Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Eden's Birthday Post...that should have been posted on July 26th.

My sweet baby Eden...
...turned six on July 26th.

So I have officially said good-bye to my five year old Eden.

It was harder than I thought it would be. I realized it is because "five" was still little. My five year old still played with babies. She still liked Dora and silly kid songs. She played dress up with princess clothes and tutu's. She wore clothes found in the "little girl" department. She snuggled me every morning and loved it when I read to her. She was messy when she ate and still needed help tying shoes and brushing her teeth.

My six year old Eden is ready to be a big girl.
She plays with "play" make up and toy cell phones. She watches High School Musical and sings big kid songs. She shops with me in the big girl department. She still snuggles me, but not every morning. Now she can read, so reads to me. She isn't quite as messy when she eats, but even if she does make a mess, she cleans it up herself. She ties her own shoes and not only brushes but flosses her own teeth.

I will miss my little Edee, but I am already enjoying my big six year old. We went shopping together last week and had a great time. She picked out some awesome outfits. (I will have to post pictures later.) We had some great conversations about good deals, tatoos and classic wardrobe pieces. It was interesting how the whole trip was supposed to be about making Eden feel special, but what I noticed is that I was the one that felt special. I felt so honored and so blessed to be her mom. Eden reminds me of what my purpose is. She reminds me that there is nothing more important that I could be doing right now than being a full time mom...all day, every day.

HaPPy BiRThDaY ! I   LovE  YoU  MY  EdeN  BuGS !

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

To Leah, With Love...

Can I have your attention please?!  I am about to make an important announcement....I would like to introduce you to my book.
"To Leah, With Love..."
(front cover)

(back cover)
I have been a little apprehensive about sharing this.  At the same time I've been excited...does that make any sense?
So here is the story...
Leah is my cousin. We are pretty tight as far as cousins go. I lived with her family for awhile when I was college age and she was in elementary school. She came and lived with us for part of a summer when she was fourteen. I have always been nosey about her business and free with my advice. When she was in high school I wrote her some sweet sixteen advice about not wasting her kisses on frogs and saving them for her prince. I even gave her a necklace with a frog charm for her to wear as a reminder. Well I'm still not sure how much she actually took to heart but I know she made it through high school a happy girl with no major scars from the boys she dated.
So after Leah graduated from high school, we spent some time together right before she took off for college. I tried to give her every bit of wisdom I could in the short time we had together. Finally she said, "You are going to have to write all this down for me because I'm not going to remember it." And that is how this all got started.
So one day I sat down, said a prayer, and  began to write her a letter that turned into a book. The first copy I gave her was some computer paper pages clipped together. After two months at school I went to visit her. We read the book together with her sister, some of their roommates and friends. They all liked it and mentioned they wanted a copy. I didn't think much of it.
A few months went by and I decided I wanted to see what would happen if I sent it to Deseret Book, an LDS publisher. I worked hard to get it ready and then I sent it off. It took a few weeks to hear back that they had gotten it and they were considering it. Then after a few months I heard back that "they weren't interested at this time". I was rejected. It hurt. I felt dumb. I threw my manuscript in the garbage but kept the one in my computer files. Then in March I felt like I should finish what I started. I found a way to publish it on line by myself. So the past three months I have been working on it. I finally finished it, it came last week. Eden saw it and said, "Mom does that mean you are an author?" and I said "Yes, Eden, I guess it does."
As much as it feels like an accomplishment, it is also nerve wracking...almost embarrassing to know that my words are out there to be criticized and mocked. On the other hand, it feels great to know that what started out as a letter, written out of love for my cousin, could now benefit other girls as well. I totally felt the Spirit many times during the writing process. The night I thought it was finished, I couldn't sleep until I added two paragraphs. The words were clear and very specific. Even though I wrote the words, I know they weren't mine.
So there you have it. If you are interested in a copy, you can click on my book icon found here on my blog, or if you live close by, I can hook you up for $10.  Or you can leave me a comment with your email and I can send you a copy with a personal message. I can't guarantee it what it will say, it may be inappropriate, it may be Camden scribbles...but it will be a personal message. All proceeds will go towards our adoption fund...until we pay that off and then I will buy shoes.
Please...PLEASE do not feel obligated to buy one just because we are friends. If you know someone who would be interested, then by all means give them my link. Otherwise, just leave me a comment that reminds me that "I'm good enough...I'm smart enough...and gosh darnet people like me." I'm feeling a little exposed so that would be nice of you.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

On your mark. Get set. GO!

