Saturday, November 27, 2010

A LOVE LETTER (sort of) - more, A LOVE TIMELINE

PREFACE
I am not someone who GUSHES about being a mother and kids and love and my husband and the perfection that is my life. It's not me. It's part that I don't always buy it when people do it on their blogs, facebook, etc.. - and it's part that those things are close to my heart and announcing it incessantly to the public somehow cheapens it to me (I have issues, I know). It's part that I am a ridiculously affectionate person, who kisses and hugs and tackles her kids and husband and nieces and nephews constantly so I don't need to gush in writing how much I love them - they know it. And finally, part that I get bored reading how perfect life and love are on other people's blogs - would rather write about how my kid asked me if you can get heat stroke in heaven, or how my 2 year old literally drank from the toilet, or how a few days ago I had to scold my 5 year old (without an explanation of course) as to why we don't walk around saying "is that a banana in your pocket?" (NO idea by the way where he heard that)! Or about how one time my husband bought me a card and gifts for our anniversary and was secretly a little pleased that I had been the one to forget our anniversary since I hadn't told him
"Happy Anniversary" alllll day - only for him to discover that evening (just about to give me my presents) that he was exactly one month early. We were married in November, NOT October. Which leads me to this... Our anniversary is November 28th. This is our 7th anniversary. A big one to me.
My husband likes when people gush.
And so I offer this out-of-the-normal LOVE LETTER!
ahem.. A LOVE LETTER (sort of) - more, A LOVE TIMELINE
First, we were friends.
Okay, that's not entirely true.
FIRST, we were acquaintances. After all, you were the painfully shy kid in the back of Sunday School Class building forts out of your suit jacket and the chairs. I was the oldest kid in class, sneaking out every chance I got to go to the older, cooler Sunday School class... You know, the one with the kids NOT building forts in the back of the class.
THEN, we were friends. We hung out sometimes with a group of friends. You took me canoeing and on adventures in the woods. We "borrowed" a paddle-boat at night once. You came to my plays. We went to different schools, but shared an after-school job (juice bars won't work themselves after all). I watched you lift weights between customers. You watched me blush when I couldn't make correct change. I gave you girl advice, (as I was a year ahead of you in school and thus infinitely wiser in the ways of love). You made me this for Valentine's Day one year, (even though I was dating someone else). I kept it forever and now it sits in our home.

Years passed by. We lived other places. Did other things. Had our own heartaches and trials and sporadically kept in touch through letters and "Hi's" from family members.
THEN, near the end of the summer we got together as FRIENDS. Because we were old buddies and no one else was around and why not hang out a few times before summer ended?Except, it wasn't a few times... and we were not apart - even for a day - after that. It went from kind of hoping we would be able to get together the next day, to needing to see each other every day. We were scared and neither was looking for love. Or marriage. We knew it though. It was done. We knew like we knew like we knew it was supposed to be this way. But even still, I was scared. So I left for school at the end of the summer. After attending a friend's wedding and trip to the SLC temple, I knew for sure. For sure. But did it have to be NOW?? I didn't want to be "that" girl. The flaky girl. The girl who leaves school to go get married. I was "President" after all... I had responsibilities and school was SO much FUN! But after 2,219 miles and starting to unpack, my perfect plan was starting to unravel. It took a Bishop telling me "I knew. I knew when i set you apart to be President that something would come to intercept you. But you needed to prepare to be President. Do you want me to tell you what to do?" "YES!" I exclaimed. I knew what he would say... "Go and pray about things. You will know what to do." But he didn't say that. He said, "Go home. Marry him. He sounds wonderful." And that was it. I needed permission from someone on the outside. Someone to say, "It's okay to be that flaky girl." So I drove 2,219 miles home. We dated. We got Engaged. We got married. We stayed for a bit in good ol' NC, and then I headed back to school. This time, with you.
Our first place was just as every couple's first place SHOULD be. Old, dusty, a light that hung from a chain. A stove that forced you to open the door even in negative temperatures so you didn't get sick from the smell. I made dinners. We went on little outdoor trips. We went on dates to school things like plays and guitar competitions. But mostly, we just stayed in. We didn't want to be entertained. We didn't want to make new friends. We just wanted to hang out.
Together.
We had it all planned out. It wasn't really all that difficult - this little life we had made. Until...

