"experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." -randy pausch

Friday, August 23, 2013

the story of how my oven lit on fire {1st BIG RED}

just for the record. HE photo bombed ME. and i loved it.
a family that instagrams together, stays together:)
i mean really, KEY to my HEART!
picked 'em.
ate 'em.
pizza/soda nighted 'em.
and almost burned the house down cookin' 'em.
b/c after 3 years of not cleaning my oven,
the good ol' girl put her foot down and said,
"cook for you no more woman! cleeeeeeaaaaannnn meeeeee. NOW."
i of course bargained with her to please, if she could,
cook me two more pizzas without any complaints,
and if she did, i would doll her up proper.
and do you know what she said?
i know.
i of course,
bound and determined to be the more stubborn one,
put my foot down and showed her who was boss.
she lit a fire in the bottom of my oven to counter my offer,
and set the fire alarms off for half an hour straight, 
while i sent my party guests and family outside,
so that she and i could have a little heart to heart talk over the matter. 
i continued to cooked those pretty little garden fresh tomato pizzas.
and she continued to burn an open flame and smoke 
like she was signalling an attack from tower to tower on the wall on the great wall of china.
i did not back down.
no, i did not.
she graced us with two beautifully baked "brick oven" pizzas,
as my brother in law kenny declared.
and then,
as promised,
i doused her with baking soda and vinegar,
while ashlie and i scoured pinterest for the best oven cleaning methods.
i scrubbed and wiped down the door portion that night,
declaring that the pinterest oven pins were LIES!!!
b/c it was clearly not "wipe away" as promised.
then in my fit of annoyance, 
i closed my oven and completely forgot about the bottom half until 24 hours later.
at which point i begged sean to wipe down the rest for me.
which he so lovingly did,
and told me it really did wipe away easily.
so i took back my bitter words for the oven pins on pinterest,
and texted three friends to let them know it worked.
but that they would need 24 hours of letting the paste sit and soak.
and a trader joes kitchen rag.
and really,
who has that long to wait?
i guess i did.
so that was good luck.
must have been those blood red garden fresh tomatoes.
boy am i glad my oven didn't burn down my house.
'cause that really would have put a damper on pizza/soda night.
{fancy bubbly compliments of ashlie and kenny.}
the end.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


i feel like they ARE alive.
like i know they are alive,
but i feel like they ARE alive, 
with faces and bodies and stuff.
standing up and everything.
and my favorite thing to do is lay beneath them.
in the long blades of our backyard grass.
especially when it's the day before mow day.
b/c it's extra long and soft and fluffy.
right when my house is shading the backyard in the early evening,
and the air is still nice and warm,
but the sun is not blazing down on me.
and every once and a while my kids will come and jump on top of my stomach,
roll around on me,
pull my hair {i get grumpy when this happens--i have limits},
and then i tickle them,
'cause that's better than yelling at them for pulling my hair,
since they don't know they're doing it and all,
and then they laugh,
and roll off the sides of me into the grass,
and i try to get them to lay in the grass next to me.
you know,
just lay,
and be still,
and stare up at the sunflowers.
with their faces,
and bodies,
and big ginormous leaves of sunflower bounty.
max usually lasts the longest.
it's really really great.
brennan says, "yep, they're pretty awesome, can i go now?"
and chase just likes to stick his fingers into my nose and mouth and eyes.
and when his nails are long it hurts.
and sometimes he drools into my mouth.
it sounds gross, 
but it's not too gross.
just a little.
and then they all leave me,
and i'm still laying there,
looking up at those beautiful big green yellow faced creatures,
and there's just no where else i'd rather be.
b/c right then and there i'm laying in perfection.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