Last Saturday there was a fun run here in our little corner of the planet. The girls were so excited for their first race. They even trained for it.

The adult race was earlier in the morning. I tried to run it with Jessica, but she smoked me. I was able to keep up for about a mile but then decided it was supposed to be "fun run" so I pulled back.

It was only four miles, but about a mile of it was up hill. I was just so happy that my knee didn't start hurting again.

Later on was the kid race. These were some of the hooligans they let enter the race.

Eden ran first. Her group ran a quarter of a mile. The picture of Jane and Eden stretching made it into the paper.


Run. Eden. Run!

I'm not sure what she was more excited about, the snacks or the ribbon.

Right after Eden's race was Maya's. Her group ran half a mile.

The last part was up hill. Maya said she knew she couldn't catch up with the kids that had past her so she was just making sure that no one else would pass her at the end.

She did a great job. I was so proud of her!

Camden came along to support his sisters. He most enjoyed sucking on apples.

It was a fun way to spend Saturday morning. The girls especially had a great time. They had been counting down the days until the race. Eden was mostly worried about what she would do if she had to go to the bathroom. The bathrooms they had set up were port-a-potties. Thankfully she was able to handle it and we didn't have to use one of those icky things.
Well that does it for our race coverage. We can't wait to do it again next year.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Celebrating the Fourth

This is just to document our festivities...
First we had the Fourth of July Eve camp out...
The Hansen's joined us this year. Aric and Kyle loved being squished like sardines with the girls.
Then comes the parade...

Here's all the kids from our gang. Noticeably absent were the Romney's and the Sampson's.

The mother's of that gang.

A sampling of the fabulous floats.

Camden's first fourth...doesn't he looked thrilled.
July 09

After the parade the girls headed to the Hansen's for some swimming fun.

Then back to our house for some seriously good food. Aric out did himself on the ribs this year.

Since we live in the land of no real fireworks, we have to make due with lame ol' pop-its.

They are pretty boring so this is how we spice it up...

Maya jumps and throws multiple pop-its in the air.

Aric teaches Eden how to pop the pop-it between her fingers.

And of course she masters it, then does it the rest of the night.

Then we had an impromptu race.

The crowd was going wild...

Last but not least we ended the night watching the fireworks.

Camden loved them. He would make little squealing noises after each "boom".

We had a great fourth. It was jammed packed with good friends and good food. The best part of the whole weekend was on the home from the fireworks show, I explained to the girls what the fireworks represented. Before Eden went to bed that night she asked me to tell her more about it in the morning. At church the next day we sang the Star Spangled Banner and during the song Eden whispered to me, "this song is about what you were teaching us about..."
Yes, the fourth was full of fun but we still took the time to remember what it was all about. I hope your fourth was fabulous.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Birthdays and Brothers Part 2

Last year I did my first "Birthdays and Brothers" post. You can click here to read it. I have three brothers, Jason, Eric and Ben. Their birthdays are very close together, so last year I only featured my brother Eric.


This year it is Jason's turn.

jason sr picture

Today, is his 32 birthday. Jason is just younger than me. We are 20 months apart. We couldn't be any more different, but we have always seemed to love each other in spite of those differences.

me and jason

(This picture was taken right before early morning seminary, basically a scripture study class we took at 6:15am every week day morning of our high school lives. I would get ready for school after seminary...which explains my fabulous look.)

Jason has been blessed with great hair and many talents. He is an artist. He is a musician. He plays the bass...self taught...in a band. He can sing. He can act...we were actually in a play together in high school. He is smart. His brain skills are ridiculous. We were in the same math class when I was a senior and he was a sophomore...I barely passed that class and he aced it. He is loving and he is kind.


Jason is also a great dad to my niece, Zoe. I'm not sure why after 11 years this still freaks me out. Maybe it's because after all these years, this is how I still see him...

me and jason2

me, jason and ev

Growing up in a dysfunctional family can either tighten a sibling bond or break it. Luckily for us, it bonded us. No matter what life has thrown our way we have always been there for each other.

