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

Saturday, October 5, 2013

any takers?

there's nothing better 
than going to the pumpkin patch 

anyone want to come tear out the dead garden for us?
we don't either.

the REAL story of the stars. {we're gonna need to clean our windows}

and then your stepmom calls you and is all, 
"i sent the stars!"
and you're like, "what stars?"
and she's all, "the stars! IIIIII sent them!" :):):)
and you're all, "whaaaaaat stars???"
and she's like, "THE stars. they're from me!"
and sean's all, "THE stars, ohhhhh"
and i'm all, "i have no idea what you're talking about."
and everyone's all, "THE stars. the christmas glass stars!"
and you're like, "whaaaat staarrrsss??? {GASP} OH!!!!"
and then you finally get what everyone is saying.
and then you figure out how they got your address,
b/c you were wondering how they did that...
the star people.
and it ALLLLL makes sooooo much more sense.
because sandie really is the greatest surprise shopper on the entire planet.
and she always knows what you've always wanted even before you know what you've always wanted.
it's creepy amazing.
i died a little bit inside of embarrassment.
mostly b/c i had already announced my victory...oh the agony.
and then i laughed.
because well, there you have it.
5 stars.
hanging in my windows.
that i certainly was lucky to get in a fedex box on my porch.
we're gonna need to clean our windows.
it's never too early to celebrate christmas stars.
especially when there's an early frost.
wish i would have covered my tomatoes.
or at least picked them yesterday.
i'm worried the farmer's almanac might just be right about this winter...
happy conferencing:)

Friday, October 4, 2013


dear sean,
it's your birthday today!
i love you!!!
i just wanted to tell you that you are AMAZING:)
amazing and fabulous.
my favorite thing about you is your integrity.
you never have to worry about what you say or do because of it.
it is inspiring to me.
you are inspiring to me.
also, i really love your big brown eyes.
and your face.
your face is great.
ok, really everything about you is great.
i used all of the painter's tape this week to make the race car track for the kids.
i took it out of your toolbox in the garage,
and i know you already know that
because it's been up now for several days.
BUT i just don't remember if i told you that i used the last of the painter's tape 
to make it.
so now you will know to pick some more up the next time you're at home depot.
anything for the chance 
of an uninterrupted shower:)
except what happened was not that.
b/c i guess chase started ripping up the tape,
and max and brennan tried to tell him not to,
but what ended up happening was max screaming and screeching in her banshee cry,
and brennan was pushing chase away trying to get him to stop, so he was crying in his i'm dying cry, but really he was just mad they wouldn't let him rip all of the tape off.
{i knew he was just going to want 
to rip all of the tape off.}
i didn't know about any of this until max and chase came screaming into the bathroom 
while i was showering.
conditioner in my hair and only one leg shaved.
there was just no way i was getting out of the shower at that point.
so i told them i couldn't 
help them until i was done.
max was all bent out of shape,
and chase ended up ripping up the painters tape on the bathroom floor.
very satisfied with the entire thing.
i found brennan downstairs watching tv,
and max coloring with markers at the table.
i pressed all of the tape back into place,
and kept distrating chase with the mcqueen parking garage for the rest of the night.
by the second day we finally had chase convinced to NOT pull up the tape anymore.
because driving cars on it was so much better.
i love how he just wants to be included and feel big like max and chase.
my favorite thing is when brennan and max realize that's all he wants, 
and they help him feel included.
can you believe how "rich" we are with these 3 kids. millionaires!!! sometimes i can't believe it. how truly blessed we are to all have each other.
let's have some more some day.
just not today;)
i can't wait to celebrate your birthday with you tonight.
you're the best.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

if you've bought your pureed pumpkin already {pumpkin choc chip cookie recipe}


chocolate chip cookie
2 c brown sugar

2 c pumpkin
1 c oil
3 tsp vanilla
4 c flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
2 c chocolate chips
*mix all together, 
bake at 350 on a greased cookie sheet. 
for 12 or 13 min.
you're welcome:)
and really,
if you haven't bought your pureed pumpkin already,
what in the heck are you waiting for?!
hello october.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

