Archive for the ‘Family’ category

Birthdays and Unicorns

February 24, 2012

First, Happy 6th Birthday to my step-daughter Riley. I can’t believe how quickly time flies, and it feels like yesterday when she was a 2 year old and I found myself being a mom to another toddler. Wow! She’s a fun, bright, energetic kid who really looks up to her older siblings and is often the life of the party. I hope you have a wonderful b-day!

Secondly…

It’s the weekend, and what better thing to do to celebrate a few days off than see a movie! What movie, you ask? Well, here’s an idea…

Unicorn City is family friendly, fun, and nothing less than a good time. It’s playing throughout Utah, so find a theater and get out there!

One of the main characters (Rhubarb, the Centaur, and possibly the stand-out character in the show) happens to be a good “friend” of mine… one who happens to be the father of my 3 children. Acting has always been a passion of his, and I’m happy that his dream is being realized. Congrats Clint! Now get me a free t-shirt.

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Lost In The Mail?

December 18, 2011

I’ve really enjoyed the cute Christmas cards we’ve received from family and friends this year.  Did you enjoy our cards to you? No? You didn’t receive yours in the mail?

That’s probably because we didn’t send them out this year. Or last. Or come to think of it, the year before that. I think I’ve only sent out Christmas cards once. Greg and I talked about having some family pictures done for a card this year. While our intentions were good, December rolled around before we knew it, and it just didn’t happen. Maybe next year.

Even though we didn’t send our love through the mail, we appreciate and feel so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people. Here’s wishing you all a very Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you happen to celebrate this time of year.

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For Ever And Always

December 1, 2011

Last night my sweet Cooper knocked on my door about 20 minutes after bedtime.

“Mom? Can I come in?”.

“Sure… what’s up?”, I asked.

As he entered my room, I could clearly see that he was upset.

“What’s wrong Sweetie?”

He proceeded to tell me that he was really sad after reading a book. When I asked him which book had turned my brave kid into a weeping mess, it all made sense.

There is one book that I simply cannot read without blubbering like a complete baby. I can’t even TALK about the book without tearing up. For me it is such a simple representation and reflection of my love for my parents, and as a parent, my unconditional love of my children.

As I hugged and comforted him, the emotion took over me as well, partly because of the premise of the story, and partly because I saw what I already know… I have such an amazingly tender and loving boy.

If you haven’t read it, do.

Too Old For This

November 20, 2011

When I was a teenager, I remember staying up until 2 or 3 a.m. with no problem. OK, so I would sleep in until noon the next day, but that’s beside the point. These days, 10 p.m. rolls around and I am heavy-lidded and ready for bed. And it doesn’t seem to matter what time I go to bed, I’m always up between 7 and 8 a.m.

Last night Greg & I went to some friends house for dinner and games. By 9 p.m., I seriously could have gone to bed. MAYBE going to the new Twilight movie premier at 12:10 a.m. two nights before had something to do with my exhaustion. MAYBE the fact that 3 hours of sleep followed by a full 8 hour work day was a contributing factor. MAYBE the fact that I’m just not as young as I used to be is relevant. MAYBE having kids vomiting in the middle of the night earlier that week played a part. Needless to say, it’s been a rough week in the sleep department.

The movie was silly, but the pre-party and get-together with friends was definitely a fun time and almost made it worth it. But I must admit that I’m relieved that there is only 1 more movie to go, because these ridiculously late nights are going to kill me. I’ve only missed 1 premier, and that was because I had surgery on my shoulder that same day. I’m all for vampires, werewolves, completely implausible plot lines and bad hair, but come on… I’m too old for this crap!

We ended up sleeping at our friends house last night (they live about 25 min. away and both Greg and I were so tired that crashing at their place seemed like a better option than the drive home). Air mattresses are better than a hard floor, but not by much. I went straight back to bed when we walked in the door at 8 a.m. this morning, and woke up at 11. That additional 3 hours made all of the difference. I feel caught up on my zzzz’s, and I’m ready to begin another week.

I’m gearing up for our annual Thanksgiving trip to St. George… lots to do to get the kids, house, and myself ready, but a few days off from work, helping kids with homework, and early mornings is definitely something I’m looking forward to. What are YOUR plans for this next week?

Pretty Lucky

November 7, 2011

As you (should) know, movies are kind of a big deal around our house. They were for my family as a kid, and as an adult, I’d say we keep our plate full with movies we want to see, should see, and just do see. It’s not like I have a specific goal, but in general, I like to mix old movies that were a little before my time into the pot. I also like to see huge variety when it comes to what genre and type of movie. Sometimes I want to just relax and be distracted. Other times I want a dose of reality and something that makes me think.

The Killing Fields was one of these movies that for years I’ve wanted to see. I remember my parents talking about it when I was young (maybe 8 or 9), and what they said has stuck with me. So we Netflix’d it, and the dvd has been in our bedroom for an embarrassingly long time. But lat night was the magical night.

This film is about the unrest and struggles in Cambodia after the wake of the Vietnam War, during the Nixon era. The thought that kept creeping into my mind was how the majority of Americans have NO idea with hard really is. And while it wouldn’t be appropriate to show my children, I kept thinking how great it would be to sit them down and have them watch parts of this flick whenever they say how crappy their lives are (usually when they have to clean or do homework 🙂 ).

