Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 21, 2010: All About Bonnie

I decided to become a doTerra distributor so that I can get the essential oils that I like and that are working for me at a good price, so this morning I drove down to pick up my order. But first, I picked up Bonnie.

Bonnie is my baby cousin (with two kids) and I love her. She is an amazing woman even though I think of her as a little girl. I love to hang out with her because she is so relaxed and funny and has a great sense of humor. I do tend to talk her ear off when I am with her (but I do that to most people). We have kids the same ages - same grades even. She came last summer and we ran a 5K "together" (she was about an hour ahead of me). This summer our ambitions run more along the lines of lounging on the couch and eating.

The kids swam the afternoon away and then we made bagel sandwiches for dinner and my Uncle Terry, Bonnie's dad, came over to hang out for the evening. He was kicked out by the Three Weird Sisters because they were having a dinner with old friends. Our intentions were to watch a movie, but instead we ate popcorn and cookies in the basement. The kids all slept in Josh's room in a massive blanket tent that Bonnie and I configured. Terry said that we were ruining the kids' ability to make tents because ours was so totally fabulous. Or something like that.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

July 20, 2010: Lunch with my Posse

In the past year a really strange (not that we are strange) group of friends has come into my life. We collectively have two things in common - the charter school, and food. The charter school is how we met. The food is what brings us together.

Monday was my friend Melissa's birthday. I love Melissa. She is amazing. She is also a very calming influence for me. And she is very very funny, and also has a good sense of humor (which doesn't always go hand in hand). Melissa and I can talk every day for a week, or not see each other for a month. Doesn't matter. I love that.

We went to Chili's for Melissa's birthday, and I tried to make it a surprise, but she is a bad liar and once we got there, we knew that she knew. Or I am bad at surprises, which is likely as well! Five of us were able to be there and after eating bottomless chips (oxymoron? I would say they definitely add to your bottom) for about half an hour, we ordered. And talked.

The great thing about these friends is that we largely discuss ideas versus talk about people. Don't get me wrong, we are women! Sometimes we talk about people. But, mostly ideas. And these women are brilliant. Scary brilliant. And accomplished. And I always come away from hanging out with them feeling good about myself and the world around me because they are in it.

I love lunch.

My sweet friend, Heather, watched my kids while I went to lunch. When we got home, my cousin Erin came over with her kiddos and we swam for a while and talked. Then my scouts came over and we had our den meeting followed by the boys swimming. Cute of them - they said Josh could swim with them. He has a reverent awe for the scouts, who are about 3-4 years older than he is. I love that he is getting this example in his life.

Josh and Clara slept in a fort that I made (I have most excellent fort building skills) in the living room, and I made cookies for the pig roast this weekend.

I love Tuesdays.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 19, 2010: Number Nine Reunion

Any time at least two members of Park Place #9 (1994-96) get together, it's a reunion. In this case it was a ROOM reunion. I moved into Park Place #9 not knowing any of the other girls in my apartment. My plan was to stay for a semester and then move back to Phoenix. The girls changed my plans. That was the most fun I ever had at BYU. Of course, Renae and I didn't get any pictures taken together last night, however, we did get pictures of the offspring.

Matt and Renae are in town visiting and came over for hamburgers, hot dogs, and swimming. It was a warm evening, but once the sun went down it was really nice outside. The kids had fun swimming and we had fun talking and discussing baby names.
Clara and J
Josh and C
I couldn't get K and T to look up at me!
After they were all in their pajamas, they performed the great noodle war of 2010.
All six crazy kids (and another one is on the way!). Total offspring for Park Place #9 so far is 18 going on 19. There were seven of us over the two years and two haven't had kids...yet. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

How I Got Married and Advice for my Single Friends

This story can also be read, with my friend's commentary, on "A Single Girl's Moments of Clarity and Chaos".

In late July 2001 after a summer of unemployment (I was consulting part time, but that didn't count when I could lay out by the pool, and have the best tan of my adult life), I was asked by the Institute Director in Northern Virginia to teach a Church History class - starting in September. Then he said, "We'll fly you out to Utah for the CES (Church Educational System) conference." I was in, all in.

