Friday, October 30, 2009

in honor of halloween. . .a list!

things i fear:

1. broyles from fringe. dude, i love the guy until the lights are out and i'm standing in the hall outside seth's bedroom thinking, 'why don't we own a shotgun?'

2. the crazy man who kidnapped elizabeth smart. terrified of him. every night before i kiss the children goodnight, i check to make sure their windows are tightly closed. then i go around and check all the doors. and it is him that i am thinking of. i also think, 'why don't we own a shotgun?'

3. a homeless man seeking shelter in my garage without telling me. don't ask. i have no back story.

4. a lizard taking a rest on my hair. go here for explanation. keep in mind that the writer of the tale is a dear friend.

5. being trapped under water. and then drowning (or, as some would say, "drownding" which i have to admit, sounds worse).

6. being stuck in an elevator. funny story: did not know that was a fear until i got stuck in an elevator in germany with my mother and my sister, who thought it was great fun and JUMPED. of course, the elevator shook. my reaction? i almost strangled her death. it was an accident. i still feel bad.

7. owning a shotgun. because the movie sixth sense? when the boy comes to the door and asks, "want to see where my dad keeps his gun?" and then he turns around? AND THERE'S NO BACK OF HIS HEAD (because he got shot)? THAT. IS. TERRIFYING.

um, of course the usual stuff frightens me, like the "my children are kidnapped" kind of fears, but that's not too terrifying for me as it would be for the person who kidnaps my kids. because then i'd have to go all vigilante on his ass. and believe me, i terrify myself when i think of the trouble i will bring to that person's life.

so those are some of mine. what about you?

happy halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

only funny to the mormons. . .(sorry)

holy cow, i actually snorted when i read this. that blog seriously so blessed has me first laughing because it's so hilarious and then groaning because i have read a million blogs JUST LIKE IT. i am hoping beyond hope that mine isn't one of them. . .because seriously? how awful would it be to feel scornful of YOURSELF?

on an unrelated note, i am hosting my very first giveaway from and you can enter to win a cute photo album from dwell studio by entering to win.

do it. when you win, you'll thank me.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

weekly mouse

yeah, yeah, yeah, everyone knows who these people are. but what you don't know, is that they came over on sunday night and tyson got to read ava a good night story and she talked about it all day on monday. i love the people in this picture.

weekly guy

my mom went on a cruise before seth was born and bought this seal for ava. seth has found it and attached himself to it. he carries it with him all the time, talks to it when he's walking down the hall and hugs it every time he sees it. my favorite thing, though, is when he points to his seals nose and says, "GAAA?" with glee, as if he invented that nose.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Friday, October 23, 2009

that's just the way it goes

thursday was a bad day. it started with three things: 1) seth cried non stop when he fell and would not be appeased. this meant that he was still sick. we've been sick in this house of ours for almost two weeks and i have had it UP TO HERE with the sickness around here! 2) SOMEONE emptied and disorganized my drawer that contains ziploc bags, saran wrap and tin foil. now that drawer is impossible to open or close. so i freaked out, threw the rawer open, threw all of the ziploc bags out and on to the floor and maybe swore them to death. 3) ava came in with a stern look on her face and asked, "mommy, what is wrong with you?"

I'LL TELL YOU WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME: i have two small children. i spend my days in a house that i clean. REPEATEDLY. the laundry keeps needing to be done, the floor keeps needing to be swept and FOR THE LOVE OF PETE PEOPLE WHO KEEPS UNLOADING THE DISHWASHER ON TO THE FLOOR???

so i called up my friend crystal who also has two small children i half-whined half-shouted HOW COULD I POSSIBLY HAVE THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA?? THESE CHILDREN ARE CRAZY AND THIS HOUSEWORK IS AWFUL AND I'M TIRED AND. . .

and crystal, in her great wisdom, asked me, "well, what do you like about mothering seth and ava?"

