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

Friday, October 16, 2015

SENIOR year{s}

top: 19
bottom left: 21
bottom right: 16 {my first driver's license picture}
this week i helped host a senior luncheon for all of the ladies in our neighborhood who 
"consider themselves to be seniors."
this is what we say when the gal's ask "what age are seniors anyway?"
we are smart and don't say an age:)
our span was 55's-90's for our guests,
with a few of us lucky ones in our thirties there 
to bring soup and bread sticks for the october themed spread.
i made my pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.
they are always a fan favorite at the senior luncheon.
i make plenty so the women can take a cookie or two for themselves, 
and then take a cookie or two back to their husbands at the end.
some of the gal's needed to be wheeled over in their wheelchairs.
others just like an arm to hold.
last year i got to escort elizabeth there and back.
she showed me her hats.
i will always remember elizabeth for her hats.
me and everyone else to have ever known her i'm sure!
linda had her daughter take pictures of elizabeth in all of her hats,
and wrote down where the hats came from and the names of some.
and then they bound a professional book of it all.
i got to see the book for the first time yesterday,
and let me tell you, when i talked to her on the phone today about it with her,
i couldn't wait to ask her about the one her husband brought back to her from IRAN.
it was QUITE the story, believe me.
i swore my secrecy of its origination,
if i told you, 
i'd have to kill you;)
you get the idea.
then we talked about two books we've loved reading,
and how we can't wait to do the luncheon all over again next year.
these women have so many stories to tell,
and i wish i could hear them all.
so about this luncheon.
this year i was running out and back to gather max from kindergarten,
which meant no wheeling anybody over, 
BUT i did make it just in time for my favorite part.
the part where the ladies tell us all of their secrets on life.
i promise you,
there are no smarter people on this planet than these gals in their "senior" years.
kara and brittany brought pumpkins from their front porches,
and orange and yellow vines of leaves that they laid through the center of the tables.
there was chicken noodle soup, pumpkin curry soup, tomato basil Parmesan soup, and sausage soup
all in crockpots warming by the windows.
and the bread sticks!
let me tell you about the bread sticks!!!
there's really only one word you need to know and it's BUTTER:)
then we had pink lemonade and ice water.
but the thing that made the entire shin dig for me were the questions.
really, i guess it was the answers.
each woman, all seated around two long rectangular table clothed tables,
took one conversation question from a basket,
and we all ate soup, after soup, after soup,
and they answered them.
one sister talked about how her favorite pie was lemon pie as a girl,
and it STILL is.
{when her husband came to wheel her back home, he said it was his favorite too.}
another sister talked about visiting every continent except for Antarctica,
and how traveling was the best advice anyone had ever given her.
elizabeth talked about the 4 missions she and her husband had served together.
she also brought a picture of them together on their first mission--NO HAT!
that's what i said to her because i've never seen her without a hat.
sister kapp told us about all of the joys and tragedies she'd been through this year with death of her husband and several other family members, and then the joys of grandchildren getting marriaged, having babies, and going on missions.
she and i always talk about how we were meant 
to be best friends, and we really really mean it.
alice couldn't make it,
but she is like a mother to me,
and oh how i love hugs from alice!
another gal said that after raising 8 children she wished she could go back and tell herself 
to be LESS patient with her children,
which i thought was interesting because everyone almost always says they wish they would have had more of that, not less.
{she said even now that her kids are all grown and raised and thriving,
they even say they didn't have it bad at all--this was pretty cute i thought}
but not her,
she said she thinks she was too nice.
and she didn't say it in a sad way,
but in a thoughtful way.
and even though all of her children turned out great,
she thinks she should have been a little more firm.
this really resonated with me.
and as i sat there listening to these wonderful women,
with all of their wisdom,
i just felt lucky.
lucky to be in their presence.
lucky to call them friends.
lucky to be in a room with so much experience.
i wished we could have stayed all day,
but before we knew it,
the husbands were there to escort their sweethearts home,
and the girlfriends were arm and arm out the doors, and back to their condos together,
trying not to spill the soup and cookies they were taking to their other friends 
who couldn't make it to the luncheon that day.
so as we were cleaning up, 
i was thinking.
thinking about what i wished i could tell my younger self,
and as i'm looking as these old driver's licenses and college id's this morning,
i'm wishing i could tell my younger self to be more kind.
mostly more kind to myself,
although i'm sure i could always be a little more kind to others too.
i want to tell myself to enjoy my sleep,
and to learn to go to be earlier, EARLIER than learning it at 32 at least;)
{also, take that trip to europe with sean that your parents offered you, 
and get married in the fall instead of the spring! ha!}
i want to tell my younger self that in ten years i will literally be living my dreams 
and it's gonna be hard, but it's gonna be great,
so don't worry about how it is all gonna get there as much
{i spent a lot of time worrying if this would all ever get to be this, and it did,
and how SILLY it was that i spent so much time worrying about it all!}.
and now i'm sitting here thinking about what i would tell myself now,
if it were ten years from now.
or 50 years from now.
i think i'd say,
enjoy it.
keep enjoying it.
remember to enjoy the children in their own little phases.
enjoy them separately.
enjoy them together.
be a little more firm,
and maybe not always as patient.
be quick to apologize,
and keep a soft heart always.
even and especially when you just want it to be hardened.
and last but not least,
always give yourself time for some perspective.
it will make all the difference in the world.

