Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas...

If you've been a faithful reader of this blog for a while now, you've probably picked up on the fact that I really don't like Christmas. And by "don't like," I mean "despise." Having small children who get excited about it is making my disdain for this stupid holiday not quite so vicious, but I'd still rather the holiday progression go from Thanksgiving to my birthday and not deal with this whole Christmas business at all.

But that being said, I'm never one to turn down a holiday get-together with good friends, food, and a craft. So tonight the kids and I headed to Sonya and Craig's for pizza and gingerbread house/cookie making. Logan and Kaylee had a great time with their buddy Onora...when they weren't falling off of chairs or being attacked by Sonya's new kitten :)

Nikki and Todd were there with some of their brood, too, so the older kids spent about two hours on their gingerbread houses. They looked great and gave me some inspiration for the construction that will be taking place next Friday when Savannah is home :D

The highlight of the night was probably when the kids all started opening their gingerbread kits. I was in the kitchen cleaning up from dinner and Craig came in with the bags of frosting mix. He got out the mixer and started making the frosting and said, "what do you want to bet that Sonya will walk in here in about a minute saying, 'I didn't know we had to MAKE the frosting!'" Sure enough, about ten seconds after he said that, the girl comes in the kitchen and says, "Craig, the kids are saying we are supposed to make the frosting! I thought it was just in there all made!" Craig and I just looked at each other and cracked up. Those two are so good for each other.

Thanks for forcing me into the holiday spirit friends.

And here are some pictures...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

First Haircut...

The other day, I realized Logan's hair was getting SUPER shaggy and that it was time for a cut. Now, occasionally I will take him somewhere and have it done, but most of the time, I just bust out the clippers and give him a 3 on the sides and a 4 on top. So that's what I did. However, every time I end up doing Logan's hair at home, Kaylee starts digging around for scissors and says, "cut my hair, too!"

Of course I'm usually all, "but you're my baby and I don't want to cut your long, beautiful hair!" but this time I said fine.

It was just a trim...maybe like 2 inches by the time I was done. But it turned out nice and even (trust me it is. She kept cocking her head when she smiled so it looks longer on one side in the picture.) and Miss K was so thrilled that when Daddy came home, she ran up to him and said, "look a my hair! I so boofal!"

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Finally An iPhone Blogger App!!!

My prayers have been answered. Back when I got the ole' trusty iPhone, I was bothered that there wasn't an official app for blogger. My SiL figured out a way to do it via mobil blogging, but you couldn't do it with multiple pictures or even a title. But now...look at me go!!! (However, I can't turn my phone sideways for the extended keyboard which is a bit annoying.)

So anyways, we got out tree up. Our REAL tree! The first time in our marriage that we have had a real tree. It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas in here, that's for sure.

So the night we got the tree was also Bloomfield's annual tree lighting ceremony. It's a big thing with hay rides and hot chocolate and Santa. Let's see how the picture uploading goes...

Recognize Santa? Yeah, Logan did too. So when we had him standing in line, we were encouraging him to tell "Santa" all the things he wanted. Then Logan looks up and exclaimed, "that's not Santa, that's my Grandpa!"

All in all, it was a fun night. Assuming Logan didn't mess up too many kids and their belief in Santa. Oh and if you ignore the fight we had about where to park for the tree lighting. Or if you overlook the incident with the tree flying off the roof of the van.

"It's the most wonderful time of the year..."

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christine Makes Some Valid Points...

I sent out round one of Christmas cards yesterday and on the back, there is a link to this blog. And my good buddy Christine made a nice little jab when I said that...something along the lines of "You never update it, so why would you include a link to it?" Touche, Udders. Touche. So...random, unrelated happenings...