That week was a defining week. I floated around the campus at BYU in a spiritual high. I was so excited to go forth and teach and inspire. In a fit of independence, I also decided at the ripe old age of 29 to transfer from the very active singles ward to the very isolating Family Ward. I was welcomed by the bishop with open arms as he said, "Are you here because you are too old, or here because you are sick of the games?"

Definitely sick of the games.

The night before I flew to Utah for the conference, I had ended up going on a date with someone that I had dated on and off for six months. Mostly off. Mostly because I was too chicken to stand up for myself and decide how I wanted to be treated. But I was smitten and we all know what smitten, single, 29 year old girls who are worried about ever getting married do - keep quiet.

I eased into my new life - teaching Institute and attending the family ward where I was quickly called to be both a Ward Missionary and the Gospel Principles teacher. The bishop believed in putting single people to work (the Relief Society President was single) quickly. He was a very smart man. Sunday mornings were spent preparing a 90 minute lesson on Church History as well as a 30 minute Gospel Principles lesson. Tuesdays were spent on exchanges with the sister missionaries. Wednesdays were spent teaching Institute. If I had had any concern that my life would be boring, I was quickly humbled.

A few things happened during the 9 months that I was in that ward. First, shortly after I transferred, I started a new job. On September 10, 2001 in Arlington, VA. The next day was a day that shocked the world. I, like most of the world, became more service oriented and less selfish. I can face it now, as a single person I was very selfish, and very self-absorbed. My thoughts were consumed with the fact that I was not married.

I lumped every guy that I dated into one category: Non-committal.

I'm pretty sure that everyone in my family was sick of me and I know my friends were. However, most of them were in the same boat - trying to figure out how to get out of a single state and into a married state as fast as possible. (Even if they claimed that they weren't.)

And I wasn't sick of dating - I was sick of myself. Sick of who I was as a dating person. Sick of the types of guys that I was attracting since they most definitely weren't the guys I wanted to marry. I decided to start changing myself into the type of person I wanted to be as a dating person, and finally as a married person.

One particular afternoon as I complained about it, my roommate handed me a book called "Men Made Easy" by Kara Oh. I laughed and she didn't even crack a smile. She just said, "Read it." So I read it. And I learned and absorbed and was shocked at how little I had understood about men in general. I had been heeding my dad's counsel about dating, "You have to throw a lot of spaghetti against the wall for some of it to stick." I focused even more on turning myself into who I was supposed to be instead of molding myself into whatever type of girl my latest crush wanted.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this transformation, I met my husband. Neither one of us can remember when it was. I say one particular evening, he says another. The point is, we were not attracted to each other. At. All. And that was because we weren't ready to be.

Until Memorial Day Weekend 2002. Dave got coerced by his best friend into helping my roommate and me move for the summer. I had decided to forge ahead in life and build a townhouse, but it wouldn't be ready until August. Our landlord decided to sell the townhouse we were living in, so we had to find temporary housing for the summer.

I hadn't paid attention to Dave until that weekend. In fact, my roommate had at one time been interested in him, so he was off limits. However, her affections had landed on Dave's best friend so a few weeks later after it was clear that I had the hots for him, she gave me her blessing. During that time, I practiced the methods I learned in the book on Dave. Actually, I still use them and he knows it and thinks it is funny and loves it. I also read the book "1000 Questions for Couples" and started asking Dave a QOTD (Question of the Day). It helped me get to know him in a way I never would have just "hanging out". It made him think. It made me think. It made me more and more attracted to him because I liked his answers. And, fortunately, one day his best friend said to him, "If Heidi liked me as much as she likes you, I would be dating her." Sometimes it takes a hammer to the head.

On July 7, 2002 after a weekend in Utah visiting family for Independence Day, Dave picked me up at the airport. On the way home he said, "I like you. I like spending time with you. I want to date you. I just am not ready to date you exclusively." Or something equally romantic. I said, "Okay." But you see - I had made it clear to him that I wanted to be with someone who could be direct and honest rather than play games. So he was respecting that. I set the boundaries for how I wanted to be treated. And I did not deviate from them. I was fine with giving him the opportunity to figure things out, because I knew he needed to, and it would do me no good to either pout or be pushy about it.