well, i had to really think about that. and i've been thinking about it all evening.

what i love about mothering ava: last night ryan took seth to his mutual activity (youth night) and it was just ava and me. we went to jo ann's to get some stuff for her halloween costume, then we went to my parent's house. on the way home, we sang songs together. i really love that. i really love the moments when i'm able to focus my energy on her and soak her in. i loved watching her long little legs kick in time with the song, her hand flatly brush her hair from her face, her eyes wander at the sights through the window as we sang the alphabet, the twinkle, twinkle little star song, the sunbeam song. . .

i love doing crafts with her. coloring, gluing, painting, cutting things out, making necklaces and bracelets. . .i love spending that time observing her concentration and creativity.

i love reading her books. i love listening to her observe the world around her and remark on it. i love cooking with her. i love watching her play with seth.

i hate doing her hair. (sorry, i guess i couldn't stop myself)

what i love about mothering seth: i love that he still needs me. the other night he woke up crying (damn sickness!) and i got him out of bed and rocked him for a few minutes. did you know he doesn't really fit anymore? i mean, the kid rests his head on my shoulder and not only does his little body trail off of my lap because he's so tall, but it hurts after a little while. but he still wants to snuggle, still finds comfort in resting along my body, his little hand resting on the back of my neck.

i love that seth makes this squished up face when he walks around. i love that he loves to eat meat and potatoes and all other things unhealthy. i love that he wants to carry a wooden spoon, a pen, a regular spoon or a stick with him at all times.

i love reading seth books. i love that he sits very still and listens carefully and then very gently, with his sweet little pointer finger, he points and points and points and says, "GAAA?" oh, i love that.

so, good news: i don't really hate being a mother and i have my friend crystal to thank for that. but being a mother is really, really hard. and i'm grateful for other mothers who can nod their sympathies, offer small words of encouragement and give me a hug when i need it. and that includes my own mother.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

what happened at the valentino show

when ryan and i were dating, everyone told us how cute we were together because we were so different. and i, being the smitten girl that i was, was like, isn't it cute how ryan is more quiet and i'm more loud? and how he's so methodical and i'm so impulsive? we are so in love! ISN'T THAT SO CUTE??

ryan likes to know every little thing in full detail beforehand. if he is going to pay a bill, he sits down, opens the bill and reads it. the whole thing. every little listing, note and number. and then he questions it. you should see him in action. it's totally impressive. those poor office managers are nearly melted into puddles of frustration and exasperation at the handsome man who is standing before them, chopping their seemingly simple and user-friendly invoice into pieces of mulch.

"so, let me get this straight," ryan will say, calmly, completely unaware of the frazzled woman before him, "when you charge me for this, it's a one-time fee?" the woman nods. "and why is it that much?" she doesn't know. "does this fee include anything else, or is it just the fee?" it's just the fee. "are there any other fees that will show up on the next bill?"

i'm the opposite. i get a bill, i glance at it and then, if you're lucky, i'll pay it. but mostly, i put it aside in a special place reserved just for bills that i'm going to pay later and then i never look at it again. and then it gets turned off. and after that happens, i heave a great sigh, go to the special place reserve for bills to-be-paid, dig through the pile, find the bill pay the amount, plus the late fee. if i lived like this now, ryan's hair would all be white and he'd be wrinkled with stress. this is why i only play dead when he attempts to do finances with me: because secretly, i am very grateful for his thorough attitude.

it's amazing where else you can see these traits spill. ryan and i, though we were married for the last two years of ryan's degree, never had a college class together (too cheesy), but i think it would have been interesting to see the kind of students we were. ryan asks questions, reads directions, follows things carefully. i sit in front, listen and take notes and then haphazardly make my way through the rest of it. i don't read directions carefully, i don't ask questions.