We've been in the new house for almost three months AND LOVE IT!!!! I even hosted Thanksgiving here for 15 members of the Thomas family. And the dinner was SUPERB if I do say so myself. My timing was flawless, the gravy was 100% lump-free, the turkey was nice and moist (I guess it could have been a bit browner, but whatever...), and there were plenty of left-overs for everyone. Oh, and I tried a new stuffing recipe and it was pretty freaking yummy.
I've been working at the Canandaigua YMCA for almost 3 months now, too. And that is GREAT. I get a free membership for me and a steeply discounted family membership for Zac and the kids. I'm only scheduled to work like 2 hours a day, 3 days a week, but there are always people in the daycare looking for time off. I can usually triple my hours each week if I just go in and grab "time off requests." My specific job requires me to teach a "First Time Fun" class for 18 month to 3-year-olds and their parents. It's fun, but sometimes it's challenging. I need to come up with a craft each week and it's difficult to find something that 18 month old's AND 3-year-old's can do. I usually pull it off a the last second, but I have been known to just put out play-dough and cookie cutters once or twice. It's also really great that I get to take my kids with me. Kay is in the class I teach, but I send Logan to the daycare...which he actually looks forward to because Grandma Jaylene works down there while I am up teaching my class. It works out perfectly!
Speaking of Christine, we got to hang out for her birthday. There was some scheduling involved, and some babysitting concerns, but she ended up driving out here from Buffalo. We started the day with a trip to The Sandbox with the kids over in Fairport (which was pretty fun!), came back to the house (did I mention that I LOVE this house?!?!?!) for a bit, then left L and K with Zac and took Christine's daughter, Grace, to her mom's so we could enjoy a big ole' fatty steak dinner by ourselves. Then we topped the evening off with a Wegman's Pizza Cookie and devoured it back at Christine's mom's. It was a great day. And I can't wait to do it again next month for my birthday ;-)
What else? Oh. My Christmas shopping is pretty much done. I got probably 60% of it Black Friday shopping, 35% on Amazon (with Amazon Prime's free shipping, mind you), and the other 5% I'm in the middle of making. I guess I can spill the beans on at least one present...I got my parents a laptop. Their computer bit the dust about a month ago. Their ancient computer. That was running Windows ME or something...
Anyways, I was trying to figure out how we could help them pay for a new desktop. But even refurbished ones were a little out of our current price range, as we have rent to pay (on the house that I LOVE). And then I saw it. A Compaq Presario Laptop at Walmart for $198. I asked my dad what he thought of a laptop and he said he could learn how to use it, so I put it at the top of my list. (Well, second on my list. First and foremost I wanted a Shark Steamer that was on sale for $39.)
So I set off to Walmart at 9:25 Thursday night. The steamer was going on sale at 10 and the laptops were to be released at 12:01. I mapped out the store online and noticed that the steamers were on the way to the laptops so that's where I headed. And luck was on my side because I got a steamer AND got the 6th to last ticket for a laptop. Of course, I had to wait around for just over 2 hours to get it, but I was inside, warm, sitting down, and watching Netflix on my iPhone. I've had worse Black Friday experiences.
After the laptops were handed out, I made my way through the rest of the relatively quiet store. It was BONKERS at 10 when I first got there, but at midnight, it wasn't much different than any other midnight Walmart shopping trip. I still managed to get most everything else I intended to (with the exception of socks and undies for the kids) and kept it under $200. Well, excluding the laptop.
Kaylee has decided to try using the potty with or without my blessing. I've fought it for the last 3 weeks or so because I'M not ready to go through that hell again. But today she insisted. She has been in her Dora underwear for 9 hours and not had a single accident. She pees probably every half hour and pooed twice. I'm not going to lie...I'm impressed. But I'm not holding my breath that this is the end of my diaper-buying days.
Now that the Christmas cards are on their way, I guess I can post these:

As always, my beautiful and talented sister-in-law, Liz, took them. In our back yard. Of the house that I LOVE.
And from now on, I will make shorter, more frequent blog posts. Like in the olden days.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Monday Musings (New House Edition)....

You know that super-annoying Jordin Sparks song, "One Step at a Time"? I've changed the lyrics. It is now known as "One Box at a Time." Because it's all I can do to keep my sanity. But the good news is, WE ARE IN OUR OWN HOUSE!!!! It's wonderful. Beautiful. Marvelous. But covered in boxes.


The kids, though they have the option to have separate rooms right across the hall from each other, have chosen to remain roomies. So I've decided to make one room the sleeping room and the other the all-out playroom. Now I just need to get some huge toys to fill it with.


I have my own writing nook with a built-in desk in our bedroom. I can't wait to finish my current draft of the WIP. But wait...where is my laptop? One box at a time...


I have yet to make it to the grocery store so we have been living off of pancakes, ramen, and bananas for the last two days. With the exception of dinner that my wonderful sister-in-law and brother-in-law made for us last night. I should really be at the store instead of blogging right now.