TIME TRAVELER {the river between Vietnam and Cambodia}

last night while i was shredding chicken for enchiladas, 
i heard skype ringing over the sounds of the little mermaid soundtrack on our computer.
we all came running when we saw it was grandma carol.
right away she told us how she was
calling us 
in the
about to cross over
and i was all, "mom, are you on 4G?"
and she was like, "no, skype on wifi!"
and i was all, "on a boat?"
and she like like, 
"yeah! isn't that crazy! technology is so cool. 
i even had it in some of the jungle places i backpacked through too. 
wifi is everywhere now! so different from when i was here 5 years ago..."
and then she turned the camera around so we could look at the brown river water,
the boat she slept on last night,
a boat that was floating by them,
{brennan thought this was super awesome},
some Vietnamese travelers loading onto the boat they were leaving on,
and all of the vietnamese ship people coiling up ropes and other boat stuff like that.
and sean was all, "this could be on a skype commercial."
and my mom told brennan that it was wednesday morning where she was,
but tuesday night where he was,
so he ran outside to see,
but all we heard him say was, "but it's still light here."
so i told him that grandma was a time traveler,
and even though we were in tuesday,
she had time traveled to WEDNESDAY!
and his little eyes lit up like sparkling magic,
and you could tell that his brain was thinking about how she did it, 
and that grandma was pretty awesome 'cause she did.
then the vietnamese tour guide came over, 
and got after my mom who still hadn't put her life jacket on yet,
{you know, 'cause she was busy skyping her daughter, son in law, and grandchildren},
but the vietnamese lady was really nice about it,
b/c they have really good manners over there,
always so polite,
and then the signal started to get all blurry,
so we waved goodbye, 
blew kisses, 
and everyone said i love you,
all shaking our heads in amazement.
is this not where your 67 year old mom skypes from with your kids?!
once in a lifetime.
and my kids didn't even know it.
and that's when i told sean that we can't travel with our kids anywhere awesome 
until they're older b/c they won't appreciate it right now,
so it's a good thing we can only afford to drive them to their grandparent's houses 
in california and highland, and places like that.
and then i spent the rest of the night thinking about 
how my parents took me to 16 different countries before i was 16.
once in a lifetime.
and i didn't even know it.
my mom emailed me later saying that the boat's engine blew up 
right after we got off of the phone with her.
so they had to go back and switch boats.
and then she told me how glad she was that it didn't happen 
when they were further out and away from the dock.
i told her to make sure to keep that orange life vest on.
and asked if they rowed themselves back to the dock or what?
can't wait to hear what she says.
globe trottin' grandma.
that's for darn sure:)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

tigers and bathroom tsunamis

 1. find new water colors in the basement.
2. paint a tree and field of multi-colored poppies with my kids at the kitchen table.
3. talk about the storm clouds rolling in, what color the trunks of trees are, 
how brennan doesn't want to see the metal elephant at the zoo tomorrow, 
stuff like that.
4. so i left a stack of white paper and clean water for the paint brushes for them to help themselves.
5. at which point they started painting trees and multi-colored poppies in all sorts of colors.
6. decide to escape to the big room to watch old grey's anatomy episodes on netflix on my phone, 
with the sounds of the most darling little van gogh painters in the other room. 
it was pure pure bliss!
7. 15 minutes later, i heard 
"we are tigers with these stripes!" 
"yeah! we are real tigers like this!"
my eyes got REAL{ly} big.
'cause i knew.
and i held my breath a little.
with my eyes kinda wide.
i found them like this:
that's what happens when i watch netflix on my phone in the other room.
totally worth the 15 minutes.
and how in the world did brennan get his stripes with such precision?
baths at 4:30pm.
it's where it's at;)
but this story's not over yet.
because while they were bathing, 
i put chase in his high chair with a cup of yogurt.
totally smart, i know.
b/c a 1 year old strapped in and entertained with a spoon and his mouth is just one of those great things i have come to learn to do as a veteraned mom of 5 & 1/2 years now.
when i went to check on him i found him finger painting and splashing yogurt in a 3 feet radius all around him.
and i was all "chaaaaase, you little stinker!!!"
{wishing i didn't have carpet under my kitchen table, 
that's basically the only thing i was thinking},
and he looked up at me like "ma, this is the greatest thing on earth."
and i was all, "keep up the great work man!"
because right then i heard
brennan and max decide that a tsunami was going to hit the upstairs bathtub,
and a tsunami is what hit.
leaving the floor with an inch of water from the tub to the door.
it was just a WATER painting kind of day:)
and the weirdest part was that it was actually kind of great.
shocking to me too.
i know.
and what the heck,
i didn't even get angry or yell at anyone.
creeeeeepy weird.
my college children's art teacher would be so very proud.

you have to catch them in the morning.

you have to catch them in the morning.
b/c by the afternoon the august heat has them burnt and withered away.
but in the morning,
it's like your front yard has little bit of hawaii in it.
and it's the most beautiful thing my front yard does all summer long.