UNTIL...

THIS happened. Quite by accident. Quite unexpectedly. We were married 5 months. That's it. Just 5 little months. We were most assuredly NOT trying. We were most assuredly NOT ready. But he was. He changed our plans. Our life. Our outlook. You were in haze of shock those days. You were good with him - tender, attentive, concerned, loving, but you also flew him around the room like an airplane and slid him down the couch like he was on a slide, until I told you newborns didn't so much appreciate that kind of thing. We stayed for a awhile. In the cold. We stopped back in NC and then moved to somewhere tropical. Where we saw more than one small alligator hit by a car laying in the road. Our plans had changed and we tried to adjust. Your professors loved you. Offered you a job. But we wanted something different. Out west. "Train in your profession HERE", they said. So when classes wrapped up, and you had passed your national certification, we moved. This time to Washington. More school. More certifications. More living with other family. By this point we had spent most of our marriage living with other people. Good people, but it was still hard. Finally you were hired to "give the breath of live" I believe you called it? We moved to Spokane. Not an especially beautiful city, but we loved it. It will forever be one of the best summers of my life. We had our own little place. There were a million parks and rivers and lakes and hikes and playgrounds to choose from. I went where I wanted to go when I wanted with my little sidekick. Ian and I swam and played and explored. you applied for firefighting jobs all over. But the economy was bad. A single job opening would yield one thousand applicants or more. Literally! So you branched out...and then.......

THEN an opportunity. A real job! Not what you were trained in necessarily, but law enforcement was kind of similar... We didn't know where the town was - (most people don't know where the town is!) We scouted it out. We checked out the one grocery store in town. It closed at 7pm. A library no bigger than our apartment in Spokane. Wild-life...well, EVERYWHERE. It was an adventure. A foot in the door. So we went. You moved in and set us up while I visited NC with the boy. I was nervous. As I was flying to you, exhausted and drained and nervous and waiting... waiting... for my flight that had been delayed, you told me something you shouldn't have. The first of many times you would tell me something you shouldn't have. A cougar attacked a deer IN our yard. Not near our yard. IN our yard. And what's more, with you and your parents (who were helping you move in) sitting outside. NOT GOOD. Then you told me that the next day you had found a fawn carcass in a tree IN our yard. It was old, not from the attack the night before... OH. Good. So, I cried. In the airport. In front of strangers. Ian played on the floor and I sat there on the phone and cried. Hard. I am not a country girl. I don't like cougars. Deer aren't even that magical to me. I flew into Boise and we drove the windy, long drive through the canyon, past the rushing river to our new home. I called Fish and Game. They told me to keep my 3 yr old close to me at all times. "Don't be out at dusk or down. Cougars don't normally attack in front of people....". "DUH, Fish and Game! That's why I called!!" So I cowered in our home. I trembled (literally trembled) when I took out the trash. Made lots of noise to scare anything away before I would even walk from the car to the front door. (I admit, that makes me giggle now). Our first week there, a bear got into our trash. Twice. Punctured the lid with it's nails or teeth or something, even though you had tied the lid down to show that bear who was boss. Our neighbors excitedly told us a tiny bear cub was hanging out by our garage. You were in heaven. I was in... not heaven. But we stayed. The fires that had ushered the animals down into the valleys eventually let up and from then on, we saw cuter things. Foxes (my favorite)! Cows, (again, IN our yard). Bunnies. Horses. Elk. Raccoons. Baby skunks. We loved the beauty. We made friends that we were supposed to make. That are now a part of us. They became family in a place where we had none. In a place where you were forced to meet your neighbor. To help each other. To work together to survive a winter! We stayed almost 3 years. It was hard. Sometimes fun. Heartbreaking. But that is where we really became a family. Our little boy went from a toddler to a kid. We had another baby. Not the girl the ultrasound promised and we prepared for with a pink and brown nursery and car seat and beautiful/trendy wardrobe, but a boy. A shocking surprise during a routine c-section. Our life together has indeed been full of surprises. Two boys. Living in the place little boys are made of. Dirt roads. 4wheelers. Men who get together and talk about their trucks and hunting. Dogs with no leashes. Mud. Snow. Rivers. Stray kitties...sighhhh....!