Ok, this story isn't new-house related, but HILARIOUS none the less. I teach a class of 5-year-olds at church and yesterday, we were talking about eternal families. I had set up a bunch of temple pictures around the room and I was naming all of the temples. One was the Idaho Falls temple and a little girl in my class exclaims, "I was born in Idaho!" So another girl goes, "I was born in Virginia!" And this went around the room, everyone telling where they were born, until this raspy little voice (Taryn Bjorling, for those of you that know her) says, in the most depressed, Eeyore-like tone, "I was born in a parking lot."

Ohmygoodness I could NOT stop laughing. I almost peed my pants. Er, skirt. Because she actually WAS born in the parking lot of the hospital. That's funny in itself (in retrospect), but just the way she said it, it was the funniest thing I had heard all year, I swear.

Alright. I need to go grocery shopping for actual food now. I'll post pictures of the house at some point.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Guys. I CAN NOT believe this.

I was in a weight loss competition with my husband's family a few months back. And I lost 15.3 lbs over the course of 3 months. Not bad, eh?

Well guess what.

Not only have I gained all 15.3 lbs of that weight back,


I have put on an additional 12.


I am disgusted with myself. What is my problem????

Yes I have been super stressed. And I eat when I'm upset. And my life hasn't been all Sunshine and roses lately, but COME ON.

Work-out regimen, here I come. Ugh.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

August, eh?

So it turns out it's August and I haven't blogged in quite some time. In fact, August is nearly over. It's the 25th! So, like I did that one time, here are 25 things that have happened since I last blogged. (In no particular order.)

1. We moved back to NY.
2. Zac has been working for Steele's Deals Auto Sales. And making decent money. Yay!
3. We are living with my in-laws, but we are house-hunting.
4. Logan turned 4.
5. Kaylee turned 2.
6. Zac turned 26.
7. Logan was wait-listed for Pre-K at Bloomfield and is 4th on the list. So he may or may not get in.
8. Logan played summer soccer on a team.
9. I planned (and brilliantly executed) a two-day birthday extravaganza for my mother-in-law's 50th birthday.
10. I was called as a Primary teacher in my church. I teach the 5-year-olds.
11. Aunt Savannah came to visit from Utah for almost 2 weeks and she went through the temple for the first time while she was home. I was SO happy I got to be here for that!!!!
12. We almost bought a new van, but decided we would rather use the money for our own living space.
13. We went camping with Liz and Jesse.
14. My cousin Melanie came to visit from South Carolina with her baby.
15. My other cousin, Cathy, had a baby shower where I dominated most of the games (as usual).
16. My friend Nikki's baby Sebastian was baptized so Zac and I got to check out a Catholic baptism.
17. Project Runway started another season. I'm so glad we have cable again.
18. The twins moved out of the house and went to BYU, so now my kids have their own room next to mine and Zac's room.
19. Liz and I went all HGTV Design Star on said bedroom. I promise to upload before and after pics.
20. I started going to Zumba with one of my nearest and dearest friends, Sonya. And by started I mean I went with her once. And we may or may not have picked up Wegman's Chinese take-out on our way back to her house after Zumba.
21. I set a firm goal to finish my complete draft of my WIP (which means I'm not allowed to revise till the draft is complete. Which also means I've really only sat down once to work on it.).
22. Zac and I are trying to plan a night or two in Skaneateles sans kids.
23. We've attended more family dinners and get-togethers than I can count. On both sides of the family.
24. I've read nearly every book in the YA section of the Bloomfield Public Library. Now I have to start anticipating when I will finish books so I can order new ones from inter-library loan. Boo.
25. Last Tuesday I hosted a Twilight Party, in anticipation of Breaking Dawn part I coming out in November. I'm doing a monthly party leading up to the release so my friends and I can re-watch all of the other movies and get psyched for the first part of the last one. With all of the food and decorating, it was probably one of the best parties I've hosted in a while...and when people didn't leave until 2 a.m., it really made me feel like I can throw a party :)

So there you have it. I may or may not elaborate on some of those topics mentioned later, but we shall see. And because you guys always want pictures, here are some random ones that happen to be on the computer (because any that are on my iPhone are also on Facebook and you should have seen them already).