When we were kids we each took turns running away from home. I remember helping him pack his bag...he was five and I was seven...I was giving him advice on where to go. I thought I would meet up with him later. Thankfully the cops found him before too long. Even back then we were looking out for each other.

Other favorite memories are watching Fragle Rock, Goonies and Police Academy until the tapes wore out. The day he hid my favorite jelly shoes in a giant dirt pile, they were clear, we never found them. The infamous big wheel crash of 1982. The night we snuck out when we were in junior high and spent hours running around town dodging the police. There are many, many more. I'm just so glad that despite the chaos that we were living in, the good memories are the ones that stick out most. I wish we lived closer but I know that miles mean nothing, because we are connected at the heart.

Happy Birthday Jason! Te Amo!

June Stuff

So was June just a big huge blur for anyone else? Honestly I am so behind on blogging that I decided to do a big ol' June summary.

Here we go!

I think I managed to blog about stuff up until mid June...

So we celebrated our anniversary the weekend after our actual anniversary. One of Aric's clients had given us a gift certificate for Christmas. It was good for a one night stay and dinner at a new hotel downtown. We had a great time. Aric surprised me with this box:


At first I was uncomfortable and nervous. It looks like a jewelry box. I'm not a big jewelry kind of girl and we had agreed, no gifts. He already broke that rule with my new ipod so I was really trying not to be annoyed. I was bracing myself for a fake surprised smile.

But then I opened the box and found this:


I was so relieved and confused. Aric knew about my jewelry thing and thought this was a funny way to present me my gift.

Which was this:


It is a picture from our Hawaii trip we took a couple of years ago. Aric's bubble says, "Happy 10th Anniversary!!! How would you like to go back to Maui with me next April 24th? I'm so cool, it's hard for you to resist..."

Then my bubble says...

()"Yes! I'm so surprised! You're cool and handsome!"

()"No, I'll be too busy washing my hair or something"

()"Maybe. I agree you are cool, but I don't know if I feel comfortable making that kind of commitment."

(please check one)

I of course checked "yes"!

I was completely surprised! He had been working extra hard on some work stuff to qualify for this trip. I know, I know...he's a keeper.

Okay now onto Father's Day.

My mom and Joe came up to stay with the kids while we went out for our anniversary so they were here to celebrate Father's Day with us.


Joe really is an "amazing" Grandpa. The girls love to play tickle monster and wrestle with him. He never gets tired of it. He usually gets roped into making pancakes and going to Dairy Queen every visit...but I really don't think he minds too much. Those are things my mom frowns upon so when he's with the grandkids he gets to live a little more. Joe has only been a part of my life for the past fourteen years, but he has been there for my kids since each of them have been born. He is a great blessing in our lives. We love Papa Joe!


The girls always make cute little cards.


Just so you know, Aric's gift was not a hint. It is what he wanted.


I can't say enough about how great of a father Aric is. My kids are truly blessed to have such a fun, attentive and loving dad. Watching him with our children makes me realize all that I missed out on, which is a bittersweet emotion. I will never experience that kind of father/child relationship. At the same time it heals that void in my heart knowing that my children will have what I always longed for.


In June I also got to see my Karen. A hug from her is like a breath of fresh air.


One of her sons, Andrew, got married and I got to be there.


It was a quick trip but I enjoyed every second of it. I don't have a picture with Gary or the rest of the clan but I love these people!

And here is a picture with a couple other people I love...


Jessica is on my left, we've been friends for what seems like forever, our lives just get more and more intertwined as time goes on and I love it! Andrea is on my right, she is one of my blogger girls. I've been loving her blog for months now and in June I got to meet her in person. She is as fabulous in real life as she is on her blog. She made me some amazing CD's...I am so loving them! And no it isn't Halloween we just look like Halloween threw up on us.

I cannot end June without a nod to the King of Pop. A little cheesy...yes, but this is the Michael Jackson that I remember.


He was a little cuckoo, there is no doubt about that, but his music was a huge part of my childhood and adolescence. I have some great memories singing and dancing to his songs. The Thriller video still freaks me out and every time I hear Billy Jean I sing along. I had no clue what the words meant back when I was a kid and now that I do know how scandalous that song is I still can't help but sing along...every single word and "he-he!"

Okay, so that concludes my June summary. Now I can move on to July and get back on track.