But then, it was time to go. you got into every University in Idaho. We decided on Boise. And then, out of the clear blue sky, an opportunity for a new place. Better hospitals/dr's for our baby. An amazing school for our little Kindergartner. A city for me. A CITY. Your old stomping grounds. School somewhere else. Near some family. So we moved. And even though there were trials, lots of trials... and even though it was not easy to live there at times,

it was hard to say "goodbye". Harder than we imagined.

THEN, we came here. Counting every little apartment change and move early on, this made move #11. We will try to move again before the New Year. Out of this apartment. Move 12 in 7 years. 12.

12 moves. 5 states. 2 kids.

Remember when we first started dating? Remember how EVERYone was shocked?! LoL~ We grew up 8 minutes apart. Went to different schools, but similar schools nonetheless. And yet, and yet... we could not have been more different. "City Mouse and Country Mouse" my mom used to say. I once watched you kill a copperhead in my parent's yard. I filled you in on all the old-school SNL and Belushi references you didn't get when watching "the Office", etc.. (I do have a comedy background after all). You taught me what makes a QUALITY hunting knife and to appreciate "Man vs. Wild" for more than just his accent and 6pack - (who said that?!) I taught you the cast of "Wicked" and each of their personal bios. The words to almost every song in "Rent" (which I won't tell everyone I used to find playing on the cd player in the car when you had been the last one in it). You taught me the difference between black bear and grizzly, between "real" camping and "fake" camping (I think we know which I prefer), how to stand back and look at the "bigger picture", and that hating people who hate others is.... well, kind of the same thing (still trying to embrace that lesson though).

So here we are at 7 years. Which has always scared me a little.

"The 7 year itch", "7 year curse", "Unlucky #" you guessed it "7".

Despite our differences, despite our change of plans, despite the hardships and unexpected twists and turns, there is one thing we have always had in common. Before the kids. Before marriage. Before worrying about money and health and the future and having the answers. Before ANY of it.

YOU - MADE - ME - LAUGH.

And let's face it, I have always been able to make you laugh too. Even when things are bad. When there is loss or sickness, we can find SOMEthing to laugh about. Sometimes inappropriately. I hope we will always laugh together. The other day I listened to a bunch of messages I had saved on my phone. There was one of someone "baaa-ing". Nothing else. Just a long "BAAAAAAAAA". It made me laugh. Out loud. I got it.. A few years ago for our anniversary you wrote me a poem a la Michael Scott - entitled, "I Know the Crap Out of Women".

It was awesome.

Even when I went to kill you. Even when you want to lock me in a closet and throw away the key. Even when we are sitting in a hospital facing something potentially life-changing and scary. Even when the boys are being unbelievably naughty. Even when the "light" at the end of the tunnel seems more like a teeny, tiny flicker... We laugh.

Together.

This past week we went on a date. Our first REAL date in years.

We had a BLAST!

We had FUN!

We had... to go home at 8:30pm because our toddler was throwing up everywhere.

And yet, we shook our heads at our unbelievable misfortune, and laughed.

I love you. You make me crazy sometimes. But you also take care of me when I need it. You talk to me and listen to me. You take care of dinner when I have epically failed. You put the boys to bed (sometimes with bedtime stories I do not approve of, but whatever..)

You laugh at my awesome jokes. You feign enthusiasm for the things I care about that you do not. You help me talk things out when all I want to do is REACT.

And best of all, you make me laugh.

So, HAppy 7th Anniversary.

You make me giggle, AcS.

Almost every single day for the past 7 years we have laughed together at SOMEthing.

*Remember a few weeks ago around Halloween when everyone was dressed up a the bank and you complimented that man on his very authentic looking costume, only for him to assure you (in a most insulted manner) that he was in fact a REAL doctor? - Giggles.

*Remember when you texted me a few days ago and told me you were singing your heart out to yourself in the car and there was NOTHING you couldn't sing? - Chuckles.

*Remember your Karate Moves? - Belly Laughs.

*Your Robot? - Embarrassed Laughs

*Remember years ago when I scared you while you were taking a shower? I yelled "BOO!" You were washing your hair and you jumped SO HIGH and your arms came crashing down so hard that you took down the whole shower curtain - rod and all? - Pure. Comic. Awesomeness.