Twinners do Prom. And the kids are thrown in for good measure.

Typical morning...Kaylee has stripped down out of her jammies and has a pre-breakfast sucker thanks to Grandpa Joel, and Logan has already finished his while remaining clothed.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Kaylee Faye...

I don't blog anymore. I know. I'm lame.

I'll come up with a nice, lengthy post at some point. But in the meantime, do me a favor and go vote for Kaylee. It's a cover contest for Parents magazine. Here's the link.

Kaylee Faye

I think you can vote daily. And it's don't need to put in an email or anything. Just hit the "Vote For Me" button and you're set. Voting ends the 3rd.

Thanks :-)

Friday, May 6, 2011

I Don't Want To Talk About It...

The last few weeks, whenever moving or traveling came up between myself and another person, that was my response. "I don't want to talk about it."

Why wouldn't I want to talk about it? Moving is fun and full of new experiences! I get to move closer to family! We get to be New Yorkers again! Cradle of the Restoration! White Hots! Garbage Plates! WWWWEEEEGGGGMMMAAANNNSSSSSS!!!!!

Whatever. I don't want to talk about it.

But I guess I'll blog about it. You see, the last year and a half has been somewhat of a Suckfest. And I had this insane little notion that moving to Seattle and finally starting our post-grad lives would be refreshing. When Zac first brought it up as a possibility, I couldn't wait to bust out of Provo and give it a go in Seattle. It was exciting and new and Twilight and trendy and Grey's Anatomy and just plain beautiful. And the job market for Zac's field? Firgettabaddit!

So we get these wonderful people to help us out with a place to live while we look for jobs as apartment managers and freelance stuff for Zac. And then nothing.

And more nothing.

And then a possible temp job with Google! Which turns out to be nothing.

Then FINALLY a contract job for Zac with Adventure Works Studios! But it's a start-up company and until they make money, they can only afford to pay Zac, you guessed it, nothing.

So while I don't want to talk about it, we decided perhaps the best course for us would be to move our little family back to New York. Back to family. Affordable housing. And definite jobs.

It makes sense. And our families couldn't be happier, apparently.

So why do I feel so miserable? Like we failed at grasping our Seattle dream and making it happen? Like we wasted six months and a few thousand dollars? With nothing to show other than our apparent failure and our retreat back home? Because that's exactly what it feels like. Life keeps beating the hell out of us, so we're frantically waving our little white "Surrender" flag as we run away and retreat homeward.

Yes, it could be worse. "Every time you're hurt, there's one who has it worse around." I know that all too well. I have several people in the back of my mind that I don't know if I would, or if I could, trade places with. People that have experienced unimaginable things over the last year. Which is another reason that I don't want to talk about it.

So, there it is. We're moving back to New York. Like next week. I'm trying to make the best out of it...Logan is enrolled in summer soccer and wait-listed for Pre-K at my old elementary school. I applied for a job as a director of a non-profit organization. My sister-in-law offered to let me clean the office once a week for a little extra money (Erin, we need to chat!). Zac is working employment out with his dad. Oh, and there are like a bazillion people back there that can't get enough of my kids.

But I don't want to talk about it.

Not just yet, anyways.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Where did the month go? I thought I was doing so well with all of those posts back in March. Oops.

Well...I guess Savannah is right and I need to learn how to blog from my iPhone. Maybe I should have had her teach me while she was here visiting. Nah. We were having too much fun playing and reading books and staying up late and road tripping to Oregon to do something like that.

Speaking of road tripping, Zac and I are thinking it's time to throw in the towel on our Seattle endeavor. Which will mean the road trip from hades. Two toddlers. 11 states. 46 hours of drive time. Sigh.

Friday, March 25, 2011


No, not that kind. Though I did vacuum, dust, wash windows, and cleaned the tub (including the shower drain) the last few days. Instead, I have a bunch of random updates about the kids and life in general that I thought I'd throw out there for anyone who is interested in our lives.

I guess it's time to change the blog decor again since St. Patty's day is all over. Maybe I will do that after I post. We shall see how well the kids are behaving.