July 19, 2002, eight years ago yesterday, we opted out of going to a free Orioles game. I gave the tickets to some friends who were in town from Virginia Beach. We planned to go to a party that a friend was having, but instead sat on the couch and talked.

He said, "Where do you see this going?"

I said, "I think this is it."

He said, "Me, too. Does this mean we are getting married?"

I said, "I think it does."

And that was that. We got married November 2, 2002 in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple in Utah surrounded by family and friends. Our engagement period was dramatic with outside stuff - moving, illness, etc., but we had laid the foundation for our relationship. For the first time, I could actually say, "That's not ok with me." And not panic that he would run away and break up with me. Seriously - a first.

A year after we got married, I was asked to give a seminar for the singles ward on Dating. They wanted advice on what to do or not do. I laughed hysterically for an hour and then went to work.

1. Get your house in order. Get out of debt. Prepare yourself financially.
2. "Partaking of the bitter cup without becoming bitter is part of the emulation of Jesus." - Elder Neal A. Maxwell. Just because a past relationship failed, don't assume that every relationship will fail. Men are not all lumped into one category. They are different. Don't treat them all like they are the same and they just might surprise you.
3. Be your best self. Take the high road. But, don't be someone you are not.
4. Decide how you want to be treated in a relationship and stick to it. Treat the person you are dating with respect, and be a GIRL. Don't be a buddy unless you WANT to just be a buddy.
5. Don't stalk boys. Don't plan movie nights to get them over to your house so that they can "notice" you. Boys aren't idiots. If they haven't asked you out, they aren't interested. If you have had them over to dinner and flirted with them for two months at ward activities or parties and they haven't asked you out, they aren't interested.

I have now been happily married for 8 years and I still follow these rules. You don't stop dating when you get married. Men still want to be flirted with even if you have spaghetti sauce all over your shirt. In fact, that might just be an aphrodisiac for them.

And in the words of Kristen Oaks, who is the wife of Elder Dallin H. Oaks, "Being single doesn't mean you have to put off being happy." After all, she married an apostle in her 50s.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

July 18, 2010: Photo Shoot

Today we finished Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder. We may start on the rest of the Little House series. I haven't decided. We probably will. I like the long chapter books that teach good lessons for me to read with Josh. Clara just gets her own book and reads along with us. How young is too young for the first Harry Potter? It will take us about a year to finish because we read these things slowly.

We are headed to Church in a few, but Clara actually let me do her hair so I decided to take pictures. She even let me put the flower in it. Times, they are a changing! This is a girl that doesn't like anything in her hair. She'll probably pull it out by the end of Sacrament Meeting.
Clara with two pony tails and a flower
I think there is a picture of me looking not too totally different than this at four years old.
Josh and his cheesy grin
His freckles have emerged full force with all of the swimming we have done in the past week.
When I said, "Show some teeth!" they took it literally. Still - I'll keep them.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

July 17, 2010: Housework = Clean Garage

Cleaning the garage shouldn't actually be included as housework since it is in...the garage. However, it required bringing things from the garage into the house so I am counting it anyway. When we first woke up we cleaned our main room. If we clean our main room, Mama feels better (I'm the Mama). If the main room is a disaster, Mama ain't happy. So that's what we did.

Then Dave said, "Did you want me to go to Home Depot?"
I said, "Yes, take all three kids."
Dave said, "We don't have three kids."
I said, "I know that. But, if we did, I would want you to take all three."

He only took Josh and left Clara to me. Then I saw my next door neighbor and asked him if he knew anything about electrical work (and I knew he did because he is finishing his basement). He said yes and came in and looked at our GFIs, which needed resetting or something like that. Solved! Dan saved the day! Yay, Dan! :) So I called Dave to tell him that and that I needed a diet coke.

When Dave got home I was cleaning out the garage. I moved the refrigerator over to the other side of the stairs, emptied our big blue 60 gallon barrel of last year's water and then put it in our shed and refilled it, and Dave pressure washed the garage floor. So clean. So beautiful. So not lasting more than a week.