PEAK & PIT {and death defiers}

meet mary clark.
photographer extraordinaire.
made my kids laugh with two fuzzy dusters. 
over and over again.
it was a HUGE HIT. 
and max and brennan told me that family pictures were funny. 
not boring OR lame. 
i can't ever remember thinking that about any family pictures we did growing up.
all i can remember was pure torture.
life before mary.
i seriously LOVE her.
at dinner every night we start by going around the table for everyone to tell their pit and peak of the day.
i'm pretty sure i stole the idea off of bachelorette or something super lame like that.
nevertheless, it's become this awesome family tradition 
that everyone in our family looks forward to every night.
brennan usually picks who he wants to go first.
sometimes it's him.
sometimes it's max.
you get the idea.
it keeps everyone at the table long enough to eat their dinner,
and i love to watch my kids have their moment in the spotlight for the day.
it's also really funny when sean does an ad lib for chase.
you know, something like this:
brennan: chase, what was your pit and peak?
chase: {in the voice of sean}-
"my pit was being body slammed by brennan, 
BUT my peak was surviving!"
and everybody claps for him,
so he starts clapping for him,
and max and brennan think that's hilarious,
so we all start laughing.
stuff like that.
super super funny.
brennan will sometimes tell max that playing with her was the peak of his day.
and then max will say that playing with brennan was the peak of her day.
which makes them both smile really big,
and they look all honored at each other.
and then if it's really "lovie" night, 
they will say that not getting to play with mommy and daddy 
when they were playing with each other was their pit.
except sometimes brennan will interupt and say something like,
"also, my pit was when max hit me."
and then max will say,
"also when brennan hit me."
because she copies brennan a lot just as little sisters should,
and then brennan will say,
"i never hit you!!!"
and then max will say, 
in a really high pitched extra screetchy voice,
and then that's the cue for sean or i to go.
and everyone calms down,
and usually wants to know what's for dessert by the end.
so tonight we didn't eat dinner at home because after family pictures 
it was just easier to let chick-fil-a feed us, 
but that's an entirely different story.
for another time.
and so with the play place,
dunking chicken chunks into our chick-fil-a sauces,
drinking freshly squeezed lemonade,
and eating delicious ice cream cones,
we just never got to do our pit and peak for the day.
but guys,
i just had this most awesome unexpected peak of my day.
and it was just highway robbery that we did not have pit and peak at dinner tonight.
because when i was walking around wheeler farm this afternoon,
and the sun was setting,
and brennan was chasing max with a stick taller than himself,
and she was squealing with glee and running through the tall grass,
and sean and i were sitting on the cutest little old fashioned suit case you could ever imagine,
with a long dirt road lining us with tall storybook trees in the background,
and chase was sitting in our lap,
and then max ran over to put her arm around me,
and brennan gave us his most adorable deep chuckle laugh that he's famous for,
and sean and i were just warm up against each other.
and that was it.
there it was.
for an entire hour.
it was the ultimate peak of my day.
all dressed up and fancy.
curled hair.
freshly pressed clothes for all.
just getting to enjoy each other.
putting our arms around each other.
walking through the farm together.
talking and smiling.
like some time warp,
where it was like no one else was there except for us.
and sean and i kept looking at each other like,
on what planet does this actually happen?
when on earth do we ever get to be together with everyone happy 
for an entire hour???
especially during family pictures???
surely a christmas miracle!
or a halloween miracle.
and my pit you ask?
eating dinner at chick-fil-a.
{i know, i can't believe i'm saying it either.}
the fort union one is cursed.
that's all i'm gonna say.
except just know that i'm so glad we got to use all of our luck during an hour of family pictures.
which most certainly wore itself ALL out by the time we got to dinner.
and we didn't even see any black cats.
at least there's always endless chick-fil-a sauce.
did you know you can buy it by the bottle?
i can't decide if it would be awesome or awful to have an entire bottle...
picking apples was pretty great too.
you know,
on my list of peaks.
because sometimes if you have a hard time picking between two peaks,
you're allowed to say them both,
and specify which one was higher on your peak list.
i'm gonna need to borrow an apple peeler...
by the end of my apple picking, 
briar and i were shaking the apples out of the tree.
they'd drop out of the sky
around you like the strings of a bass guitar.
death defying i tell you.
death DEFYING!
but totally and absolutely worth it:)