Even when you don't mean to, you make me laugh.

Happy Anniversary, Stapf
XOXO and oh yeah... XO

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

- you - me - and gwyn. p. -

just caught up on the last two episodes of GLEE. no tv. so i always have to wait until at least the next day to watch my favs on hulu.

just for the record - nay, for posterity - my current favorite show... the show that brings more LOUD-hope-i-didn't-wake-the-boys LAUGH OUT LOUDs than ANY other show that i hold close to my heart?...
MODERN FAMILY (and i've never even seen the first season).
i love "the office", "30 rock", "grey's..", "real housewives of (insert city here)" - i am only human after all. but week after week "modern family" delivers. those kids slay me. especially the boys.

but i come to you today with a quick thought about a one: gwyneth p. - i am not a gwyneth p. HATER as so many are. nor am i completely enamored of her. i actually like her more than dislike her. i think she has strong moments and there is something sort of interesting about watching her - especially in the dramatics. i like her take on "i'm scared". but the interest turns into an almost... cringe, when i see her doing comedy. and here is why...
I! DON'T! BUY IT!
maybe that's part of the appeal or irony or something. she sort of has this snotty, perfectionist, buttoned up public image that may or may not be true, but something about her doing comedy - straight comedy (i'm not talking moments here and there) - but a complete commitment to a comedic script - BUGS ME.
for anyone who watched, the whole mary todd lincoln thing actually made me blurt a laugh out. i didn't mean to, it just happened. although i attribute that mostly to the writing - she pulled it off though. well played, g.p.
it's all the other stuff. her being funny and finding the comedic timing (good editing much?...) and being "free" with her body and "in" the moment - i just don't believe it. and it bothers me. because what keeps flashing through my mind is "TRY". she is TRYING too hard. you can actually SEE her acting. please, give me an emma stone. a kristen chenowith. a lily tomlin. or you know what?? - to even it out since those are first and foremost comedic actresses, give me a juliette lewis. a zooey deschanel. a diane keaton!! SOMEone who pulls off doing both.
and so, i needed someone to know how i felt. i haven't read any reviews of her "glee" stint so i don't know what all has been said in the past week. and i don't know when gwyneth's new movie comes out. she will probably be amazing and win an oscar and i will look like a fool for calling her out on anything. but then again...when she wins "best actress" in a comedy...or even "best supporting actress" - call me.
i will eat my words.

ps great blog universe... am i alone in these feelings?
pps (friends who feel the same better leave a "comment" or we are done. DONE i say. you know who you are.) if you don't feel the same way i suppose you can leave a comment also..

Thursday, September 23, 2010

feminism, thai food, and 5 year olds

it must be confusing to be a 5 year old. anything is possible. ANYthing. bigfoot is NOT real, but santa IS. there are NO such thing as monsters, transformers however, are not only possible, but hidden in plain sight all around us.
ian and owen are watching an elmo dvd. and as i'm typing about being 5, ian just turned to me and said, "mommy do YOU know how to get to sesame street?" (the opening song seemed to imply that i did). i can sense his disappointment in me that i do not know how to get there..



so andrew called me a few hours ago and told me about this program that would be on npr today entitled "mormon feminism today"(here were the guests. the woman on the left is historian claudia bushman from claremont university and on the right is the scholar and blogger for "ask mormon girl" and "religiondispatches.org", joanna brooks - although i'm partial to feministmormonhousewives.org myself). i got the live feed off the internet and listened and then put it on in the car while i went to pick up ian from school, then came back home and finished listening online. i really enjoyed it and was just getting offline when ian walked over to me and said "mom what are you listening to?" to which i said, "oh just the radio". (i figured he was confused since i wasn't watching a show but was listening to something - don't think i've EVER used the computer to listen to npr before - or willingly turned it on in the car for that matter).. he said, "like cowboys and stuff??" i stared at him and said, "noo... just people talking. it's a show - but it's just talking and you listen to it". he was getting somewhat annoyed and said, "yeah, but like cowboys?? like with bulls and stuff?" i stared another 2 seconds and then started laughing so hard i could hardly answer him. "no ian, not RODEO... RAAADIO." i then told him how cute he was and FORCED myself to stop laughing. he stared at me like i was crazy, but also like he was a bit pleased with himself for managing to pull off being cute to mom without any real effort.