well, on thursday night i took a page from ryan's book and i have to admit, it worked out really well for me. thursday night i was at the moca (museum of contemporary art) taking pictures of the valentino tribute show and i was NERVOUS. i had just finished taking pictures backstage and had made my way out to the foot of the runway where the platform for press was set up. already, it was full and buzzing with all sorts of polished looking individuals. i stood there, at the edge, fingering my camera with uncertainty. i heard someone say, "they say there's no flash allowed?" and i felt my heart sink. the lights were dim, the runway was dark and i had to somehow work my courage up to climb aboard the press platform and stand among all of those photographers.

it took a moment before i gritted my teeth and caught the eye of a man holding a very impressive set up. and then i did what i often do best, i blurted everything out, "i've never done this before and i need help."

to my relief, the man smiled. he offered to move aside and let me stand next to him on the platform. he took my camera in his hands and showed me which changes were best. with a frown, he acknowledged that perhaps i could use a bit more zoom on my lens, but no worries! he pointed to a spot where i could stand--front and center and gently asked a few photographers to make way for me. i was so nervous, even with his kindness and his gentle tutorials, so i asked a bunch of questions. and he answered all of them. but i was still nervous. the light was so bad! what was i going to do? and then the show started and the lights turned on and the model came out and i snapped my first picture. with hesitation, i looked at the shot. it was wonderful. what a relief! i snapped another. and another. my friend tapped me on the shoulder.

"are your pictures coming out?" he asked.

i nearly dropped everything to hug him. instead, i gushed. it probably terrified him.

i wanted to blog this because i wanted people to see the kindness one can offer another. more especially, the kindness one professional can offer a beginner in the same field. i also wanted to blog this so i don't forget. one day, i'm going to be just as kind.

of course, i owe this moment to ryan. if it weren't for his example of unwavering attention to detail and his quest to understand the things that are before him resulting in my wish for the ability to faint on command many, many times, i don't know if i would have had the experience that i had.

so ryan? thank you.

and heather? thank you.

and the man with the camera who took such good care of me? THANK YOU.

ps for pictures, go here.

Monday, October 19, 2009


thanks to heather, i spent thursday night in a whole new world. that world was valentino and it was beautiful.

Friday, October 16, 2009

weekly mouse

collecting snails for pets on a rainy day

weekly guy

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

walk it out

so, boychild is a walker. he's been flirting with the idea for about a month now, taking steps when forced, but not really all that willing unless someone was really cheering him on. and then, one day, he found one his favorite things in a suitcase: toothbrushes. anything that is long and thin (think stick or sword) is his favorite item. he will grab on to these things and keep them for hours at a time. well, this time, he had two. and they were making it hard to crawl. so he tried walking. and guess what? he could walk AND hold on to his toothbrushes and that meant he could easily make it to a safe hiding spot and hold those toothbrushes and chew on those toothbrushes for as long as he wanted. sadly for him, he's not all that sneaky. so i saw the whole thing. which meant that he didn't get to sit in a corner and suck the remnants of my toothpaste off my toothbrush. it meant that i gently took them away and attempted to replace them with a wooden spoon. and as i walked away, it meant that he followed me bi-ped style with tears in his eyes.

it is ridiculous how proud i feel when i see him walk. i'm like one of those moms who gets on her blog and says the same things over and over again about how great her kids are.

oh my gosh. i am one of those moms.

how embarrassing.

well, in the spirit of being one of those moms, let me just move right in to the typical ramblings of a proud mother:

seeing him walk is amazing. seeing him walk to the part of the room where his blankee is, pick it up and stumble away can almost take my breath away. i mean, that used to be in my womb. MY WOMB!! and now look at him: he's sneaking off into corners with my toothbrush, he's using a spoon with such abandon that nothing actually makes it to his mouth, but instead it's on the floor. and now, we have ants. again. and i hate ants.

now that he's a full-fledged walker (the spanish branch missionaries call him "zombie"), things are not safe. before we were baby-proof, but now we need to be toddler-proof. and i just want to throw my hands in the air and shout, but i just DID the baby-proofing! will you just slow down and let me do something else other than fight to keep you alive in your own bedroom?