{the "A-team" aka max and brennan are in park city with grandma and grandpa and the "B-team" aka dean and chase are here with me living the simple life of baby and 3yr old. 
OH how i've missed just being with little littles!!! heaven I TELL YOU! this moment brought to you by UEA and grandparents. THIS IS BLISS!!!!!!}

Thursday, October 15, 2015


september was rough.
i felt like i was constantly drowning.
like i was in this state of ongoing anxiety
that wouldn't even leave me alone when i was sleeping.
i kept thinking,
i see why people take prozac.
and then i started thinking,
maybe i need some prozac!
remember the eggs that needed mayo?
that was my breaking point.
and somewhere along the way my milk all but dried up.
and somewhere in there i cried about all of it while making sewing cards at a relief society activity i had helped plan at the church.
very therapeutic, i assure you.
5 days of pumping and a couple of early bedtimes later,
my milk was back.
heavens don't make me do that again.
the making my body think it was nursing 12 times a day part.
don't make me do THAT part again.
the early bedtime part though.
i like that part.
THAT part can stay.
and stay forever:)
i just keep doing over and over and over again,
going to sleep early.
like 9pm guys.
i go to bed at 9pm.
and i keep wondering why it took me four kids to figure this secret of sleep out until now???
i don't watch tv.
it's weird.
who have i become???
a person that sleeps 8 hours a night,
that's who:)
so when my boobs wake me up at 6am,
and i lay there for an hour waiting for my alarm or my baby to get me up,
i'm not even mad about it.
because if there's one thing nursing 4 babies has taught me,
it's that having too much milk is always the problem you wanna have.
and also,
a baby that sleeps in 12 hours stretches:)
at 4 months old.
on an only breastmilk diet.
who ever even HEARD of something like that before???
god bless baby dean:)
and god bless sleep.
it cures all the world's problems overnight.
{my money's on hazel, by the way.}

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

gotta keep 'em guessing with my lazy eye;)

"mom!!! are you looking 
two places at once????" -brennan
gotta keep 'em guessing with my lazy eye.
legitimately freaking people out since elementary school.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

NO EGGS!!!!! {how to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies the RIGHT way}

want to know the secret to AMAZING pumpkin chocolate chip cookies?
listening ears on?
are you ready?
there. that's it.
now go forth, and make these!
and don't let me EVER hear you used eggs with your pumpkin cookies EVER again!
you're welcome:)

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups brown sugar
2 cups pumpkin
1 cup oil
3 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ginger
2 cups chocolate chips
Mix all together. Bake 350 for 12-13 minutes.

NO EGGS!!!!!