ahhh 5. so much is possible.


ps a special "I'M SO SORRYYYY" to my niece leland this fine day. after i picked up the kids i proudly served them the thai food i prepared. that's right...i had lunch ready and waiting for them BEFORE they even got home from school! booya!! i had forgotten to sprinkle the peanuts on top and was holding them in my hand when i yelled "LELAND STOP!" she is severely allergic to peanuts you see, and what had her aunt bebe made her for lunch?? just some delicious thai food with deadly peanut sauce. fortunately she had only had a few bites. i called tillia and benadryl'd her up. thank goodness she didn't have a reaction. i felt so sick i could barely eat.. (although in the end i was able to power through. what can i say?...i'm a fighter.) love you, little girl. i'm sorry i tried to make your face swell to twice its size, throat shut and ship you off to the hospital. although at least i didn't give her a peanutbutter cup - which rumor has it her dad tried to do once.
pps jen, you may want to rethink me EVER watching your girls...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

mermaids (no, not the movie with cher)

i always have some sort of story or topic in mind when i write.

always.

today i'm going to see where the wind (and the migraine pill i just took) takes me...

ian is in kindergarten. kindergarten is kind of hard. harder than i expected. he has homework every night, projects, memorizations to pass off each week and reading to complete.
this is what i did in kindergarten: colored. oh and sang. uh ohhhh...
kindergarten flashback!
3 kindergarten flashbacks actually. it must be your (anyone reading this) lucky day!
richmond, virginia.
flashback 1: a little girl named elizabeth crying. she had glasses and short curly, dark hair. she didn't want to be away from her mommy. i put my arm around her and mothered her. (yes, i was "that" kid)... "it's going to be okay", i said. "you'll see her soon"! i don't remember if it helped or not. i'd like to think i changed her life that day.
flashback 2: we had to color mermaids. i did a lovely job. travis (who was also on my soccer team) decided to draw an anatomically correct chest on his mermaid. i took his paper, brought it the teacher and showed the offense. (yep..i was "that" kid too). i can still remember her lips pursed together trying not to laugh. sadly, she did not share my sense of outrage.
flashback 3: play-time. playing house, my favorite game!! (which is ironic considering how bad i am at "house" now). travis threw a block of some sort at john (also on my soccer team - his dad was the coach if memory serves). john screamed and started bleeding. mrs. harper and the assistant carried him awkwardly out of the room and down the hall to the principal's office. travis stood there crying. i don't think he was looking for john to get stitches (which he did) - he was probably just trying to teach him a lesson of some kind. lesson learned. wooden blocks hurt.

ps as i sign off i am listening to ian and his kindergarten cousin, leland (they are in the same class - although sadly, they are no longer allowed to sit next to eachother).. discuss how frustrating it is when half your body wants to play wii and half your body doesn't. now they are arguing over who get's to pretend to be a dog. ian says scooby doo is a boy dog and he is a boy, so leland doesn't get to be the dog. at least he didn't throw a block at her head to prove his point. well done, son.
oh..and in "owen-news", he has finally learned to put ian's vampire teeth in his mouth correctly. it is accompanied by a growl - which we all know vampires don't really do - at least not in the way he's doing it. oh young owen, i have so much to teach you...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

all the single ladies...all the single ladies...now put your hands UP!

(single lady. putting her freshly painted hand up).

for my niece leland's birthday this year we gave her a gift certificate for a manicure/pedicure (she is one of the VERY girliest people in my life after all..) she was supposed to have a sleep-over at our house tonight with ian, but he wasn't feeling up for it after his chicken-pox vaccination today. so instead, i decided to have a girls' night and take leland to get her nails done~ she made the very fashion-minded pick of red sparkles (to match her school uniform of course). i tried to talk her into switching and giving me her gift certificate half-way thru, but for some reason she just laughed at me...
the manicure/pedicure for li'l ladies includes flowers on the thumbs and big toes. after about 5 practice pictures, leland finally figured out how to do a kissy-face picture (while showing her thumb flower) as opposed to a fishy-face picture (it's a tough skill to master).
dinner at bajio. girlfriend put away some food! she also may have told me that her mommy took a nap on the couch downstairs today and that was why she missed lunch.. LoL~ (tillia, i will assume she made that up). after dinner leland wasn't quite ready for girls' nite to end, so she accompanied me grocery shopping. grocery shopping came to an abrupt end when we got a phone call that another certain niece needed her diaper changed.. (leland's parents were on a date and apparently the diaper was so bad it could only be done by aunt bebe, SUPER AUNT).
when we got back to the house, we took a few pics together to remember our evening out.
i thought this was a good one... didn't realize leland was doing her fish/kissy face until she insisted i take another pic with her doing the same face. i fully appreciate her sillyheadedness.