Speaking of the children's behavior, Logan has officially crossed a few serious lines the last two days. First, he shot Kaylee in the face with a Nerf Dart yesterday. Then he lied about it. Ugh. Isn't it too soon to have to deal with LYING??? And then, to top it all off, he shot her in the face again today. After the first incident, the gun was put away for the rest of the night. After this second incident, all of the Nerf guns in the house have been rounded up and will be stored away for an undetermined amount of time.

But when he isn't lying and shooting his sister in the face, Logan is still my sweet boy. He always wants to help me in the kitchen when I'm cooking, so I always try to have something for him to do. He is also getting pretty good at writing his name. He knows how to spell it, but it still asks for help with the G and the N. He has also started to get more creative when it comes to drawing...most recently he loves to draw spaceships, trains, and rail road tracks. Oh, and he is becoming a fast pro at quite a few xBox games. Mostly Sonic the Hedgehog and Castle Crashers, but it's pretty impressive. It's his quiet time activity while Kaylee naps and Mommy reads.

Kaylee has expanded her vocabulary quite a bit. She will pretty much repeat any word you ask her to. Just last night, she and Logan were in the tub and he said, "Kaylee, say 'I' (I) 'love' (lah) 'Mommy!' (Mommy!)" And then he had her say she loved Daddy and Logan (Schweebee), candy (Nandy), Baby Einstein (Bay Ein), and everything else he could think of. She also LOVES to draw. Whenever she sees a relatively blank sheet of paper or a crayon, she brings them to me and says "Draw Mom!" and after she draws something, she exclaims "I did it!" Actually, she will shriek "I did it!" after everything she considers an accomplishment. It's very sweet. Not so sweet, though, is the fact that she has been waking up at like 6:20 every morning. I don't know how to fix that and I'm not really tolerating it well. Sigh.

Zac got a job! ...sort of. Well, it is a job. And it is EXACTLY what he wants to be doing (character and environment design for a video game). However, it is a game being created and produced by two guys pretty much out of their garage. Both of the guys have a ton of experience and know what they're doing, right down to the marketing. However, they and Zac will get paid using a profit sharing model, which means they won't make money until the game makes money. Which is projected to be a little less than a year from now. So yeah...Zac is excited for this project, but also still looking for paying work :-)

I'm still here. Still writing. Still enjoying the spring in Seattle. Still longing for home just the tiniest bit. One of the girls in my critique group (the one that started it, actually) moved to Seattle from Virginia last September and she and her husband just decided to call it quits and move back to Virginia. Looks like we aren't the only ones toying with the idea! Also in writing news, my Freshman roommate from BYU, Jess, has a writing blog (like mine...remember? This one.) and she does a fun segment once a week called "Before they were Published" and asked to interview me for next week. It was fun. So on Monday, you can read all about me and my writing here. She also mentioned putting up a hilarious-black mail type picture from Freshman year, so I'd go check it out just to see what picture she comes up with!

Well, I guess that's all for now. And as a reward for reading that lengthy post, here is a picture. We went to this park/farm on Wednesday and this was right before Logan was scared to death by a giant turkey that was just wandering around. It's from my cell phone, as I still haven't tracked down my camera charger. Where IS that?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

For Logan...

Quick story for Logan to look back on years from now...

Logan loves Toy Story. And, as you may recall, asked for a Buzz Lightyear for Christmas. Only, as you may also recall, he couldn't (and still can't) say "Buzz Lightyear," and instead called him "Butt Laser."

Think that's funny? It gets better. I just got a text from Aunt Nana that read:
So...last week my class was learning about length and measure. One table mentioned lightyears as a measure of length, so I told them about Butt Laser. I'm grading their papers right now and a few of them wrote that off to the side so they'd remember later :)

See, Logan? Not only do you make us, your loving and adoring parents, laugh, but Aunt Nana spreads your hilarity wherever she can, too.

It's because we love you. (And I think because Aunt Nana misses you, too!)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Another Interview, Another Rejection...

Yeah. Zac had 2 interviews with Google. And then he got a call today saying he's not part of the Google team. Well, at least they let us know.

And I know I shouldn't be upset and complaining with all of the crap going on in Japan. I should be counting my blessings and all that.

But here is the thing: credit card companies, cell phone companies, and insurance companies aren't going to be expecting on-time bill payments from earthquake and tsunami survivors. Student loan repayments can be deferred for people suffering due to natural disasters.