and now, because of this new found freedom, my 50mm lens, which you might recall is my absolute favorite lens, has been snapped. because someone pulled a whole pile of books off of a side table and the camera was on top of the books and NOW i have no 50mm lens. did i mention it was my favorite? i did? well, did i also mention that i just started really taking photography seriously and part of that is taking pictures of other people and that lens was sort of vital to that whole cause? how about the fact that when it comes to photography, i have a budget of ZERO dollars.

so i did what any desperate would-be photographer does: i packed up any and all photography equipment i don't use, went to my two favorite photography stores, one of which is a guy who can fix almost anything and sells a lot of secondhand stuff and i worked a deal.

but i digress. back to the whole mom thing.

have you ever seen anything so cute in all your life?

Monday, October 12, 2009


tyson and heather at tyson's surprise birthday party. a party thrown by heather, whom ava likes to call "feather". tyson got a picture that ava drew for him. it was a blue pumpkin with orange inside it. i think tyson liked it.

Friday, October 9, 2009

weekly guy

real seth tears. real ryan smile. they both really love to see the temple.

weekly mouse

Thursday, October 8, 2009

excuse me while i pee my pants laughing

In response to the review from "Johnathon Doege" where he says "OMG every character in this show is completely insane". Is really EVERY character completely insane? Isn't just really every WOMAN character? And why is that? Could it be common to TV & Film written/produced by gay men and indicate an actual contempt for/jealousy of women?

found this gem on hulu while watching glee. oh wow.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

the pictures that followed or, our trip in pictures with subtitles

on our way up, we stopped in las vegas, where our job was clearly cut out for us by pollo, who found an empty liquor bottle and did the first thing that came to his mind: act drunk. with glee.
the boys, in the bellagio. from left to right: azeem, kevin, pollo (arul) and christian
outside the temple
little mouse at my aunt's house. my aunt is about to become a grandmother for the first time and has collected the most wonderful toys for a little granddaughter over the years. ava was in heaven.
grandma and grandpa's house. ava was surprisingly kind to her eager great-grandparents. she climbed right up into their laps and told them all about herself. as i was putting her to bed she told me, "mom, i really love grandma and grandpa."
proof that seth was there, eyeing heavily the bowl of m&ms that grandma left on the coffee table. what i want to know is this, how does he even know what m&ms are anyway? why do these children come with built-in sugar sensors?
on the way home. utah is one of the most beautiful places i've ever seen. and autumn is one of its best seasons. i'm so glad we were there. two of these were taken as the sun rose on our ride home. do you see the moon? gorgeous.
my favorite picture of the trip:

a general conference rundown

i hate traveling with small children. i really do. so when the spanish branch got all of the stake's tickets to general conference, i was cringing inside. i mean, think about it: a super fast weekend which includes A TON OF DRIVING, two small children, an hour time difference (which shouldn't matter but, oh, it so does), rushing back and forth between activities and four young men? i offered sweetly to stay home with the children but ryan said he wouldn't have fun if i didn't come, so i gave in. just look at the power that man has over me.

i'm glad i went although i am so exhausted i'm nearly delusional. i swear to you, seth asked me if he could please use my iphone to check his portfolio. and i said, "you have a portfolio?" and then he rolled his eyes and tapped his foot impatiently. and i'm glad anyway, even though i got nothing out of conference.

session 1. i can't really hear anything, even though the conference session is being broadcast on temple grounds. that's because seth is howling to get out of the stroller and azeem is making frog noises in his armpit, a talent which peaked in third grade and has rapidly declined in usefulness and entertainment value since then. still, he trucks on. also, kevin is busy yelling, "migra!" which means migration. everyone thinks this is funny. i admit, i laughed, but i don't think it was for the same reasons.