ps thanks for convincing me to buy those two new sparkly $.99 nailpolishes, leland. i have a feeling ian would have picked out something different...

Friday, August 20, 2010

just to recap

hey.. remember that time i didn't blog for 5 months?

here is a "short" (short for me.. you do NOT want the intricate details of the past 5 months as i tend to be a bit long-winded - or so i'm told).. recap of our events.

aaaand.... we're off!

we live in utah now. near my older brother and his fam, and andrew's older sister and her fam. 10 minutes from each.

here we are last week at leland's birthday party at the natural history museum (or the dinosaur museum as everyone here calls it). it was quite the party and all the kids had a blast~ we had our own party room, tour guide and best of all the kids got to make fossils. they mix their own plaster and pour it into the mold they chose (ian picked a saber tooth tiger tooth - at least i think that's what it is) - and then as they they all leave to wash their hands, the tour guide swaps out all their molds for ones that have already dried. ha ha! kids are dumb. then they all come back in the room and pop "their" fossils out of the mold. (that is tillia's sister stacie's daughter, shelbie above. stacie has been visiting for the past month and we all got to hang out a few times. wish they didn't live so far. stupid florida).

ian with his aunt t.t., the birthday girl who just turned 6!, and ian with his uncle brian
my other niece, ruby had a BLAST causing chaos and exploring all things dinosaur. and because she looked and was being SO STINKING CUTE that day, she pretty much had free rein to do as she wished as every adult (me most of all) looked on in adoration.
last week i also had a mini-roommate reunion. i posed for a picture with ian before taking off. he was not thrilled at his not being invited. i told him he had to go to college first and then he could come. that seemed to make sense to him and he accepted it pretty graciously.we ate at mimi's cafe and sat and talked and talked and talked until i'm pretty sure our waitress's shift ended..
jessica, amber, me and kati

my OTHER (i have SEVERAL) niece, evelyn turned 8 a few weeks ago and was baptized a few days later. it was a very cool baptism and we were excited to finally live close enough to family to participate in something!