The movie had a similar affect on me that Schindler’s List did… hard to watch, but an amazing way to gain some perspective. I am seriously worried about where we as a country and people are headed, but I can tell you that I would not want to live any place else. Maybe it’s selfish, but I feel incredibly blessed that I have had, comparatively speaking, an easy life and never REALLY known what it is like to struggle just to survive.

The End of a Search

November 5, 2011

Years ago I had this vision of what shopping for a car would be like.

It would be fun, exciting, and in general, easy. NOT the case, at least for us.

So this summer while searching for a new ride, I got my first taste of what it was like to be a car buyer. Instead of being fun, it was stressful and time consuming. For us it was a big investment, and we wanted to make sure we made the right choice for us and our family. As you know, we found our Honda Odyssey, which has been a great vehicle so far.

Fast forward a few months… when I got my new job working up near a ski resort, I realized (while driving up the canyon and seeing the posted signs) that I there were days in which the canyon is closed to vehicles that didn’t have 4-wheel-drive (or all-wheel-drive) OR chains. In case you aren’t aware, our minivan is not a 4×4, and the prospect of having to put chains on it every time a storm hit was less than exciting.

Greg was not a fan of our other car which he drove, a Ford Taurus. While I liked the car and it gave me NO problems for the 6 or so years I owned it, I think it was a little low on the “cool” scale for Greg, so selling it to buy something that would 1) solve my driving up the canyon issue and, 2) make Greg not feel like a 72 year old grandma became important.

We sold the Taurus to the first couple who looked at it. Easy peasy. But finding it’s replacement was less than ideal. Looking for an all-wheel-drive or 4×4 when winter is approaching is something that I don’t recommend. What we DID like went really quick, and other possibilities did not pan out. Every day we were searching KSL and researching possibilities in order to find what we needed.

Fast forward 2+ weeks to yesterday. Something interesting popped up on KSL. We didn’t see it in previous searches because it was out of our price range. Luckily, Greg caught it the first day the price had been reduced and emailed the link to me so I could check it out. I looked it up on a ton of auto websites and was thrilled to see the glowing reviews, safety features, lack of problems, etc. I was so impressed that I told Greg to get over to the dealer to look at it and to go ahead and get it if he liked it. It’s sitting in our garage as I type this, which means he did, and I do. I actually like it a lot! While it was a daunting task, we are both excited about our new ride, and we got it for a great price!

Here she is:


It is a 2004 Mitsubishi Endeavor. I haven’t thought of a name yet, but I’m thinking Gertrude. We had fun testing her abilities with my parents today (trying to make it slide and do doughnuts in a parking lot). So far I’m impressed with how she handles and drives. I’m actually excited about this car.

I find it funny that I lived for 36 years without really buying a car (I’d gotten all of my others from my dad), and in 4 months I’ve bought two. I’m hoping that these suckers will last us long time and be great cars for us. Because the thought of doing this again… not cool.

Show Me The Money

October 8, 2011

Have you ever heard the saying about how it doesn’t matter how much money people make, they always spend what they have? What about it doesn’t matter how much money you have, it’s never enough.

True? Maybe, maybe not. But it does seem like for many, spending rises as fast, or faster, than the money comes in. Sure, you make more, realize maybe you can buy some of those things which you wanted but felt like you couldn’t afford, and you can never really get ahead. Helloooo… highest foreclosure rates ever in the history of this country! Personally, I think this country has become a slave to their stuff.

But that is neither hear nor there. This post isn’t about the shit show the U.S. economy has become. It’s about asking the question: how do you get to the point where what you have is enough. Because for many of us, we never reach that point.

I have friends that span a huge gamut in terms of income. Some live very modest lifestyles… living paycheck to paycheck, getting by and surviving, but barely. I also have friends who have a monthly income that is comparable to a typical family’s yearly gross. The funny thing is, many of these people also live paycheck to paycheck, and what would seem like a fortune to others is barely enough for them to pay all of their many bills.

What I have also noticed when I look at all of these people is that it doesn’t matter what kind of money they bring in, everyone has problems. Money doesn’t buy happiness, securing, fidelity, love, or respect. Getting that $400 raise each month doesn’t “save” the struggling family and solve all of their problems. You can live in a mansion or a shack because misery isn’t biased.

Finding the niche where you are content with what you have, comfortable in your own skin, in healthy relationships… I think that’s the only way for any resemblance of happiness.

Of course, I am no exception to the rule. More times than I’d like to admit, the thought goes through my head that if only we had a little bit more money, then (fill in the blank) . While I’m not sure if that will ever change, I often remind myself of how incredibly lucky and blessed me and my family are. That reality check helps to keep me grounded. We have a nice home, clothes in the closet, can enroll our kids in various extra-curricular activities, food in the fridge & pantry, cars that get us where we need to go, a vacation to Disneyland last Christmas, and have the luxury of going out to dinner and a movie every once in a while.

Do I wish we had “more”? Sure! However, I do know that we have enough. And I am proud that we have very little debt, no credit cards (I never have owned one), and pull our heads out of the clouds every once in a while to keep a realistic perspective. And that is a true feeling of freedom and happiness.