Sunday, August 30, 2009


We made it half way across the world to this amazing country. I tagged along with Chris and a couple of his co-workers to Bangalore where his company has an office. India is a place I've dreamed of visiting for at least the past 15 years and I'm still pinching myself that I actually made it! I love the culture, the people, the smells, the food, the music - everything. Everyone is so polite and I'm getting pretty used to being called "madame." Now if I can just teach my kids to say, "yes ma'am," "how is madame this morning?"or "would madame care for a drink?" I would be living the good life ;-).

Getting here wasn't nearly as horrible as I thought it would be (I actually slept for over half of our 13 hour flight from Atlanta to Dubai. Chris had me so frightened by his descriptions of the "torturous" flight, that I was expecting something MUCH worse. Oh, it did help to have an empty seat next to me as well :-). So, after almost 30 hours since we left our home for the airport we arrived at our hotel - a beautiful, relaxing oasis in the middle of bustling India. We feel like we're staying in the middle of the jungle in a British colonial plantation at the turn of the century. Poor Chris, he has to work all week while I relax, shop, and go sight-seeing. Oh well, we'll have the weekend and we did enjoy a wonderful day together yesterday.
I'm soaking it all in and will write and post pictures soon. FREAK - our housekeeper guy just stopped by with an arrangement of fresh flowers for our room - seriously, I'm going to have a hard time adjusting to normal life after this trip!

CLICK HERE for pictures . . . CLICK HERE for even more pictures.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Personally, I never wanted to make my blog private.

I love perusing blogs (when I have the time) and finding interesting people, inspiring messages, and uplifting stories. I love finding connections with people I've never met, seeing the world though their eyes, and almost always learning something new through another's blog posting.

I like having that influence as well, and feel that my blog is a way to express myself through writing while keeping a history of our family and our collective and individual experiences. However, with all the wonderful things a blog can become, it also carries it's risks and I've realized that the risks are now outweighing the positives, and thus I'm locking it down to only those readers whom I know and trust.

It saddens me that I no longer have the power to make a new friend or make someone's day better by a quote or funny story I posted. Oh well, I still have my friends and family to keep close and I'm more than happy to send an invite to ANYONE who asks :-).

Thursday, August 20, 2009

"What's Lagoon?"

I had to chuckle the other day when Sophie asked this question as we walked passed a store window advertising discounted Lagoon tickets. I know, she's probably the only 8-year old in the state who hasn't even heard of Lagoon, and I'm sure my kids are missing out on a quintessential Utah experience because their parents have absolutely no interest in taking them to amusement parks. The crowds, the heat, the rides, the noise . . . ugh, not our favorite. I don't mind Disneyland and California (that's me - don't ask Chris, he just tolerates Disneyland), it's more of an experience for the kids and it's REALLY clean, and we also try to go off season to miss the crowds. But Lagoon, no interest.

I haven't been since 9th grade Lagoon Day and Ryan finally went for his FIRST time last summer with a group of friends. Caroline still hasn't been (she reminds me every summer), and apparently the two youngest kids don't even know it exists! We hope to keep it that way ;-).

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Fast, expensive, rarely seen sport cars - this is our 5-year old daughter's latest fixation. Seriously. It's been going on for months now and at first we thought it was just a whim, but the other day when I had to calm her down after she hurt herself by looking at Ferraris on the computer, or when, on our way to Bear Lake she announced that if we were driving a Ferrari we wouldn't feel all the bumps in the road and we would get there much faster, or how she wants a poster of a yellow Ferrari in her room, I knew we're talking about more than a passing whim.
It all started in the spring when a bright red Ferrari whizzed past us and Liza gasped, "whoa, did you see that CAR?!! What was that?" Now she is constantly on the look-out for anything that looks remotely close to a Ferrari and she's driving us crazy with her nonstop inquiries . . . "was that a Corvette or a Ferrari? . . . "WAIT, slow down, I think I saw a Ferrari!" . . . "Ooooh, did you see that car? Oh, it's not a Ferrari, it's a Porche, what's a Porche?" . . . "Is that car a Ferrari, a Corvette, or a Porche???" It's getting ridiculous.

So, tonight we went on a walk over to this neighbor whom I've never met, but who collects these types of cars and keeps them in a special garage, just hoping he would be out front washing one (hopefully the Ferrari). Liza thought we were going on the greatest field trip ever, but unfortunately the garage wasn't open and we didn't get a peek, but now I know exactly what I'll use next time I need to bribe the kid. Seriously.
"Thank you, God, for this good life and forgive us
if we do not love it enough."

Garrison Keillor

Monday, August 10, 2009

Bal-ance [bal-uh ns]:

mental steadiness or emotional stability;
habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.

"Finding balance," "needing balance," "out of balance," "feeling balanced". . . phrases that, if you know me, know I use on a regular basis. You would think I'm a tight-rope walker or something! Speaking of tight-rope walking, you've got to see this movie, we watched it last night as a family and the kids were mesmorized, they loved it (just be ready to jump up in front of the TV during the silly, oh so French, moment in the hotel room ;-).

OK, back to the thought at hand. Last week I was feeling very out of balance, needing something to equalize my energy and I knew exactly what was missing, what I needed, and how as each day passed, I could not find the hour or two that it would take to calm my soul and restore peace. It was the week before Sophie's birthday, the last week of July, and the weekend before was our family trip at the Lake. I was on edge, I could feel it, and the strangest part is that during this time of year my consciousness knows and is fully aware that it's the most beautiful time of year in our canyons and it is exactly where I'm supposed to be. So when I can't get there, I'm not myself.