here we are with the girl of the hour~
evelyn is NOT much of a hug-giver. she's like the most frugal 8 year old girl in the world, only instead of money, her fugality is with hugs. my cousin aleksi moved to utah the same time we did (and i am SO excited to have her here!!) here she is forcing evelyn to hug her. no easy task. my little prickly pear as i call her~ (evelyn, not aleksi!)
owen's favorite part of the baptism?.. hands down the refreshments at the end. he didn't even pour out his drink onto the floor (a favorite and precious little game of his.... SIGH). as i helped with refreshments and andrew mingled with the grown-ups, i realized i had not seen owen in at least ten minutes. (i was doing refreshments, CLEARLY i was not to be expected to keep an eye on our two year old... right?? the one mingling is supposed to watch the child. an unspoken rule, non??) and so we split up and tore through the church trying to find our mischievous little boy. andrew finally found him, at the opposite end of the church, away from everyone, crying and with his little hands pressed to the glass door leading outside. i'm not sure what his plan was, but i think he figured if he could get outside he would find everyone/thing he was looking for. which would not have been the case.
sami, abby and lydi
here are andrew's sister's girls, who threw owen one awesome party a few days after his birthday. (since it appeared to ian that owen's birthday lasted several days, he has asked again and AGAIN if he can have a LONG birthday just like owen). sami and abby decorated the house for owen and aunt jen made some delicious gluton-free cupcakes!
as you can see, owen was thrilled to be the center of attention! it was pretty much the greatest party a two year old could ask for~ not that aunt jen had much competition.. here is the party that i threw owen. i bought red and white plates, etc.. and decided to do a baseball/ball theme. my two splurges were the balloons and the CAKE, the GLUE, the thing that tied the whole party together, an AWESOME BASEBALL CAKE!!! i bought the mold at the party store and andrew made the batter and lovingly cooked it. i destroyed one half of it the first time bc it was still a bit too warm when i tried to take it out of the mold, but we persevered! (or andrew did rather as i wrapped presents and blew up a huge pack of balloons). i lovingly frosted the bottom half of the cake carefully, slowly, with all the craft-skill (not much in me) and mother-pride i could muster! we waited for the top half to cool. and ever so delicately andrew placed the top half onto my frosted lower half of a beautiful baseball ball. the problem we believe is that i had scooped out the bottom half to fill it with deliciousness. we did not scoop out the top half. it was a bit dense and .... sniff..sniff... HEAVY. at approximately 2am, this is what happened. followed by tears. (mine, not andrew's), sitting on the kitchen floor in a big pile of "i'm a failure as a mother" and finally a few laughs.
and so, in the morning we threw owen his cake-less party - ohhh.. but not before we lost power for SEVERAL HOURS from about 5am on and i took it as a sign to call everyone and officially cancel his party. so after our breakfast family celebration-o-owen, we decided to take the boys to a magical place...a place where all your dreams come true...a place where anything is possible!!...a place that has not been remodeled since the 70's and a place where your hands actually feel weighed down from the pounds of germs you know must be on them after playing each game and carrying around a handful of coins. that's right. a one - CHUCK-E-CHEESE.
this was the first "ride" to be tested. naturally...these are andrew's boys after all! i have to admit chucky cheese was probably a little more for ian since he's been asking to go there since he began talking. but owen didn't complain. until he saw the "stage" that is. you know, with the animatronics - those creepy HUGE, not so cute and cuddly, robotic and unfluid in movement, disney land rejects. he was in some kind of trance watching the "show" as he ate his pizza and sipped his lemonade. every so often he would almost smile and so after 20 minutes or so, i picked him up and walked about 4 steps closer to the stage, (which by the way was still about a football field in length away). he started crying and gripped my arms in terror and back to the table we went.

finally, later that evening we took the boys to toys-r-us to pick up the gift memere and papa had gotten him. of course he and ian had to try out every bike, trike and toy not tied down or in a box first. but we left with a brand new cozy coup for little owen. the same kind i had when i was little. he sits in it every day. and or climbs on it (with the assistance of his big brother)..
here is owen going for a stolen tricycle spin through toys-r-us.
in between chuck-e-cheese and toys-r-us, ian and i headed over to evelyn's party. she had it at this new bowling alley. we were in this cool room with movie screens above every lane! the kids were in heaven. there was also a nice laser tag course they got to do and an arcade. it was a pretty sweet bowling alley. and an action packed party!
me with coral, (stacie's youngest girl) - under that beautiful exterior lurks one naughty little monkey! LOL - good thing she has the face of an angel.

new box of cheerios + a climbing toddler = breakfast ON the table. owen had a blast and eventually ian grabbed a spoon and joined in the fun. ohh...little boys...

we saw one of santa's reindeer on our way to utah lake one day. i think this one summers here.

utah lake. started as a super fun day. we played and swam and ignored the filthiness of the water...right up until ian stepped on an old fishhook - in the water. what r the odds? it actually wrapped around his toe rather than going in it, but for him - the day was DONE.
i must admit, i love the weather here. it has been a pretty mild summer since we arrived so we have been on several little hikes and adventures. here were are at bridal veil falls. the water was ICE COLD, but the boys didn't mind.

owen tries so very hard to be like his big brother. of course he can never quite seem to do things exactly like ian. owen held this pose for at LEAST 45-60 seconds while ian did somersaults around him.

ian was in a tree and so owen just had to be there as well.

of course ian's favorite thing about life in utah has been getting to spend time with his cousins.
the kids decided to put on a circus for us one day. they actually had it pretty organized! fake names, 3 acts and a bow at the end. it was awesome.

so i guess that's it for now. will have to blog about our final days in idaho soon. ian starts school in a week. owen continues to perfect his tantrum technique. and andrew and i are adjusting to life in utah.

the end.

have added three albums on facebook of life in utah thus far. tons and tons of pictures. later, my readers.

Another FAV!!

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