session 2. driving around like our hair is on fire, trying to pick up a pair of pants from michael, a shirt from henry and pollo's backpack. all because i thought my making them a list of what to pack beforehand was too much. well guess what? it wasn't.

session 3. crystal and regis' house. where ava cried, seth cried and i hovered over brand new baby evie and a pan of scrambled eggs. oh, and bacon, which i undercooked. note to self: don't arrange to listen to something with friends you love to talk to. it won't work. i didn't get much out of that session, but i did get to see crystal and regis. i also got to talk to abby, who helped me grate cheese. she has dimples and i am a sucker for dimples.

session 4. ryan has run around like his hair is on fire (again), trying to get tickets together and clothes together for a bunch of teenage boys that ditched us for the kid who brought his playstation 3 to utah. this involved kevin and pollo running around with tickets in their hands. i don't know if any racial slurs were delved at conference, but i wouldn't be surprised. this might be the most politically incorrect weekend i've had in my life.

highlights include:

arul, or "pollo" calling me "jefa" (boss) and using the word constantly. his pronunciation is quick and harsh. non-stop it was: "jefa!"

or how about putting pollo to bed? he wanted to be tucked in like a burrito, given milk and cookies, sung a song, told a story and given a goodnight kiss. oh yeah, and he was certain that azeem wanted all of those things, too. i looked over at azeem and he was shaking his head quickly.

my buddy christian who always answered my questions that started with, "como se dice. . .?"

my new mexican accent! being surrounded by so much mexican accent means that i started speaking with one too. i feel ridiculous. and oddly enough, so hard core.

being in the car with four mexican boys who thought the word "beaner" was a funny thing to shout at other mexicans that they didn't know. this horrified me, because once yelled the offended party turned around to look right at me. this, of course, was found to be HIL-arious.

visiting with my aunt emily, uncle rob and their children, which included my cousin cameron and his wife allison, who is due to have a baby in four weeks. and then, going down to southern utah to visit ryan's grandparents who really are some of the kindest people i know. grandpa was a little confused by the presence of the boys and, upon looking at them said, "they look hawaiian!" about fifteen minutes later, when hearing ryan speak spanish to them, grandpa asked, "you understand spanish?" the boys nodded and grandpa explained, "well i hardly understand that! do they speak much spanish in hawaii?"

yes, confusion abounded, but the phrase, "i love grandpa. he's funny." was heard in abundance. of course, grandma answered this with, "don't tell him that! his ego is through the roof!"

and it is. because this is the story we heard while we were there: grandma worked the ticket booth outside the movie theater and grandpa saw her there every time he went to a movie. he thought she was very pretty. so one night, when his mother was just about to leave for a movie, he told he, "take a good look at the girl in the ticket booth because one day she's going to be your daughter in law."

later, he went to a movie and afterward came out to see grandma sitting on the couch surrounded by a group of boys. one of which, a boy named sterling, was to take her home. as grandpa walked by he said to grandma, "i'll be back at ten to pick you up."

as he walked away, grandma asked, "do you think he means it?" sterling knew grandpa and gathered his coat, knowing that grandpa, indeed, did mean it.

this is when grandpa interjected with, "he left because he knew if he stuck around i'd beat the hell out of him."

so grandpa came back at ten, picked grandma up and took her out.

"where did you go?" i asked.

without blinking, grandpa said, "necking."

three weeks later, they were engaged. three weeks after that, they were married.

and you know what's lovely? they told that story together holding hands.

then we drove home. and ava and seth howled and the boys wrestled each other to death and anytime anyone fell asleep the other messed with him. they tickled his face, threw goldfish crackers down his throat or placed small toys over their eyes. i am so glad i will never be a boy. they are just so strange.

it's good to be home. it's good to know we survived the weekend. and oddly enough, after all of that, i look forward to seeing all those people again.

pictures to follow.

Monday, October 5, 2009


the last of summer

Thursday, October 1, 2009

miss morgan

there's more here. and you know you're just dying to take a peek!