At this point I was dripping with sweat (nice image) so the kids and I got in the pool and floated around waiting for Sara, Woodstock, and Pebbles to come over. They can only swim on Saturdays because they live far far away closer to the Big City. They joined in and we swam a while longer and then Amabuela showed up and swam with the kids and then Dave got Indian Food.

Now, Dave and I are going to a movie to celebrate 8 years since we got engaged (which is Monday). I hope my 10 readers have had a fabulous Saturday.

Friday, July 16, 2010

July 16, 2010: Rachel Rachel Rachel

Today was ALL about my cousin, Rachel. I love Rachel.

Rachel and her girls arrived around11:30 and we ate lunch. Then we got in the pool and swam and swam and swam. This time we got in and out and got in the shade a bit so that we didn't fry. We had so much fun and it was so nice to just be able to spend the time floating and talking. This is becoming my favorite gig - swimming with one person and her kids so that I get the one on one time. Awesome. Next week - cousin Erin and cousin Bonnie. And maybe I will allow Aunt Donna and Uncle Terry to float, too. :)

Tonight we are headed to Gecko's for dinner. Mexican food. We have a $25 gift certificate along with a buy one get one entree free coupon. Then we are going to get gelato on the way home. Then we are going to watch a movie. My guess is that our kids will be snoring before the opening credits roll.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

July 15, 2010: A View of the Garden

This week from the garden:
I moved the raised bed over so that there would be some shade for the lettuce. It seems to have helped. Not sure what those smaller lettuce heads are doing, but I have been trying to prune to get them to grow. I think this is a mistake of not thinning in the beginning (hey - that rhymes).
My petunias are looking pretty. I actually put the purple plants around the perimeter (alliteration!) of the pot, but they all grew to the center. I love them. I think next year I am going to become a petunia freak and put them everywhere.
Anyone want basil? No, really. Anyone? Because this isn't even my only basil plant! I have never been very successful at growing basil until I put it in this half barrel. Guess I know where it will be every year from now on! See those tiny sprouts on the right? Those are radishes. I grew some in the square foot garden and harvested them last week. Dave was in heaven and wanted more, so I am trying to cram them into spots where they will get some shade. And really - if you want some basil, stop by and get some!
Things have really taken off over the past couple of weeks. My squash and zukes are flowering all over (yay!) with no squash bugs in sight. My onions are getting big. The tomatoes are taking over. Those are cherry tomatoes and there are a ton of small ones all over the plant. A few more weeks and I will be popping them like grapes. I also have harvested some stuff and thrown in new stuff that will be ready for cooler Fall harvesting.
The right side square foot garden isn't doing as well. I think it just doesn't get enough sun. I'm going to pull it out from the wall next year and hopefully that will give it a little bit more. I have lots of ideas for next year. Dave should be afraid.
Don't know what is going on with this little plant. I think maybe it was because I put the pot that disintegrates in there with it instead of unwrapping it. These are my early girls and I have one lonely tomato trying to grow on it. Definitely must need more sun.
This is a lettuce head that I threw in another bed just to see what it would do. It's not even close to other vegetables. Imagine that! I should just put lettuce heads all over the place in my yard. I think it is pretty. It will be almost sad to harvest it. I have to take a salad tonight to book club, so I think I am going to pull leaves from various romaine heads (I have 4-5 in my garden). I feel

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July 14, 2010: 20 Years

How do you observe the anniversary of the death of your cousin?

This is a question I have asked myself the past few days. Twenty years ago my oldest cousin, Mark, was killed in a car accident on the way home from a family reunion. My Aunt Karen was driving, and my cousin, Jeanne, was in the car. A deer ran out onto the road and my aunt had no choice but to hit it. My cousin, Mark, was killed instantly. My cousin, Jeanne, was thrown out onto the road. Her knee was severely injured, and her face had a significant amount of road rash, but considering how far she was thrown, her injuries were minor.

