minutes away. It sat on a hill and its radiance permeated the entire Cache Valley. You could see it for miles. I've never more greatly appreciated the beauty of a building.

In Texas, I was only about 35 or 40 minutes away. From pictures, I really wasn’t sure I’d love the Dallas temple. But pictures don’t do it justice. I found I really loved its unusual (or maybe just 1980’s) architecture. It was beautiful as were its grounds.

But there is something about the Columbus temple for me. I attended last night with my good friend Abbey. She attended the temple for the first time while I was in Texas and we’ve never been together. Not only did I have a great time both in and out of the temple with Abbey, but I also loved being in the Columbus temple again. While it is of course beautiful, it’s not really on my list of favorites for its beauty.

It’s a small temple. And by small, I mean really small. Smaller than most small temples. It was one of the first smaller temples built. There is something warm and welcoming about such a small temple. Quite often, the temple workers know you by name and vice versa. They are there with such a cheerful greeting and warm goodbye. And so appreciative of the time you spend there.

I suppose it’s hard to really describe. I of course feel welcome at any temple. I loved attending the Dallas temple when I could show up at any time of day without an appointment and know I could participate in the glorious work there. But with so many temple workers and so many jobs for them to do spread out through a bigger building, you just don’t run into the same people from week to week. In Columbus, there are only so many sessions per week where you have to schedule an appointment. You can guarantee the same people will be there. It seems so personal and cozy. You always feel like you’re there among friends.

It was so good to be back last night. The Dallas temple was closed for cleaning shortly before we left. Then I was all consumed with the move. It’s been 6-7 weeks since I’ve attended and I’m pretty sure that’s my longest drought since I’ve been a temple attending girl. I've been missing that in my life.

Among my other favorite temples:

San Diego (not only were Spencer and I married here, but this is the first temple I’ve ever been inside…an open house when I was a little girl.)

And Manti...though it's quite similar to Logan. There is beauty with age.

Anyone else have their favorites?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Old Friends

Flashback Fridays are back! (Hopefully I can be consistent again.)

I've been communicating with my friend, Becky recently. Though she's already married, she's planning a belated wedding reception and I can never resist wedding plans. I love that the internet connects us with long lost friends. Becky and I were mostly friends freshman year. We played on the basketball team together. And I'm certain we did 9th grade English projects together. And didn't you and Traci make some kind of English Muffin video at my house by drawing faces on your upside down chins?

I'm pretty sure these pictures were taken after Elsa's Quinceanera. Which explains why we were dressed up. When I think of memories of Becky, I don't really picture her in a dress. We came back to my house after. And took these HIDEOUS pictures of us Scotch taping our noses up. I've thought that was a good idea on more than one occasion. One of them being just a couple months ago. Nothing could make me look worse, yet I still haven't out grown it.

Oh man these pictures are AWFUL. Sorry Becky. But I had to do it. Though you don't look's mostly just me. I would have totally forgot about this night if I didn't have pictures. Good times. Wasn't life so much more simple then? Good luck on the rest of your plans. My move has sort of thwarted our communication. Let me know how it's going and if you need any more ideas.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cashing In

Probably not the nicest way to look at it, but there really are some advantages to having a son with a disability.

My crazies got to go attend a weekly PE class while we were in Texas. The kinesiology department at the local university had a class entitled "Movement for Special Populations." And any kid with any kind of disability and their siblings got to attend for free. It was AWESOME.

Similarly, another nearby university held weekly swimming lessons for the same population and all three crazies attended swimming lessons...again for FREE.

And we went to an awesome carnival earlier in the spring where the admission, bounce houses, horse rides, face painting, lunch, games, crafts, etc, were guessed it...FREE. We even came out of that one with free t-shirts. It was seriously an awesome Saturday afternoon activity for the whole family and we didn't spend a dime.

I've even heard that amusement parks cut you some pretty sweet deals if someone in your group has a disability. Things like a free pass to cut to the front of the line and your "escort" (or parent) gets in free. We've never done the amusement park thing with our kids and I debate back and forth on whether or not I'd cash in on this one. On one hand, I'd LOVE to cut to the front of the line. I can't imagine a 40 minute line with three kids in tow. But on the other hand, does Reid really need that any more than the average kid? I doubt it. It's hard to teach him he's normal when we're setting a double standard.