No one really seems to care about a family of four who moved to follow their dreams of putting their college degrees to use and have been unemployed for five months.

Ok, pity party over.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


My friend and former crit group buddy is having a massive giveaway over at her blog, Room on the Shelf. So go. Enter. Win books. then keep reading her blog because she is very insightful.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Random Thoughts, Er, Monday...

I know I usually do Random Thoughts on Thursdays, but since A.) This Thursday is going to be kind of busy, 2.) I have a lot on my mind, and D.)it's been 5 days since my last post, I'm posting my random thoughts now. But to make it more intense, each thought has multiple layers of random connectivity. See, it's different from my typical ramblings.

The Job Hunt:
Zac has interview #2 with Google on Thursday. It's still not really what he wants to be doing the rest of his life, but it's a job. A year-long contract job with pretty fantastic pay AND full benefits the day he starts. So it's something! He also was contacted by an indi game studio that likes some of his stuff and wants to talk with him about a project they are working on. That would also be friggin' sweet. And on the parental front, my dad had a job interview for groundskeeping in Fairport, so we're keeping our fingers crossed there, too. (See what I mean about connectivity? Same topic, 2 thoughts. I'm so deep right now.)

The Lack of Pictures:
Zac's sister, Liz, got married on Saturday. To her sister-in-law's brother. I love it. So we weren't there. Which was a bummer. But even more of a bummer is that no one has posted pictures yet. Where are all the pictures, people? We live in a digital age...there should have been pictures uploaded the second you were home from the reception! And on another note, I haven't posted many pictures lately. Turns out my camera battery charger was stolen by gremlins or something. I really need to find that.

Relief Society Birthday:
The women's organization in our church (Relief Society) has a birthday celebration every year. In our ward here in Sammamish, they have decided to have a "gift exchange" in which you provide a service to someone as your gift (like babysitting, a ride to the airport, etc). I was asking Zac what I should give as my service gift and he said, "Cooking dinner, obviously." Which is true, but I want it to be special, not "I'll bring you a casserole." So I think I'm going to offer a "Gourmet 3 Course Meal for 2," where I will cook (and clean up) in their kitchen, wearing my chef's coat and all that jazz. Fun for me, delicious for them. And hopefully I will get to know some people in the ward a little better! I was thinking my Chicken French as the main course, but what I really want to do is Creme Brulee for the dessert course. Which leads me to the second portion of this random thought...I really want a Creme Brulee set. You know, with the ramekins and the torch. Sure I can do it under the broiler which I've done in the past, but this would make it super-fancy.

Well, I have more thoughts, but I can't really connect them right now, so I guess that's all. Thanks for letting me ramble.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Heavenly Birthday...

Today is Uncle Gary’s birthday. His fifth in Heaven. I’m trying hard to imagine what a 54th birthday in heaven would be like, but I would guess it’s not too different from any other day. I mean, it’s Heaven. If they could do anything special to celebrate and improve your birthday, they would do it every day.

And I suppose, if it’s any sort of Heaven at all, Uncle Gary got to sleep in, as “The Waking Up Thing” was always rather difficult after a great night of “Bed Sleeping.” And you know the mattresses in Heaven are literally like sleeping on clouds, so it just has to be tough waking up from that. (Then again, maybe the spirits of the righteous dead don’t need sleep. In which case, maybe his birthday morning would start with the equivalent of breakfast.) I’m assuming that Uncle Gary’s birthday breakfast of choice would be a breakfast sandwich from Einstein Bros. Bagels. It became a fast favorite of his in Vegas, so it has to be equally as desirable when surrounded by pearly gates and lilting harps and such.

(Of course, being a spirit, Gary would only be eating a spirit bagel sandwich. And yet because he still occupies the same physical dimension as the spirit breakfast, I assume his spirit body eats the spirit breakfast with the same joy that his physical body took regular bagel sandwiches, densities of matter being equivalent and all that. But I digress.)

So, Gary wanders in, and is greeted by a chorus of angels singing “Happy Birthday” to him, orders his bagel, and is off to work. (Work in Heaven? Of course there is work in Heaven…but it's only the kind of work that you love and makes you eternally happy.) Naturally, you can request to have your birthday off, but Gary would never do that. Because his job is to compose and play beautiful music all day long. You know, contributing to that Heavenly atmosphere. Bringing peace and joy to all those who hear it. And if you knew Gary at all, you know he wouldn’t miss a day of that. Even on his birthday.