At 11pm the night of the accident, July 14, 1990, I was hanging out with my friends, Sara and Michelle. We had just ordered pizza. I was 13 days away from moving to Utah to start at BYU that Fall so we were trying to spend as much time as possible together. For some reason, I felt like I needed to go home. There was no real reason. Metallica's "One" was playing on the radio, which I will always remember. I walked in the door, and the phone rang. It was my Aunt Donna, who asked for my mom. I handed the phone over to her, and then heard her gasp.

The following 48 hours were a blur. I got my mom ready to fly up to Utah, and later my aunt and uncle came over to pick me up so that I could drive up with them. That morning after my mom left, I remember losing it, and just sobbing uncontrollably. My Stake President (and former Bishop) knocked on the door with a copy of the hymn "Come, Come Ye Saints." He had ditched church to come be with me while I cried.

That afternoon I got a phone call at my aunt and uncle's house. It was Jeanne, calling from the hospital, asking when I would get there. She doesn't remember it. She doesn't remember that week much at all, which is a good thing. I told her I would get there as soon as I could. I spent that week being in charge of Jeanne, which solidified an already strong bond from childhood.

We learned many things during the course of the week about the strength of our family. It was a week of sorrow, and a week of miracles. It changed everything for me. Twenty years later I am still more grateful for family than I was before the accident. I am close to all of my cousins - closer than I would have been had it not happened.

Today was an ordinary day. I met a friend for lunch, and we spent the afternoon talking while our kids swam in the pool. I am going to spend a few minutes tonight telling my children about Mark. How he always had his nose in a book. How one time after his mission he had to ask me how to say "door" in English because he was saying it over and over in Spanish. How he wanted me to set him up with all of my friends in college. I will tell them how important it is to always say "I love you" to the people you love, because they might not be here tomorrow. I will tell them that I love them, give them hugs and kisses, and put them to bed. And maybe shed a tear that I didn't get the chance to know Mark as an adult. I bet we would have been close.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

July 13, 2010: Tired Children

This morning we got up relatively early (7am) and the kids watched shows while I worked for a little while. Then we took off to go to the splash park and they said, "We didn't eat breakfast!" Note the new rule kiddos - no tv until you have eaten! It was 10am by then! Natural consequences. Except it made them super cranky for the splash park. Because we were going to be home for lunch, I didn't pack anything but water.

As a result, I got nothing but whining and complaining. So, after feeding them lunch, I put them to bed. They have been napping for 2 1/2 hours (at the ages of 6 and 4). Happy Tuesday.

Monday, July 12, 2010

July 12, 2010: Goodbyes and Swimming at Last

Today we headed over to Erin's house to say goodbye to the Fargo Cousins. While there, the kids (all 16 of them) put on a Bug Show. We all got free passes good for one person, and we sat in chairs while containers of bugs collected throughout the afternoon were brought to us for observation. There were slugs, ants, roly poly bugs, and earwigs. It was lovely.

Then the kids and I headed home and when we arrived, got in our swimsuits and finally got in the pool out back. The sun was going down so it was a little chilly from the wind, but still just lovely to end the day by cooling our core temperatures! I am pretty sure that we will be required to get in daily at this rate since the kids are relatively proficient at swimming. At least in this deep of a pool. Clara can stand up so it is perfect for her, and Josh was diving for sticks the whole time.

Dave was supposed to take pictures, but he didn't.

I can see that this will be a lot of fun for the next few weeks.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

July 9, 2010: Cabin Fever

Today we met Melissa at the park, but the wind was blowing hard and then it started raining so we gave up and came home. Still - I will always take 30 minutes of time spent with Melissa. She's amazing, beautiful, funny, etc. etc. I'll stop gushing now.

I picked up Dave from work and we headed up to the cabin for the evening. My aunt and uncle are here from California so we wanted to visit. We ate spaghetti, salad, texas toast, and brownies and can you believe I didn't take any pictures?! The cabin is beautiful this time of year - nice and cool and smells heavenly with all of the wildflowers. We will be going up again soon. Dave and the kids went on a little hike down the road to see the beaver dam and the kids discovered a dirt slide that they loved (and I didn't). Next time I will take pictures so that my posts aren't so boring.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

July 8, 2010: Massage Wisdom, Swimming Pools, and Trampolines

Because I believe my massage therapist is brilliant and insightful, I am going to share tips that she shares with me from time to time. Today's nugget is particularly beautiful considering we are currently filling up the pool in our backyard.