Monday, September 30, 2013

pink sunsets too {running down north temple in heels}

we were late.
like we were waiting in traffic in the parking garage at 5:40pm.
and you're supposed to be in your seats 2 blocks away 10 minutes ago.
and in utah, 2 blocks away means 2 football fields away.
i kid you not.
so they tell you that you have to be there a half an hour early on your ticket.
5:30pm it says.
or you might lose your seat.
except you're sitting in traffic everywhere b/c everyone else is late too.
because really, when you're gathering 21,000 women in one place 
to something that is going to start on time no matter what,
because it's being broadcast live,
you have to tell them a time to be early.
us women.
except i'm thinking that they should tell us to be there an hour early,
because then maybe more of us would have been there by the time it started.
except we'd probably all STILL just be squeaking in during the open song.
it was amazing to watching the empty seats around us and on the sides fill in,
and in,
and in,
and in,
like dominos falling into red cushion seats.
except women.
so picture my 67 year old mother and i,
running up 200 south and then down north temple,
in heels.
not high ones, 
think kitten ones, 
because we KNEW we wouldn't want anything higher than that.
and the women were all flocking
toward the conference center 
and everyone was smiling and laughing.
chatting with their friends,
their moms,
their whatevers.
and my mom and i just couldn't stop giggling.
wishing that we would have just gone to our designated parking area from the start,
instead of trying to go to the $5 lot across the street from the conference center,
which turned out to be handicap only.
it's been awhile since i've been down to temple square during conference time.
you forget how packed it gets.
so a half an hour's worth of traffic later we are finally parked in our designated parking area,
and we're running in heels,
and my mom was all,
"don't forget your mother is 67 and doing this!"
and i was all,
"do you need to stop? are you ok?"
and she was like,
"oh no, i'm good! just don't forget 
that i can do this and i'm 67! 
i feel like i'm in vietnam. this is great!"
and then we talking about how if we were good rule followers 
who went to their assigned parking spots in the first place,
we wouldn't be having nearly as much fun.
then once we got there,
we found friends in the line behind us,
because out of 21,000 women,
in small town utah,
you're guaranteed to see at least 3 of your neighbors
when you go downtown for conference.
really, i saw 3 of my neighbors.
not planned, not looking for them, just ran into them.
small. town. salt lake city.
coming from a small california beach town,
it never ceases to amaze me,
how everyone knows everyone here,
and you see them everywhere.
sometimes it's freaky.
so one of the ushers escorted us to the shortest line through a side door,
they checked our bags,
we went through the metal detector,
and for half a second i was scared.
to be at a large publicized church gathering.
because our world is just different now.
different than it was ten years ago,
the last time i went to something at the conference center.
but then we got inside,
and the opening song was going,
and all of the women were still filing in by the thousands,
and it was just amazing.
because i promise you,
you've never seen a bigger girl's night out than the general relief society conference.
one of my favorite nights of the entire year.
longer lines than disneyland.
and then when it was over,
we took our time walking back to our car,
and sat in traffic again for another hour,
b/c we forgot that it's smarter to eat downtown after.
so we sat in the car,
and talked about the themes of the talks,
how much we loved the talks,
how lucky we were to hear the prophet speak,
and then we ate chinese food at 9:30pm at night,
in a restaurant full of women 
in their church dresses 
and heels.
and we talked about how it's just so wonderful
pink sunsets too.