So after his shift at the celestial piano is over, I figure Gary would probably receive a note from a heavenly messenger saying that he was sent another one of those pesky balloons with a birthday card from his niece. Of course the Hosts of Heaven are too polite to say or do anything to prevent the balloon messages from being received into the eternities, but I’d imagine having a foreign object (like a balloon) wandering up through your cloud-bank floors at all times of the day would get a little distracting.

Gary tries not to get too emotional, but he can’t help it. Getting teary-eyed is still in his nature and he loves getting those cards on his birthday and Father’s Day. So he reads it and sets off on his “birthday mission,” as he started referring to it a few years back.

You see, in Heaven, I feel that you get one small wish or desire of your heart granted to you on your birthday. (That’s where the wishing on your candles thing came from.) So Gary sets out to talk with our Savior. And after waiting in line (it’s not just his birthday, after all) (and since time has a different meaning in Heaven than it does here, it’s not annoying to wait your turn), it’s his turn to petition the Lord.

Gary kneels down at the Lord’s feet; balloon and birthday card still in hand, and simply looks up. He doesn’t have to ask, as his wish is the same as it is every year…to see his family again. To be able to say “Goodbye.” Because nothing was more important to Gary in this life than his family.

“Now Gary,” the Lord says, taking Gary’s hand in His, “We’ve been over this. You can’t just go back. First, it would freak everybody out. Second, your body was in some serious trouble and you don’t want to go back to that painful state. Third, you’ll see them all again soon enough. And fourth, you have family here that would miss you just as much. So let’s settle on your alternative.”

Gary sighs. “Alright.”

And he’s not upset, because he knows the Lord is right. And when he arrives back at his heavenly mansion, he is thrilled when his Grandma Myrtle comes out of the kitchen with a spirit cake she baked from scratch. And his Grandpa Ray pats him on the back and wishes him a happy birthday. Which inevitably starts the endless hugs and kisses and birthday wishes from everyone from his Grandma Vivian, to his cousins, down to his great-nieces and great-nephews that we still haven't met, but who love and adore him as much as he does them.

And it’s then he realizes how grateful he is for the concept of eternal families and that we will all be together again eventually. So with a smile on his face and a room full of spirit friends and family, he sits at his piano and plays.

And knows that he is home.

Monday, February 28, 2011

So Long, February...

As it's the last day of February, I give you 28 things that happened in the last little while (in no particular order):

1. Logan is 100%% potty trained. Even at night. Sooo glad that battle is over.
2. Kaylee is in the 10th percentile for height and weight. She's tiny.
3. Kaylee recently became obsessed with Baby Einstein. Took her long enough.
4. "Man vs. Food" came to Seattle recently. We now have 4 new restaurants we HAVE to go to.
5. St. Patty's Day is coming up, so I changed the blog background.
6. St. Patty's Day is coming up, I am excited for Shamrock Shakes.
7. My besty, Dani, got a new KitchenAid mixer. Equally as exciting for me as I already reaped the benefits of some delicious cookies.
8. My sister-in-law Liz is getting married on Saturday! She is wonderful and I hope her special day is everything she is hoping for. And I'm sad we won't be there.
9. It snowed here and stuck around for 4 whole days. Which I'm told is unusual. *crosses fingers*
10. We got our hefty tax refund!!!!!
11. In lieu of #10, Zac got me my very own Asus Netbook!!!!!!!!!! This deserves its own post.
12. I've been watching Desperate Housewives on Netflix and am a few episodes into season 3. It is sinfully delightful.
13. Logan went to a soccer clinic last weekend and learned a little bit about playing soccer.
14. I am looking into summer soccer programs for and 4 year olds.
15. I've been video chatting with some good friends as of late, now that I have my own computer with built-in camera.
16. Logan helped Kaylee out of her crib this morning and then they both came in and woke me up. Not sure how I feel about that.
17. I've been making friends in my ward, which has been good for me and good for Logan, as most of them have kids his age.
18. I finally got around to reading "Enna Burning," the second book in Shanon Hale's "Goose Girl" series. It was really good.
19. Still not sure how I feel about my bangs. Some days they look great and I like them so much better than no bangs at all, but then by the end of the day, I can't stand them and clip 'em back.
20. We've been taking long (like 2 hour long) walks as a family down by the lake. I mean, before it got cold and snowed.
21. It's been surprisingly difficult to find apartment manager jobs to apply for. Which is odd because we were applying to 3 or 4 a week before we moved here. I guess it's all in the timing.
22. My writer's group is still going strong, and they gave me some insights as to where my story line needs to go.
23. Zac has a job interview on Friday with a HUGE company. *crosses fingers again*
24. We are trying to plan a trip to Oregon again, but not sure when it will be convenient. But we miss family.
25. If everything works out with this job interview, we will be looking at apartments in and around Kirkland, Washington. EXCITING!
26. I've really already been browsing apartments online. It's kind of overwhelming when you expand your budget and know exactly what you can afford. Even without an apartment managing job. So many options...
27. I'm due for a cell phone upgrade. I really wanted the new iPhone, but now that I have my Netbook, I don't know if that's a necessity now. I'm sure there are cheaper options.
28. I'm still in love with Seattle and hope we can make it work's hard to be so far away from family, but it's hard to think about leaving a place I've started to fall in love with. Just everything about it is so...well, Seattle. It's beautiful, culturally diverse (but not in a scary way...haha), it's exciting, it's where Grey's Anatomy takes place...the list goes on.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Snapshot...