One thing I often struggle with in my personal relationships is taking on other peoples' problems and trying to solve the problems for them. In the past six months I have been working on learning how to say, "That's tough." And then give the problem back to the person to solve. Some days I am better at it than others. Some days I allow people to take advantage of me (and then resent it) and other days I don't let them get away with anything.

When I allow people to take advantage of me and get away with inappropriate behavior, I am allowing them into the "swimming pool". I am saying, "Come on in, the water is fine. Stay as long as you want. I'm here to make your life easier, more relaxing, more comfortable." There are certain people in my life that should be in the swimming pool - my immediate family. As an adult, that would typically means spouse and children. If you don't have a spouse or children, it would mean allowing people in that you know will come for a swim and then leave. Or perhaps people who come for a swim, but bring their own snacks to the party.

You decide who you allow into the swimming pool, but then you live with the consequences of how they use your space and how long they stay.

For the majority of people in my life, I should be a trampoline. Trampolines allow for flexibility, but they allow me to bounce the person back out of my space and hand the problems back to them. These are my healthiest relationships. It allows me to help others and show empathy, but it also allows them to figure their own stuff out. You could say that it allows them to "bounce" things off of me.

It's really easy to blur those boundaries and allow someone to jump right off the trampoline into the swimming pool. I am REALLY good at doing that. When I do, my expectations for people soar higher than are realistic. I start to enable bad behavior in order to "fix it". It becomes inappropriate and hard to let go the longer they swim.

It is very difficult to send someone, dripping wet, back to the trampoline. Really - the two are not meant to be used at the same time.

I'm learning.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

July 7, 2010: Eight Years of Liking Each Other...and Produce

Eight years ago today, Dave picked me up at the airport late one night. I was flying back to Virginia after spending Independence Day in Utah. On the way home he said, "I like you, and I want to date you, but not exclusively, yet." I'm paraphrasing, but he had someone else in mind that he thought he should probably ask out before devoting himself to me heart and soul for eternity....To Be Continued.

Below is are updated pictures of my garden. It's too close to the house and I think the stucco is making things too hot. I should be growing jalapenos. Next year I am moving them to a better location. I have harvested some of the lettuce heads over the past few weeks, and now they are growing back again.
The onions will be ready soon I think.
Second round of strawberries
Lots o' basil, a big head of romaine, and kale galore. I put a leaf of kale in my smoothie every morning for extra whatever it is that kale has.
Green beans and more basil. I think we'll be having basil in something tonight for dinner.
Tomatoes are starting to grow, green beans, onions, romaine, and a bell pepper. And more kale.
This garden isn't doing as well, but has zukes and stuff in it. I think it actually has too much shade because it doesn't really get much sun until 10am and by 4pm it is in the shade again. Next year...
My early girl has one lonely tomato. This is compost, peat moss and vermiculite. It should be growing like crazy! I also have used miracle grow on it. Not sure what the deal is.
This tree has finally really taken off. It is supposed to ultimately be a shade tree for our patio and I think it might actually get there by next summer.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July 6, 2010: Ama and Papa GG

Since Dave had the day off, we decided to head up to Ogden to visit his grandparents. With all of the craziness that we have had the past six months, we hadn't had a chance to get up there. We left around 10:30 and arrived around 12:30 (after getting slightly lost). After having pizza for lunch, we headed over to the pool and took the kids swimming. It was a beautiful day, but the pool was crowded because it was a holiday. We sat and visited for a while afterward, while the kids played with matchbox cars.

They moved to a new condo a while ago and Dave's aunt and uncle decided to remodel the patio. It is absolutely beautiful! It's tree covered so there is a lot of shade, and we spent most of our time out there. Clara was much less shy than she has been in the past as well.
Ama and Papa GG, Dave, Josh and Clara
Papa GG and Josh
Ama GG and Clara
Ama GG and Josh
Papa GG and Clara
Clara and Josh playing by the countertop. They loved the swivel chairs.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Josh's Love Notes

Josh has started writing love notes - lots of them. I am the happy recipient of a lot of them. This one is the latest, greatest, and cutest.