I finally made it happen. The morning of Sophie's birthday I went trail running to jump start the weekend and thankfully made it back before the birthday girl woke up. The next day I grabbed the girls and hiked Big Cottonwood knowing full well the wildflowers were in bloom and crossing my fingers we hadn't missed the best of them. Plus, just the smell of fresh pine, the sound of rushing water, and the surrounding beauty would restore balance to anyone. The following day the entire family visited Albion Basin where the flowers and mountains in the evening were absolutely stunning. Then two days later I took the little girls up for an evening hike on the quarry trail and was in awe as the setting sun reflected it's warm glow through the aspens on those towering granite walls.

Breathtaking, energizing, rejuvenating, liberating . . .

Balanced once again.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Special Day

"He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy
Ghost, like unto me; wherefore, follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do."
2 Nephi 31:12

I wanted to take a few minutes this morning to reflect on Sophie's baptism that will take place later this afternoon. For those not familiar with our faith, the day a child is baptized at age eight is truly an important day in their life and the lives of those who love them.
We are so proud of Sophie, what a light she is, and what a privilege it is to have her in our home. She has always had such a strong spirit about her which I have no doubt will lead her to accomplish great things in the future. We are all looking forward to her baptism and confirmation, and sharing this day with our family and friends.

Side Note: Some of you who received the invitation were curious about where I had it designed. Follow THIS LINK for more information. I was very pleased!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tugged at my heartstrings . . .

By now everyone out there knows how I'm struggling with my kids growing up. How just the other day, I made Liza stand against the wall while I marked her height with a pencil and told her she absolutely CANNOT pass that line. How everytime Ryan stands next to me I'm relieved to see that I don't have to look UP to talk to him, not quite yet. And how, I smile inside every day I can still pick up Sophie and Liza, swing them in the air, and smother them with kisses and hugs, knowing full well that I only have a few short years to do so.

I am desperately trying to hold on to each moment, and it seems things are just speeding up rather than slowing down. Sooo, with keeping my recent emotional hang-ups in mind, it was no wonder the flood gates opened this evening while at the theater (I had taken Ryan and Caroline to see the latest Harry Potter) watching this trailer. It's too bad I wasn't able to embed into the blog, but take a minute to watch - it's beautiful.

So, there I am watching the opening previews with tears streaming down my face remembering the days when Ryan would beg to have us read this story just "one more time" before bedtime. How he would recite outloud with us: "and they roared their terrible roars, and rolled their terrible eyes, and gnashed their terrible teeth!" And how he would anxiously wait to verbalize the one word just for him . . . "and they cried, 'oh please don't go, we'll eat you up we love you so,' and Max said, 'NO!'" We would pause for a moment after "Max said . . . " and Ryan would shout out NO! with as much emotion as his 3-year old heart could muster.

Those are the memories that hit with such force tonight while the trailer was playing that I couldn't help leaning over and patting Ryan's knee and whispering to him, "remember how much you LOVED that book?" I could barely get out the words and was ready for Ryan to give me that look of "oh brother, don't tell me you're crying Mom!" But, I think he was as touched as I was because he just nodded and said, "yes, I remember."

Sunday, August 2, 2009

It's GReaT to be EiGHt!

Our Miss Sophie celebrated her 8th Birthday last Friday, July 31st - what a happy day for Soph! I really cannot believe our little girl is growing up so quickly into such a bright, beautiful, intelligent "big" girl. I still vividly remember the day she was born - everything about that morning and how we didn't know her gender and thought for sure she was a boy because it felt like I had a linebacker inside! We are so blessed to have her in our family, even with that feisty spirit about her.

Sophie loves to feel special, she thrives on any extra attention we can give her, so for her birthday it was a pleasure to watch her truly so happy because it was her day to choose the activities, to have the special breakfast, to pick the restaurant for the special date with Mom and Dad, and to blow out the candles and unwrap presents. It was a wonderful day for Sophie and it warmed my heart to see her so full of life and anticipation. I'd be lying if I told you all she's our easiest child, or 2nd easiest, or even 3rd easiest . . . hmmm, guess that means she's our toughest . . . she's that one child that brings SO much joy into our life, but at the same time SO much grief. If you are remotely interested, you can catch a glimpse into Sophie's personality by glancing at this post, or this post.

That said, her birthday party with friends is still on hold. I've decided to hang on to the invitations until she's "earned" the party. One side of me really feels for her, because I get it, I get how easy it can be at times to overreact to situations and become frustrated with people (her siblings) so quickly. However, one rule in our home is that if we can't treat our sisters/brother like we would a friend, we don't get to play with friends. Soooo, the party has been on, then delayed, then back on, then postponed, then back on, and now it's postponed indefinitely until she can show me her inner strength by not losing her temper. *SIGH* I'm sure I'll hear about it in 20 years when she's explaining the reason why she's in therapy is because she never got that birthday party!

Sophie's Day - 8 years old

Lunch at her favorite spot - Salt City Burger Co.

Activity of choice - BOWLING

My beauties

Presents . . . so exciting!

A new Breyer collectable - thanks Liza!

"I guess if you're not going to get me a REAL horse, this is the next best thing!"

Eight candles - thanks Caroline for baking the cake :-).

Now, THIS is the Sophie we all love - nothing like trick candles to keep us laughing!