Snuggling with Daddy on a Sunday afternoon. Can life get any better? I submit that it can not.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Curious Case Of The Southpaw...

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this yet or not, but my baby is a lefty. One hundred percent. Here's the proof. Is it genetic? I know my aunt and cousin are lefties...but I find it rather curious. Sweet, but curious.

How Do We Do New York? Let Me Count The Ways...

We do New York with Birthdays:

By rocking out in the car with Uncles:

In (indoor) pools with Grandma and Aunt Madi:

Finding plenty of uses for fuzzy blankets:

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday's Random Thoughts...

On "Video Blogging..."
I have a few friends who, as of late, have started "video blogging." Instead of writing a post, they just video themselves and post the video. My first thought was "Hey that's a neat idea. And so easy to do...just talk and post." And then when I played out in my mind how it would go, my second thought was more like, "Duuuurrrrr...I wouldn't know what to say. I'm a writer, after all."

On Messes...
My brother-in-law, Remington, got a package in the mail yesterday. A large package. Full of packing peanuts. This happened:

At first, I was about to shriek, "STOP IT RIGHT NOW!" But when I realized the damage was already done, playing commenced. Followed by clean-up. Lots and lots of clean-up.

On Illnesses...
We have all been sick or otherwise afflicted since visiting New York. My back has been killing me. K and Logan have had terrible colds and coughs. Logan's turned into an ear infection for which he is now on antibiotics. Zac had some terrible stomach pain which he is guessing might be a kidney stone. Yet we are still having a good time and managing to not be too grumpy about it all.

On Wearing Pants...
I do. My daughter prefers not to. Any chance she gets as of late, she takes her pants off. Most notably, when we were out to dinner at the Villager with my parents the other night. Or maybe when she was walking around on Grandma's kitchen table. Or at the florist's on Tuesday. Or while I was posting this (see below). The list goes on.

On Bangs...
I have them now. I haven't had bangs since I was in 3rd grade. That year was the year Stephanie Hayes grew hers out, so I did, too. But the other night, my sisters-in-law and I got a little crazy. We went to Sally's Beauty Supply, bought hair dye, and had a night of hair fun. My hair is now about 4 shades darker, 3 inches shorter, and I have bangs. Still not sure how I feel about them. One minute I love them, the next minute I don't know what to do with them so I clip them back. There is a picture on facebook if you're curious.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ooohh, Shiny...

I like sparkly, shiny things. If you know me, you should know that by now. So I changed the blog background again. I certainly like this one. In other news, 2011 hasn't been awful yet. Great, no. But not awful either.

We have had some rather spectacular weather here in the northwest the last few days. It's been 50 and sunny all day. So Saturday, we decided to go be all touristy and roam around Elliott Bay and Pike Place Market. Little did we know it would be so dead on New Year's Day, but it was still fun. We even had fish and chips right on the water. We will definitely be going back when it gets warmer again.