"You are the cools Mom. I love you Mom you are nis to me. I love you you are cool. You snugl with me. I love you. You are the best mom in the intr wrld. Love, Josh"

I'm tellin' ya - I want to bottle this kid up and keep him little. With his reddish brown shaggy hair, his big blue eyes, his freckles, his crooked teeth. He is exactly the little boy that I hoped I would have and I couldn't love him more. Even when he drives me nuts.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July 4, 2010: Independence Day

It was a quiet Independence Day for me - I spent the day in bed with my leg up reading because the cellulitis kicked in. I took some antibiotics and put heat on it. Determined not to let it ruin our weekend plans, we headed down to Springville for First Sunday Dinner at my dad and step-mom's house. We grilled a variety of meat, had a variety of salad, fruit, chips, dips, homemade ice cream, etc. etc. It was a food fest! We ate outside on the deck, which was lovely.
Maggie, Sam and Ellen went swimming in the hot tub
We didn't let our kids swim, but they stood by the side and splashed and threw beach balls at their cousins' heads for fun.
That's Kacy in the background. She's a famous blogger. I like to name drop.
Georgia and Glenda - we love having Glenda around. She has been coming for the past few years and it has been wonderful spending time with her and getting to know her.
Believe it or not - it was cold outside (and I don't get cold) so Georgia went and got me a blanket. I loved this blanket. I want one.
I don't think we wear our kids out enough. I mean, it's only 10:30 pm and they were only up until 11:00 pm last night. Geez - life of the party these two. (And yes, that is the bathroom floor. They were supposed to be brushing their teeth, but didn't get that far.)

July 3, 2010: Independence Day Preview

Since I live in a state that celebrates all Sunday holidays the Saturday before, we decided to go ahead and join in the fun. I slept in a bit, and then went out to weed, where I was bit by a spider of some sort. As a rash spread throughout my lower leg, we realized that I would need to go to instacare to get a round of antibiotics. We were supposed to be at a baptism at 1pm in Bountiful, and it was noon. So my mom came and got the kids and took them with her, while Dave and I went to the hospital. After resting a bit, we drove up and met everyone at a park for a picnic. I didn't take a single picture of it. Sad. But, I repented when I got home. I had made Nat's sugar cookie dough the day before and stuck it in the fridge. I rolled it out and baked it and decorated a few cookies before all of the kids arrived to decorate the rest. I used a different frosting recipe because I haven't been able to master Nat's yet, but I added her super secret ingredient and so it tasted about the same and everyone raved so there you go.

All of the shapes cut out were stars and flags
Clara was anxious to get started. I had to tell her no less than 20 times to wait until her cousins arrived!
Jubilee when she finally got to eat one. This girl has a sweet tooth to rival mine.
The older kids played a game while the younger kids frosted. Then the older kids reaped the benefits and just ate them all.
Cute, Sassy G! Who looks a little bit like the brunette version of another G that I know.
These are all of the kids we had hanging out last night. 14 in all from 3 moms. And only 2 are mine. That's some serious reproducing, eh?
We started off with sparklers and then moved on to street fireworks.
Eric, Sean and Jack enjoying home made ice cream.
Clara just wanted to ride her scooter. She didn't care that much about the fireworks.
Josh - smack in the middle of all of the girls...again. He says that they take turns hitting him or kissing him.
Jack and Kristen getting kid snuggles
And, as always, I have to include a picture of Charlie!
After we finished the street fireworks, we headed over to the cemetery to watch the big ones that the city sets off in conjunction with their festival. We discovered this location a few years ago and while word has spread, it's still a great place to watch - even if it is a little spooky. We took care to sit in an area where there weren't headstones.
Believe it or not, it was actually chilly! Our high for the day was about 82 so by 10:00 pm it was down to about 60 and we all bundled up in coats and blankets.
Clara was about done for the day.
Sean couldn't stop talking about Tutti Fruitti ice cream all night. We hope he gets some soon.