Monday, August 19, 2013

welcome to the jungle {BIG RED SUNDAY EDITION}

yesterday i walked out into my garden and there it was!
a burning red of fire on the inside of the last tomato bush i checked.
i screamed i was so excited.
doubled check to make sure that's really what i thought it was.
and it was.
it was!
all of the work,
all of the waiting,
all of the wondering if they really were ever going to change.
right then in that very moment,
it was like confetti was raining down from the sky in rays of sunshine all around me.
b/c no matter how many years i garden,
there's one thing that i know for sure:
you can never really know what your garden is going to do for sure.
and i stood there,
with max clapping and jumping down next to me,
repeating everything i was saying again as if she was saying it not me,
"we have to tell daddy!"
"red! red! red!"
like a little birdie.
it was so so cute.
and i was overcome with satisfaction and joy.
and i could have just laid there in grass soaking it all up forever.
when your tomatoes grow out of their cages, 
and pull them from the dirt you've planted them into,
you improvise:)
i give you.................

exhibit A:
exhibit B:
the metal stake
holding the plant back against the fence, 
as it is trying to lay on our grass.
boy i hope there won't be any wind storms anytime soon.
fat chance.
i just hope the green bean bushes aren't too badly hurt in the downfall...
exhibit C:
the sunflower field goal
aka "touchdown jesus"
{this plant will be named "touchdown jesus" from here on out. 
what? too apostate? offensive? my apologies in advance.}
okay, i can't REALLY take credit for this one,
as they did this all on their own,
but i was just so impressed with their natural ability to do their job.
the sunflowers and the tomato plant.
the sunflowers grew,
and the tomato plant grew up around them.
presto change-O,
built in tomato stakes.
i seriously couldn't get over this one.
i just think it's so awesome.
in the pictures below you can see in the back of the bush,
where the tomato plant has grown up and around the sunflower stalks to support itself.

the ice cream was pretty great too.
love where you live.
for there's beauty all around.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

last tuesday night {they called her on a mission}

first everybody screamed.
then when she said which MTC she was going to,
everybody screamed again.
but louder!
we all
jumped up and down with the buzz of excitement.
we all talked about how we couldn't believe that ashley was going on a mission,
and i spent about 20 minutes trying to figure out if her area covered my hometown of half moon bay.
it does not.
then we spent the night eating chocolate pie and cookie,
looking through the maps in her packets, 
reading about her mission presidents,
listening to people reminisce about their old mission stories,
and talking about visas and passports and interesting stuff like that. 
sean and jaren watched videos about the mexico city missionary training center 
on their phones and ipad,
and i wished that girls could have gone on missions when they were 19 when i was 19 
{you used to have to wait until 21 and by then i was already smitten with sean 
and was all "mission whaaaat? take me to the temple sean! let's get married and have babies!"}
{best decision of my entire life, BTW!}
the dads of the high school kids all talked about how fast your kids grow up,
and how you blink and your kids are going on missions.
things like that.
and i sat their nodding my head like,
"i know, i know"
but in my head i'm thinking,
"no way, that's soooooooo far away!"
even though i know it's not.
pretty much one of the most fun nights of the entire summer.

everybody made their guesses for about an hour before she opened her mission call. 
i guessed Fiji. 
because doesn't she look like a white Fijian person??!! 
yeah, no one else thought so either.
sean and the kids guessed california.
smart little devils.
spanish speaking
reporting to the 
October 30th.
i can't believe sean and the kids guessed right.
it's times like these when i wish we were gamblers.
brennan can't wait to go,
and max wants to know if i can come with her when she goes.
be still my heart.
i love this life of ours.
and i LOVE this missionary.
Sister Mehr.
"i hope they call me on a mission,
when i have grown a foot or two.
i hope, by then i will be ready,
to teach and preach and work 
as missionaries do."