So between swimming lessons, PE, carnivals, etc. we've spent much more time around kids with disabilities (and their parents) lately. I have to say, I could not be more grateful for the one I got. It just reiterates to me what a regular 3 year old boy I have. I don't know what kind of parent I would be to a child with a mental disability. To say it sounds difficult would be a serious understatement. And most other physical disabilities are much more severe than Reid's. Parents talk about kids being in and out of the hospital and always in for doctor appointments with so many different specialists. Reid's surgery was a one time thing and he gets a new leg every year or two. Man, I got off easy.

Another thing to miss about Texas...Scottish Rite Hospital. This hospital is run by the Masons. They treat any and all kids with limb deficiencies. For FREE (notice the theme). I can walk in and out without any proof of insurance or proof of income or signing any papers or anything. They are so kid friendly with pirate ships and train tracks and aquariums and cars all over the hospital. And parent friendly, too. All Reid's specialists are in one place. I can show up to an appointment and the orthopedist, the prosthetist, and any other doctor, nurse or technician involved (there's usually like 5) meet with us in one room all at the same time so they all work together. Talk about convenient. And it's awesome for Reid to be there with kids clear up to age 18 with prosthetics. I'm not sure he'd ever seen another kid in a similar situation until we started going to Scottish Rite. It's good for his psyche. Plus they have a SWEET playground...totally wheelchair accessible...not that we need that, but it's cool. I've never seen a more fun, more clean, more supervised, more beautiful playground. We will most definitely miss this place.

Reid got a new leg right before we left. As we were trying to match skin color the option came up for a custom design. Reid was all over that. And quickly picked a Batman leg. I'm not the kind of mom who lets my kids wear character clothing very often (though a few stores have vintage super-hero T's these days and I'm all over that). So a Batman leg was a little difficult to swallow because he wears it EVERY DAY. It has definitely generated much more attention. We get more questions for sure. But I have to admit it's kind of grown on me. It suits Reid. And if he's the one who has to deal with a prosthetic leg, he should get to choose what it looks like. It's much more exciting to him and the other kids think it's pretty sweet, too.

The picture's for you Emily, but I thought I'd share it with everybody. Unfortunately, I think it shows scratches a little more. And let me tell you, my crazy three year old knows how to put scratches in a prosthetic real quick.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Happiness is Texas in My Rearview Mirror

OK, OK, it's not total happiness. Who could be happy about leaving friendships like this:

Emily, Ashlee and I had one last ultimate girls night and made sure to karaoke again. Friends like this don't come around often. And I find it especially hard to make friends as a stay at home mom. How come it was so much easier when I was younger? It's hard to believe we became such close friends in such a short amount of time. They were very natural, instant, reciprocal friendships. We've made SO MANY memories and I will miss these girls IMMENSELY. Saying goodbye was really sad.

And if you're wondering what in the world I'm talking about...we've moved. Can you believe it? I know it comes as a shock to most of you. It kind of comes as shock to me, too. I kept meaning to blog about it in between packing boxes, but the next thing I knew our computer was packed, too. Besides the previously mentioned friends, Texas really wasn't going well for us. I didn't like it there. Job opportunities for Spencer were grim. And his education was kind of a joke. He was really missing Ohio State. And to top it off, we still own our house in Ohio.

So after weighing all this out, we decided to put our house on the market. Then the unthinkable happened. Our house sold in one day. The very first looker put a really good offer on it that day and wanted us out in a few short weeks. The problem is, our house in Ohio still has renters in it. So we're stuck in a lousy apartment for a few months until their contract is up. We did not expect our house to sell so fast. We had people we needed to see one last time and never got to it (sorry Brooke and makes me sick to think how little we saw each other when were were so close).

But we're here and it feels good. Driving in to the greater Columbus area just felt like coming home. Spencer and I lived here longer than we've lived anywhere else in our married lives. All three crazies were born here. And my mom moved years ago so going to her house isn't really home for me anymore, either. This is more like home than anywhere else is for me. I didn't realize how much I loved Columbus until I left. And it's nice to come back to the welcoming arms of friends and not have to start fresh. Friends have already watched kids, invited us in for dinner or dessert, offered their homes while we were waiting for our apartment, let us stop by at a moments notice to borrow their washing machine or internet, etc, etc. Thanks Abbey and Autumn.

So my last several weeks have been all consumed with packing, moving and unpacking again...not to mention our lack of internet. But I'm back! And I feel like I have a TON to catch up on, but I'm not that great at back tracking on my blog. I'll try to get some of it posted soon.